May 3rd, 2011
05:24 PM ET
Ten years after its release, "Moulin Rouge!" still remains a classic, thanks largely to the talents of leads Nicole Kidman and Ewan McGregor.
But according to director Baz Luhrmann, several other stars were also seriously considered for the movie musical, including Heath Ledger, Jake Gyllenhaal and Courtney Love.
"Heath Ledger [had] incredible scenes with Nicole," Luhrmann told MTV. "Because at one stage, Christian [the role that went to McGregor] was very young, he was a younger guy, and then I was aware of Ewan but I didn't know if he could sing."
Gyllenhaal also tried out for Christian. "Jake should do a musical. He's a wonderful actor, but [he has a] great voice, tremendous voice," said Luhrmann. "He sang some [Stephen] Sondheim for me, complicated singing, great voice. When is he going to guest on 'Glee?'"
Love, meanwhile, not only tried out for the film but also agreed to let Luhrmann use late husband Kurt Cobain's song.
"She was fascinating, she was beguiling," Luhrmann said of the singer. "Also, without Courtney's approval, we would never have [Nirvana's] 'Smells Like Teen Spirit' in 'Moulin Rouge,' and I had to go and show her the whole piece. She's absolutely fantastic. I adore her spirit. She's wild and unpredictable and a great performer."
Like Ledger and Gyllenhaal, Love wasn't cast in the film—nor were countless others.
"I saw everyone," said Luhrmann. "I have audition material of people you wouldn't believe. I know who can really sing, people who've got amazing voices, from that process."
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