A Minute With: Baz Luhrmann on Gatsby, DiCaprio and Jay-Z
By Zorianna Kit
LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Australian filmmaker Baz Luhrmann brings to life F. Scott Fitzgerald's classic American novel, "The Great Gatsby" which opens in U.S. theaters Friday before unspooling at the Cannes Film Festival on May 15.
The film reunites Luhrmann with actor Leonardo DiCaprio, with whom he last worked on the big screen adaptation of William Shakespeare's "Romeo + Juliet" in 1996.
DiCaprio stars as Jay Gatsby, a millionaire pining for a lost love, played by Carey Mulligan, during the height of the hedonistic 1920's. Tobey Maguire and Joel Edgerton also star.
Luhrmann, 50, spoke to Reuters about working with DiCaprio and his collaboration with rapper Jay-Z on the film's soundtrack.
Q: What was the difference between working with DiCaprio on "Romeo + Juliet" some 15 years ago and "The Great Gatsby" now?
A: Back then, he was very gifted, but he was a boy. Now he is a man and true partner in creativity. He's been on film sets since he was a child and so he's only ever known film culture. He knows what is a waste of time and he knows where to put the energy. He's extremely exigent.
Q: How so?
A: He's was as much a producer of this movie, as much a co-writer - he and Tobey Maguire had me in our writing tent until 3 in the morning when we had to be shooting at 7am - going round and round on materials. I loved it and it's some of my greatest memories (from the shoot) but it also nearly killed me. I'm an older man. I was like, 'Kids, give pops a break!' Continued...