There's no doubt Baz Luhrmann is one of the more colorful writer-directors in Hollywood. His latest film, Australia (now out on DVD), has just recently become the second biggest Aussie flick of all time, while his other films -- like Moulin Rouge!, Romeo + Juliet and Strictly Ballroom -- have gone on to become huge fan favorites around the world. Because we have so many Baz fans here at Cinematical, we decided to do a little something different and allow several of our writers to contribute questions ranging from Baz's work on Australia to the much talked-about musical number he put together for this year's Academy Awards. We also touched upon the writer-director's future film slate, including his planned adaptation of The Great Gatsby and whether he'd like to once again dabble with the musical-movie down the line.

Contributing to this interview were Scott Weinberg, Peter Martin, Elisabeth Rappe, Jessica Barnes and Erik Davis.

Cinematical: When Nicole Kidman and Hugh Jackman's characters were being developed for Australia, did you have any particular classic Hollywood pairings in mind?

Baz Luhrmann: I very overtly drew inspiration from the films that inspired me to make this one as they were classic romances. The coupling of the main characters is the most important decision that you can make. Indeed in Nicole Kidman and Hugh Jackman I was looking for a Gable/Leigh, Bogart/Hepburn, Redford/Streep - like chemistry.

Cinematical: What's the toughest part about producing a film that "performs" below expectations?

BL: Of course when you work on a movie with many people for a very long time it was sad that in the US we failed to get an audience in on the opening weekend. Having said that, I am pleased that the film has gone on to do so well throughout the rest of the world and in our home country
categories Interviews, Cinematical