Baz Luhrmann on his “good friend” David Bowie: “I was a huge fan”

“We were talking about going to Berlin at one point to do something together”

Baz Luhrmann has recalled his friendship with David Bowie, explaining how they almost worked on a project together in Berlin.

The director, who worked with the late musician on the soundtrack for 2001’s Moulin Rouge!, told NME about how Bowie’s classic track ‘Changes’ impacted his life.

“From the moment I first heard this song, I was a huge Bowie fan,” Luhrmann said. “I eventually worked with him [on the Moulin Rouge! soundtrack] and then towards the end of his life, he became a very good friend.

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“He used to come round and we’d walk the dogs. We were talking about going to Berlin at one point to do something together. I must have been so stupid, why didn’t I just say yes?”

David Bowie performing in 1987. Credit: Ebet Roberts/Redferns
David Bowie performing in 1987. Credit: Ebet Roberts/Redferns

For the Moulin Rouge! soundtrack, Bowie contributed tracks ‘Heroes’, ‘Diamond Dogs’ and covered Nat King Cole’s ‘Nature Boy’.

Luhrmann’s next film is biopic Elvis, starring Austin Butler as Elvis Presley alongside Tom Hanks as manager Colonel Tom Parker.

The biopic also stars Helen Thomson as Elvis’ mother Gladys, Richard Roxburgh as his father Vernon and Olivia DeJonge as wife Priscilla Presley. Other cast members include Luke Bracey, David Wenham, Kodi Smit-McPhee, Kelvin Harrison Jr. and Josh McConville.

A synopsis reads: “The story delves into the complex dynamic between Presley and Parker spanning 20 years, from Presley’s rise to fame to his unprecedented stardom, against the backdrop of the evolving cultural landscape and loss of innocence in America.”

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Luhrmann recently explained why he didn’t cast Harry Styles as Presley, after meeting him to discuss the role.

“Harry is a really talented actor,” Luhrmann said. “I would work on something with him… but the real issue with Harry is, he’s Harry Styles. He’s already an icon.”

Elvis is released in UK and US cinemas on June 24.

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