You might think shooting a movie musical is easier on the body than, say, a stunt-driven action film.
Nicole Kidman would disagree.
The Australian Oscar winner suffered numerous injuries on the set of Moulin Rouge!, Baz Luhrmann’s popular jukebox musical set at the famed Parisian cabaret, which opened 20 years ago on May 18, 2001.
“I’m dancing in high heels, I broke my ribs, I tore up my knee. I did all the things you’re meant to do while creating great art,” Kidman told Yahoo Entertainment during a 2014 Role Recall interview with Yahoo Entertainment (watch above, with Moulin Rouge! beginning at 3:35.)
The actress, now 53, fractured two ribs while capturing one of the more complicated dance sequences and tore her knee cartilage after falling while shooting the “Diamonds Are a Girl’s Best Friend” number. She also broke another rib after a constricting corset cinched her waist down to 18 inches.
Still, just landing in Moulin Rouge! felt like a triumph for Kidman, who had risen to fame in films like Far and Away (1992), Batman Forever (1995) and Eyes Wide Shut (1999).
“I grew up in a family where musicals were so revered, so to be cast in a musical was like, ‘I’d made it,’” she told us. “It was extraordinary. I’m so privileged to be in that movie.”
Kidman was rewarded with her first of now four Oscar nominations (she won the prized stautette a year later for The Hours) for her rich and confident performance as the cabaret performer and courtesan Satine, who enters into a romance with Ewan McGregor’s young English poet, Christian.
“We were like a traveling theater troupe,” McGregor said during a 2016 Role Recall interview, noting the cast (which also included John Leguizamo, Jim Broadbent and Richard Roxburgh) spent four months rehearsing for the film.
Moulin Rouge! is credited with helping resurrect the musical genre at a time when very few song-and-dance spectacles were being produced in Hollywood — and the film’s own musicality was being downplayed in its stateside marketing, according to McGregor.
“I had such blind faith in [Luhrmann], I think he’s a genius. So I never doubted that the film would work. I never thought about the sort or risks of it being a musical or anything,” he told us. “I was amazed that when they were cutting trailers here in America they were cutting them without any music or singing in it, like it’s just a drama. I was thinking, ‘People will know it’s a musical when they go and watch it in the cinema. But it’s like, ‘Let’s avoid the musical aspect of it at all costs.’ I never understood that. I was very proud of its musical-ness and enjoyed that immensely.”
Stream Moulin Rouge! on Amazon.
Read more on Yahoo Entertainment: