Luhrmann Gets Grilled on Gatsby-------
“I wanted the audience to feel like the people who read Gatsby in the twenties,” said director Baz Luhrmann during yesterday’s intimate luncheon and discussion of The Great Gatsby at the New York Public Library. “Back then, it was dangerous and of the moment.” Following a string of stylish events and a splashy New York premiere worthy of any Fitzgerald novel, the event was a scholarly affair hosted by Anna Wintour, NYPL President Tony Marx, and editor in chief of The New Yorker, David Remnick. The latter moderated a Q&A with the film’s star-studded cast and crew.
Just steps from the library’s trove of Fitzgerald first editions, the film’s stars, Tobey Maguire, Joel Edgerton, Isla Fisher, and Carey Mulligan (DiCaprio was absent), offered insight into playing some of literature’s most memorable characters. “Daisy became a cocktail of a lot of research,” revealed Mulligan, who plumbed Princeton’s archives for the author’s intimate correspondence with muses Zelda Fitzgerald and Ginevra King. “I fell in love with these two women. The more I read their words, the more real Daisy became.” Fisher, who plays the down-on-her-luck Myrtle Wilson, admitted that her character’s capricious tendencies were hardly far-fetched. “I often play a floozy,” the Australian starlet deadpanned in a Chloé ensemble.
But perhaps the keenest observation came from the film’s scorer, Jay-Z, who was the first to see a rough cut. “We went to lunch afterward, and Jay told me, ‘The thing about this movie is that it’s aspirational,’” recalled Luhrmann. “I think he really nailed it. With Gatsby, everybody thinks of the parties, the fashion, and the champagne. I do hope the movie has a lot of razzle-dazzle, but ultimately it’s a book about hope.”