Nicole Kidman is one of the top stars of her generation, and any list of the best Nicole Kidman movies would show her as one of the best actors alive. Her steadfast commitment to one of her best movies left her with a string of very unfortunate injuries.
Baz Luhrmann’s 2001 movie Moulin Rouge! became one of the director’s most successful new movies and secured eight nominations at the Oscars the following year. It’s a maximalist jukebox musical set in the titular Parisian venue at the end of the 19th century.
In one of the best musicals of the 2000s, Kidman plays the Moulin Rouge’s star performer Satine, wearing a very tight corset in almost every scene. The garment cinched her waist to just 18 inches, which was enough to crack one of her ribs.
The corset also played a part in making one of the musical numbers, set to Marilyn Monroe song Diamonds Are a Girl’s Best Friend, a dangerous endeavour. She ended up breaking two more ribs and damaging her knee cartilage while filming that bit of choreography. Ouch.
“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 in 2021.
Despite this litany of injuries, Kidman reflects back on the movie with fondness and appreciation. It earned the star her first Oscar nomination, and she won Best Actress for The Hours a year later.
Kidman said: “I grew up in a family where musicals were so revered, so to be cast in a musical was like: ‘I’d made it’. It was extraordinary. I’m so privileged to be in that movie.”
More than 20 years later, Moulin Rouge! still has a huge cultural influence. In fact, it found itself adapted for the stage on Broadway as recently as 2019. That’s a whole new generation who might be prompted to discover Kidman’s commitment on screen.
For more from the star, find out about how Kidman’s most iconic performance is finally getting a sequel. Luhrmann’s latest lead was equally committed, with Austin Butler revealing that Elvis sent him to the emergency room. Meanwhile, check out our Elvis review.