Heath Ledger And Jake Gyllenhaal Were Both Up For The Role Of Christian
Ewan McGregor is fantastic in the role of Christian, the penniless poet who falls in love with Nicole Kidman’s Satine, but two other young actors were vying for the role at the time – Heath Ledger and Jake Gyllenhaal.
Luhrmann, again to Rotten Tomatoes, talks about test footage he has of Ledger and Gyllenhaal, praising both of their singing, but he admits that it would have been a very different story with either one of them. Mostly because of the age difference either would have had with Nicole Kidman. At the time the movie was released in 2001, Ledger would have been 22 and Gyllenhaal would have been 20, meaning a much younger version of Christian.
At the end of the day, Luhrmann didn’t feel that the age difference was best for the story, and believes that the pairing of Kidman and McGregor is in the realm of Humphrey Bogart and Ingrid Bergman in Casablanca.