Baz Luhrmann On the Train Ride that Inspired ‘The Great Gatsby’

It is widely believed that F. Scott Fitzgerald was inspired to write The Great Gatsby by his own tumultuous, passionate, and often toxic relationship with wife Zelda. While Baz Luhrmann wasn’t driven to bring the book to life on the big screen by his own personal turmoils, it was an interesting journey that brought him to the project. Growing up with Gatsby in the form of Robert Redford’s 1974 picture, Luhrmann always ached to know more about the character, a pursuit he took on during a long trainride in his later years. It was this revelatory journey that gave him the image of Gatsby as we saw it earlier this year.

The Great Gatsby, Baz LuhrmannWarner Bros.

Still, the director attributes a good deal of his Great Gatsby adaptation to stars Tobey Maguire and Leonardo DiCaprio, whom he accredits with truly devoted performances. Watch Luhrmann discuss the film in the interview above, and catch Gatsby on Blu-ray and DVD now.

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Staff editor Michael Arbeiter’s natural state of being can best be described as “mild panic attack.” His earliest memories of growing up in Queens, New York, involve nighttime conversations with a voice from his bedroom wall (the jury’s still out on what that was all about) and a love for classic television that spawned from the very first time he was allowed to watch “The Munsters.” Attending college at SUNY Binghamton, a 20-year-old Michael learned two things: that he could center his future on this love for TV and movies, and that dragons never actually existed — he was kind of late in the game on that one.