I like to shamefully age, says director Baz Luhrmann

Baz Luhrmann said he likes to “age shamefully” as he reflects on his marriage and life away from his job.

The 60-year-old Australian director and producer is best known for Romeo and Juliet, Moulin Rouge! and The Great Gatsby.

Speaking to BBC Radio 4’s Desert Island Discs, Luhrmann told presenter Lauren Laverne about his unconventional relationship with his wife Catherine Martin, saying: “I’m an insomniac and we live such a big life and have these two kids.”

She continued: “Our house is not like a normal house. It is full of creatives, children and creativity.

“I work in my bedroom, my bedroom is a large and creative space.

“I like to shamefully age, so I don’t mind admitting that I still like going out and clubbing, and people are like ‘really?’, but I can’t help it.

“So, I’m a night guy and an insomniac, and she is [Martin] a morning person.

“We’re still having that conversation and there’s still a great love and romance between us.

“I mean, love transforms as you grow… but the depth of our relationship and our understanding… I just saw it and very quickly thought, ‘whatever our construct is, I don’t think I never want a day when you’re not around’.

“That’s how important it is in my life.”

The couple, who wed in 1997, have worked together on a number of Luhrmann films, including Moulin Rouge! and The Great Gatsby, for which costume designer Martin, 57, won two Academy Awards for each film.

Baz Luhrmann with his wife Catherine Martin (Yui Mok/PA)

Elsewhere in the interview, Luhrmann spoke candidly about her struggles with depression and how she handles her mental health.

“I think of artists, well, I don’t know if I’m an artist, but I think of people who have big holes in their hearts and are trying to fill them with imagination or creativity or whatever it is… self-medication is the creative process “, he said.

“I mean, you’re healing yourself because you’re either lost in a world or you’re so engrossed in the impossible that you don’t really think about yourself.

“But when you come out, there’s this kind of decompression process, but it can send you anywhere, fall back into the hole.

“So, you have to get yourself out again.”

Luhrmann chose eight tracks to take with him to the deserted island, including David Bowie’s Changes, One by Filter and Elvis Presley’s Suspicious Minds, which Luhrmann says he had in mind after “living and breathing Elvis” for five years while working to Elvis – a biopic of the singer, released earlier this year, starring Austin Butler as the king of rock and roll.

She also chose a silk eye mask as a luxury item to take to the deserted island and said she would bring Leo Tolstoy’s War and Peace to read alongside the Bible and the complete works of Shakespeare.

The full interview with Baz Luhrmann on Desert Island Discs will air on BBC Radio 4 and BBC Sounds at 11am on Sunday.

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