It's hard to imagine anyone but Ewan McGregor and Nicole Kidman as the ill-fated lovers in Baz Luhrmann's hypnotic movie musical Moulin Rouge, but the visionary Aussie director saw tons of actors during a lengthy audition process. Luhrmann was particularly impressed by Jake Gyllenhaal, telling MTV the actor has a "great voice, tremendous voice." Interestingly, it was during these auditions when Gyllenhaal met his future Brokeback Mountain costar Heath Ledger, who was also being considered.
Ledger even went so far as reading scenes with Nicole Kidman, but Luhrmann went with McGregor when they changed Christian's age, making Ledger too young. Though Kidman wound up as Satine, Hole frontwoman Courtney Love also auditioned for the consumptive courtesan. Luhrmann found her "beguiling," and though she wasn't cast, Love helped him obtain the rights to her late husband Kurt Cobain's song "Smells Like Teen Spirit" for the film.