Annette Sharp, The Daily Telegraph, reports
IT appears director Baz Luhrmann is having some kind of catharsis. In an exhausting week during which The Great Gatsby director has had his shoulder to the grindstone in a final almighty push to promote his upcoming eagerly anticipated cinematic release, Luhrmann has twice bitten the bullet and done things associates believe to be out of character.
The first was to list his magnificent Darlinghurst house, Iona, for sale for $15 million - something no one, it seems, foresaw.
The second was to pack a bag and fly to Las Vegas - the equivalent to the culturally enlightened Luhrmann of drinking a kryptonite martini.
Lurid, tacky, soulless Vegas was essential because Luhrmann's latest film extravaganza, which opens the Cannes Film Festival on May 15 six months after the deadline on the original delivery date lapsed, opens in the US on May 1. Film reviews being what they are, Luhrmann knows better than most that those early US reviews could spell disaster or success for his latest $127 million+ labour of love.
Then on Wednesday, during a monster week of interviews - some of which weren't for the film but
were for myriad prestige consumer product lines attached to it - Luhrmann and his wife Catherine Martin dropped their guard on their non-traditional relationship.
The pair were in Tiffany's Fifth Ave flagship store in New York to unveil a luxurious 1920s styled jewellery collection created to capitalise on the film's release when, during a media breakfast, Luhrmann and his talented wife opened up about the remarkable collaboration that has survived 25 years and the odd rumour.
Asked to reveal the secrets of their fruitful relationship, Martin stated frankly: "Fighting in the bathroom."
Luhrmann elaborated: "We fight a lot. All the time."
This hardly come as a surprise to those of us who have watched the couple closely for the past decade and noted with interest earlier admissions that they keep separate bedrooms.
"He says I'm the violent one," Martin added. "Abuse goes both ways. We're equal."
Luhrmann, whom Martin once described as the "fire" in their creative relationship, admitted he, probably unhelpfully, laughs when her temper flares.
"When she starts getting angry, I start to laugh. I can't help it. I don't mean to do it," he said.
One can well imagine how much pressure this marriage is under at the moment. The couple's reputations, careers and, rumour has it, finances are bound to Gatsby.
As husband and wife, or director and artistic designer, it has always been thus. They put it all on the line every time they work together.
For years now, Luhrmann and Martin have been eating, sleeping and, one assumes, fighting over Gatsby just as they presumably did over their other over-budget/over deadline films Australia and Moulin Rouge.
Is it any wonder they withdrew their house from the property market mid-week? Talk about biting off more than you can chew. They hardly needed all of Sydney speculating about their motives for selling the house that had has been their home base for 18 years. So great has their love affair been with the property, they finally bought it in 2006 after renting it for nine years.
Now real estate agents say the couple are selling to "separate" their business and personal lives. "Separate" - not the best choice of words.
"We've been together for 25 years and we still fight over the same things," Martin told USA Today this week in an admission that would indicate the couple, like most, have their dependable trigger points.
"One time we were having a heated argument and I threw a glass on the ground and Baz says, 'CM, you know what I love about you? You never change.'"