10 May 2001
Long audition for short part
by BRUCE KIRKLAND
CANNES -- With tongue planted firmly in cheek, John Leguizamo yesterday gave the casting couch a new twist in Hollywood lore.
His auditions for eccentric Australian filmmaker Baz Luhrmann took two hours each when he went after roles in Romeo + Juliet and then Moulin Rouge, the New York actor revealed.
"Except this time," Leguizamo said of the second film, "I was on my knees. (Pause ... punchline). Which is usually how I get my parts. Two hours? I have staying power."
All sexual innuendo aside, in Moulin Rouge Leguizamo plays the famous French painter Toulouse Lautrec, who was a dwarf, and had to show Luhrmann what he would look like when acting impossibly short.