Newsweek Interviews Baz Luhrmann on Guest Judging on DWTS. Here’s an excerpt:
On Monday night Australian director Baz Luhrmann will be making his debut as a guest judge on Dancing With the Stars. It’s not as odd as it sounds. He directed a sumptuous version of La Boheme for Broadway, reinvented the movie musical with the magnificent Moulin Rouge, and of course started off his career with Strictly Ballroom, a hilarious peek into the world of competitive ballroom dancing. He spoke to Pop Vox about his new job.
Why did you decide to be a judge on Dancing With the Stars?
Actually, well first of all it’s fun. The show is fun. But more importantly, a lot of people in the U.S. don’t know that Strictly Ballroom was the inspiration for the original BBC version which then was the inspiration for Dancing With the Stars. It’s called Strictly Come Dancing in Britain and Disney is re-releasing the DVD of Strictly Ballroom in the U.S. early next year so this is part of me linking the disc to the show.
Don’t you come from a ballroom dancing family?
I was a ballroom dancer. I grew up in a small country town. I did competitive ballroom dancing later on. My brothers got into it and then later on my mother became a judge.
Were you good?
I was alright! I won the districts triple A something or other blah blah blah. You could say I was a northern New South Wales champ at some point.
Not the whole of New South Wales. Just the Northern part?
You know what? I was a little champ. We certainly took it seriously. We loved it. Ballroom dancing for us as children was, we lived in the country. It was a country person’s escape into theatre and to be able to travel and be part of something. A world that is in one regard preposterous and fantastical and on the other hand it was a serious sport. You really had to be good at it. There is nothing like dance. Expressing yourself through dance is a really joyous thing.