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On The Scene

The Great Gatsby Australia 

The Great Gatsby Down Under
April 29, 2013
By , Celebrity Contributor

The film:The Great Gatsby

The cast: Leonardo DiCaprio, Tobey Maguire, Isla Fisher, and Carey Mulligan

Shooting location: Sydney, Australia

Estimated budget: $126 million

The scoop: As the Great Gatsby once said, “Can’t repeat the past? Why of course you can!” And that’s what director Baz Lurhmann has done, but with a bold 3D twist. Despite its many previous film adaptations, the seasoned director decided to take on The Great Gatsby, and film it entirely in his hometown of Sydney. Based on the famous novel by F. Scott Fitzgerald, the film follows narrator Nick Carraway (Tobey Maguire) as he befriends Jay Gatsby (Leonardo DiCaprio), his millionaire neighbor with shady business connections, who throws lavish parties in his Long Island mansion during the roaring ‘20s. Why did Luhrmann film in Sydney over New York? Perhaps this is where the native Aussie – and director of Moulin Rouge and Australia – felt most comfortable in recreating Gatsby’s moneyed world. There was certainly no shortage of glitz and glamour. Elaborate film sets were built on Rozelle’s abandoned White Bay Power Station, the Fox Studios lots, Centennial Park, St. Patrick’s Seminary, and Sydney’s Waverley Cemetery. Rumor has it that Luhrmann also shipped over a fleet of vintage cars, including a 1929 Duesenberg and a 1929 Packard, from the Volo Auto Museum in Illinois. Plus, the cast’s jazz age wardrobe was dazzling, right down to the sequined headpieces and vintage Brooks Brothers suits.

Work & play: Life imitated art: DiCaprio lived large in a $10K/week waterfront mansion in Sydney owned by businessman Alastair Walton. He was also spotted quenching his thirst at the swanky nightclub, Beach Haus in Kings Cross, and dining harbourside on Cowper Wharf at Woolloomooloo’s Otto, with his then-girlfriend Blake Lively of Gossip Girl.

Film debut: May 10 in the U.S.; May 15 at 2013 Cannes Film Festival