“I think there’s a cloud following us,” said Joel Edgerton at last night’s cold and wet Sydney premiere of The Great Gatsby. The red carpet was rolled out at the Entertainment Quarter, which was transformed into a Gatsby hub complete with guests decked in their best ’20s-inspired dress, and just like at the Cannes Film Festival last week, the number one accessory was an umbrella.
It was a fitting way for the film’s cast and crew to wrap up their press tour considering they spent months shooting at Fox Studios over 2011 and 2013. Leading man Leonardo DiCaprio had to pull out of the Sydney premiere due to a scheduling conflict, but there was still plenty of star power thanks to Tobey Maguire, a Nina Ricci-clad Carey Mulligan, Joel Edgerton, Elizabeth Debicki (in Dior) and filmmaking power couple Baz Luhrmann and Catherine Martin.
Despite his absence, Leonardo was still a hot conversation topic, as Tobey told us about how important Leo was for getting the movie made. When we asked if he would have taken on the role of narrator Nick Carraway if it weren’t for Leo’s involvement and encouragement, Tobey said, “I don’t think the movie would’ve happened without me, Leo and Baz agreeing to do it. I just don’t think there’s any way it would’ve happened right now, without any one of us. That’s my opinion, but I know that he [Leo] was integral to me as I was to him, and Baz was to us . . . Baz was collaborating with Catherine Martin, and then Craig Pearce early on, but when Leo and I came on, we had our own little triangle there. There was a little circle of trust where we went, ‘OK, let’s move forward in this process together,’ and I think we were all essential to each other at that point.”
In a recent magazine interview, Carey mentioned how lots of her friends had Leo as their pin-up growing up, but that he wasn’t her celebrity crush, so we quizzed her on who her pin-up was. “Do you know, I didn’t really have many pin-ups when I was younger. I didn’t have posters on my wall, but I do remember really liking Michael Schumacher, the Formula One racing driver. Don’t know what that was about!” she said with a laugh.
Rising star Elizabeth, who looked radiant on the red carpet with minimal makeup, said she “pinched myself” going to set every day, and that “in a funny way, when you work with actors you respect so much, it takes a while to normalise and let them be other actors, but it was a really tight-knit cast and very supportive.” And while Elizabeth couldn’t think of any funny off-set stories off the top of her head, fellow Aussie Joel said, “I’d like to think I was like the Australian tourism board, but those guys discovered their own kind of nooks and crannies of Sydney.”
Most of the attention on the night was on the movie’s stars, but local stars were out in force and braving the rain to be among the first in Australia to see the film, including The Voice’s Delta Goodrem, Joel Madden and Darren McMullen, Jesinta Campbell, Kerri-Anne Kennerley, Jack Thompson and Stephanie Rice. Click through for our full interviews with the stars.