In his book “Is Tiny Dancer Really Elton’s Little John?: Music’s Most Enduring Mysteries, Myths, and Rumors Revealed” (via RuleFortyTwo.com), Gavin Edwards spoke to Baz Luhrmann about the first time Ewan McGregor’s character drinks the magical liquid known as absinthe. The scene, which comes before Christian steps into the Moulin Rouge for the first time to meet Satine about the Bohemians’ new play, features Kylie Minogue as an alcohol-induced Tinkerbell that shows the audience a glimpse of the group’s hallucination. As she sings an operatic version of the title track from “The Sound of Music,” the fairy becomes a bit more twisted, signifying that things may take a more sinister turn from that point forward.
The fairy’s glowing red eyes are complimented by a change in voice courtesy of the Prince of F***ing Darkness. At the end of the absinthe sequence, you can hear Osbourne provide a “Crazy Train”-esque scream that comes out of the mouth of Minogue’s sparkly sprite. However, the Black Sabbath singer’s voice was originally intended to be included in more of the scene. In an email to Edwards from Luhrmann, the director elaborated:
“At one stage I had a much more complicated sequence where the innocent Green Fairy metamorphoses into its darker demonic alter-ego. With the ever-helpful Sharon Osbourne, we recorded Ozzy doing ‘The Sound of Music’ for that sequence–but we ended up cutting down his incredible vocal to a brief scream.”
It’s a bit of a shame that Osbourne’s rendition of the Julie Andrews classic didn’t make it into the final cut of the movie. But at least the heavy metal pioneer wasn’t omitted entirely. If he were, then maybe the next head getting bitten off wouldn’t have belonged to a bat.