William Keck
June 15, 2001 at 04:00 AM EDT

Casting Nicole Kidman as a high-class call girl in Moulin Rouge wasn’t that much of a stretch — at least according to costar John Leguizamo. ”There’s a lot of relatedness in being a prostitute and a Hollywood actress,” he insists. ”You have to impress people and go to these big fancy parties and make ’em laugh and giggle. Nicole was very convincing.” (Leguizamo says he couldn’t afford Kidman even if she were a working girl: ”I don’t make nearly enough.”) The actress doesn’t buy his logic. ”John is naughty, but he might be right,” she says. ”But if you stay true to your integrity, your artistic vision, and what you believe in, that’s not prostitution.” Kidman will soon be for sale again — as a mail-order bride in Birthday Girl — though the terms are different. Advises costar Ben Chaplin: ”She doesn’t necessarily have to put out.”

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