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At the 2009 Academy Awards, host Hugh Jackman proclaimed, “The musical is back!” With Mamma Mia!’s box office record and the High School Musical franchise having made its way to theaters, Baz Luhrmann was tasked with producing a musical number for Hollywood’s biggest awards show. Luhrmann enlisted Zac Efron, Vanessa Hudgens, Dominic Cooper and Amanda Seyfried to join. But the one other celebrity Luhrmann knew he had to recruit for the performance? Beyoncé.
“Hugh, as a song-and-dance man, is pretty unmatchable,” Luhrmann, who directed Jackman in Australia, tells EW in the clip above. “So [we] really needed his partner to be a great song-and-dance superstar, and that had to be Beyoncé. … Having not actually worked with Beyoncé before, I was so struck by her relentless professionalism. Whatever it took to get it totally right.”
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There was another musical legend that Luhrmann says he almost got to close out the number.
“At one stage were thinking about finishing it with Barbra Streisand… and I really spoke to her about it and it looked like it might happen,” Luhrmann revealed. “But it just became a point where we couldn’t get that together.”
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