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Baz Luhrmann's father (who served in Vietnam as the head diver of the Australian Navy's demolition squad before running a Mobil gas station in the Australian outback) kept his four children on a strict regimen of daily activities, which included horseback riding, scuba diving, farm and gas-station chores, competitive ballroom dancing -- and commando training:

"He'd drop us in the middle of the bush," Luhrmann later recalled, "and we had to find our way home."

["If we ever just sat down, the sense from my father was that it was wrong," Luhrmann said of the "almost psychotic" regimen. "We weren't allowed to eat until dinner. We had work to do. It was absolutely non-stop until we dropped at night. We got up early in the morning, and -- bang! -- you'd do it again. My family was a cult." (Like the characters in "Strictly Ballroom," Luhrmann was a ballroom-dancing champion as a boy.)]

[Luhrmann was born in the back seat of a Vanguard van while his mother was being rushed to the hospital.]

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