Director Baz Luhrmann suffers from crippling bouts of depression.

The Moulin Rouge! moviemaker has opened up about his struggles in a new interview, revealing he has suffered a handful of intensely dark periods.

He tells The Hollywood Reporter, "(I suffer bouts) very rarely, but when I do, it's totally real. It's been a half-dozen times, and it's deep."

Luhrmann admits he suffered a crisis of self-doubt after his Alexander The Great epic was shelved in the mid-2000s, and again when his 2008 film Australia was panned by critics, explaining he went through "a difficult time" after the release.

However, the director insists his failures made him even more determined to succeed with his latest big screen offering, The Great Gatsby. He adds. "I knew when I went out (to work) again, I would see anyone and do anything to make sure Gatsby (the project) stayed alive."