Australia’s sweetheart Kylie Minogue bares herself like never before, physically and emotionally, in Mystify: Michael Hutchence, the heartbreaking new documentary about the late INXS frontman.
“The story book about this is that he is the dark bad boy and I was the pure good girl, and that was pretty much the truth,” says Kylie, 51, whose bare bottom is seen in a shower scene in the movie.
“If you are a sensual being, all of your senses need stimulating. He definitely awakened my desire.
“A lot of it was based around pleasure, let’s face it.”
On camera, Kylie – who inspired INXS’ Suicide Blonde – talks about the “insatiable curiosity” of the charismatic Hutchence.
That curiosity encompassed “all of the good things in life and some of the bad things,” says Kylie, who admitted that included taking drugs with the Original Sin singer.
“It opened up a whole new world for me.”
The unlikely pair dated for two years after she broke things off with Neighbours co-star Jason Donovan.
“Sex, love, food, drugs, music, travel, books, you name it, Michael wanted to experience it,” an uncharacteristically unguarded Minogue reveals.
“So as his partner, I got to experience a lot of that as well. I felt very safe with him. I felt protected.”
Mystify is lovingly woven from hundreds of hours of footage by Melbourne director Richard Lowenstein, a close friend of Hutchence who shot most of the band’s music videos and 1986 movie Dogs in Space with him.
Frustrated by previous Hutchence docos, Lowenstein enjoyed unrivalled access to personal archives.
With the full support of the band and Hutchence’s daughter Tiger Lily, he wanted to set the record straight on what may have driven his friend to take his life at age 37 on November 22, 1997.
The Can’t Get You Out of My Head singer’s heart-felt recollections are some of the most haunting. It’s clear Kylie still pines for him.
Everyone remembers the paparazzi-packed moment when, black waistcoat on bare chest, Hutchence walked out with a platinum-bobbed Kylie Minogue in a glittery noughts and crosses mini dress. It was pandemonium.
But Mystify steps back in time to 1989 when they first got together and a baby-faced Kylie, then 21, fell head over heels for Hutchence, almost 30.
It’s gasp-inducing to see just how young she looks in a home video from a trip to Venice on the Orient Express. Their goofy grins are super-sweet, a contrast to the racy naked shower shot.
The pair met when she was invited back to his hotel after an INXS gig in Sydney. He tipped her off about miracle drops she could use if her voice cracked on stage, then followed her on tour to Hong Kong to take her out to dinner but was two hours late.
Minogue’s team were fuming thinking he’d stood her up, but she says the “frisson” between them ensured they hooked up pretty soon after, meeting again in Japan’s Kyoto.
Their moments of freedom together came in the tiny gaps between punishing touring schedules, and more often than not Kylie and Hutchence were reduced to faxing each other from distant hotel rooms under the pseudonyms Gabby Jones and Swordfish.
She treasures a copy of 1985’s Perfume: The Story of a Murderer by German author Patrick Süskind that Hutchence gave her.
Hutchence was drawn to its depiction of a diabolical serial killer driven by an obsessive sense of smell, and Minogue loved it too.
“That was a really poignant book to be given at that time, because it was about discovery and obsession, addiction and the senses,” she recalls.
Their split devastated her and left him curled in a foetal position.
“I know he never wanted to hurt anyone,” she says.
“He did end up hurting me, but he wouldn’t have enjoyed it one bit.”
Mystify: Michael Hutchence is in cinemas nationally from July 4