Christian was born in the late 1800's in England, much of his early life is unknown. At some point his relationship with his father went sour, likely due to his father believing art is evil and love is a waste of time and telling his son he would waste his life away because of his belief on love. Eventually Christian was exposed to the Bohemian Revolution going on in Paris France. He was so sick of his narrow minded father, so Christian left for Paris to become a writer.
He joins the production Spectacular Spectacular, and ends up meeting Satine, a prostitute, at the Moulin Rouge. He sees her sing "Diamonds are a Girl's Best Friend" where she mistakes him for the Duke who has purchased for her to sleep with. He goes with her to tell her about his poetry but she takes the poetry for a sexual code word. Once he sings her a poetic song she tells him she's in love. Soon after she learns out he's not the duke she had been expecting. He corrects her and the real duke appears. He hides from the duke so Satine wont get caught. The duke then catches him then the idea for a musical comes up.
They meet in the Elephant, where Christian tells her of his writing abilities. Satine misinterprets this as a turn-on, and continues attempting to seduce the visibly uncomfortable Christian. He sings, finally catching her attention. She realizes he is not the Duke not soon after, and she tells him he needs to leave. The Duke appears, and Satine distracts him while trying to allow Christian to escape.