Cruise talks all things '80s at 'Rock of Ages'
Posted June 9, 2012
What:Rock of Ages world premiere
When: Friday night
Where: Grauman's Chinese Theater, Hollywood
Guest list: From the film: Tom Cruise, Alec Baldwin (who brought fiance Hilaria Thomas), Julianne Hough, Diego Boneta, Russell Brand, Paul Giamatti, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Malin Akerman, Mary J. Blige, Bryan Cranston, Eli Roth, director Adam Shankman, screenwriters Justin Theroux and Allan Loeb, and co-producer Tobey Maguire. Also spotted: Cat Deeley, Def Leppard, Josh Duhamel and wife Fergie, Zac Efron, Debbie Gibson, Derek Hough, Journey, Bret Michaels, Dermot Mulroney, Poison, Ryan Seacrest and Cuba Gooding, Jr.
Cruise talks singing: In Rock of Ages (out June 15) Cruise plays Stacee Jaxx, an epic rocker falling off the wagon, whose hits fuel the dreams of young Hollywood hopefuls Drew (Boneta) and Sherrie (Hough). Early reviews of the star's voice have been stellar, which begs the question: how did we not know Cruise possessed this talent? "I felt I could sing, I didn't know the range that I had," said Cruise, who was casual on the red carpet in jeans and aviators. Singing Rock of Ages hits "is a whole different craft. It was wonderful to be able to figure out how to use my voice. It took a lot to train myself and do it. I really enjoyed it."
Remember the '80s? Cruise does, although he had trouble locating his favorite trend from the era. "I had a whole different experience in the '80s because my head was kind of down making movies," he said, name-checking early hits like Risky Business, The Color of Money and Top Gun. Zeta-Jones remembered her fashion don'ts. "I had big, big hair and stripey blush," she said. Meanwhile, Hough voted to bring back "big hair and Aquanet" and Akerman, whose next film is CBCB playing Debbie Harry, said she's a fan of '80s leather. "Leather pants are always in style," she said.
Support team: Hough works it in the film, singing, dancing and even mastering pole dancing. "It was hard!" she said. "My upper body strength was out of this world." Hough had quite the support team on the red carpet: boyfriend Ryan Seacrest was there (and stayed through the after-party) to support his girlfriend, and her brother Derek was also on hand to celebrate his sister's film. "I literally live down the street, so if I wasn't here I'd be the worst brother ever," he said. Missing in action was Katie Holmes, who was snapped by photographers on Friday in Taiwan on a work trip.
Journalistic integrity: In the movie, Akerman plays a Rolling Stone journalist who can't quite keep her hands off her interview subject: Cruise. What does she make of her character's ethical standards? "Apparently they're not quite like any other, but hey, when love hits you, love is love, right?" she laughed.
Breakout star: Meet Boneta, whose first major film landed him on-screen with the likes of Cruise and Baldwin. "I just stayed in the moment," he said, talking of calming any nerves. "The cool thing was that we all shared something in common. We all shared a first time: Tom's first time singing, my first time being in a movie, Alec's first time singing. So that really brought us together."
Electric fashion: Taking fashion cues from the film was a no-brainer on the red carpet. "I was like, it is '80s night, I've got to pick a color that's amazing," said Hough, who wore a, edgy, vibrant chartreuse Kaufmanfranco gown. Akerman went for "definitely a little '80s rock" in a daring cut-out black and silver Reem Acra dress. "This is a little risqué, and I think rock 'n roll is a little risqué so I gave it my best," she said. Zeta-Jones went for sexy lace. "I didn't want to do the shoulder pads or anything like the movie clothes that I have to wear," said Zeta-Jones, who chose an '80s-inspired black and cream Zuhair Murad mini.
Dare to bare: While the ladies took risks on the red carpet, it's Cruise that ups the ante in the film, donning everything from leather chaps to a bejeweled, dragon-encrusted crotch adornment. "I didn't have to convince him (on the costumes)," said director Shankman. "We poured through all this old research and we saw these great documentaries, and it was what they were wearing, so (Cruise) was like, 'Ok, that's what I'm wearing." What was Hough's reaction to Cruise in his revealing rocker gear? "I wanted to drool. He was the hottest thing I'd ever seen," she said. "But then again, I do have a thing for older men," she laughed.
News you can use: Speaking of the '80s, it turns out Cruise is totally serious about making Top Gun 2. "We're trying," said Cruise. "We're trying to figure out the script. If we can figure it out I'd like to do it." And he'd star? "Yeah," he confirmed. "It could be fun."
VIP party access: With all the rock stars that walked the red carpet, it was no surprise that the rocking "Bourbon Room"-themed after-party was just as major as the movie. Poison and Def Leppard, who kick off their nationwide Rock of Ages summer tour on June 20, took the stage to belt out their hits, while stars dined on steak tips, watermelon-and-feta salad and apple slaw.
Director's cut: After making the hit Hairspray, what made Shankman want to take on adapting Broadway musical Rock of Ages for the big screen? "I'd never been to a musical where people reacted like they did in the theater to Rock of Ages," he said. "People cheering and screaming and singing and fist pumping…on top of which, it is like literally ripping a page out of my life. I grew up on the Sunset Strip, my dad was in the music business. It was really easy for me."
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