The film adaptation of the Broadway musical Rock of Ages comes to the big screen this week, starring Tom Cruise as music’s biggest star, Stacee Jaxx. Yes, that Tom Cruise! And he really can sing.
Co-starring in the movie with him is Julianne Hough (Footloose) as small town girl Sherrie Christian, who comes to Hollywood in the 1980s, pursuing her dream of being a singer. There, on the Sunset Strip, she meets Drew Boley (Diego Boneta, Alex Santiago in Pretty Little Liars), and their romance is play out through the music of Def Leppard, Foreigner, Twisted Sister and Journey.
I spoke with Julianne and Diego at the press day for the movie of Rock of Ages.
Did you know each other before you did this film Rock of Ages?
Julianne: No, we met at his audition, and we definitely hit it off. They recreated the Sunset Strip in Miami, and we got to spend six weeks there prior to actually shooting, bonding, getting to know each other, making our characters fall in love.
What is it like when you’re going in for a ‘chemistry test’?
Diego: It was a crazy process. I didn’t know I was going to be reading with Julianne. It was a surprise. I first read for Adam (Shankman, the movie’s director), and they said, ‘Diego, stay for a little bit.’
Then all of a sudden, the door opens, red high-heels, jeans, a beautiful girl walks in, big blue eyes and big hair, and we did the scene together.
It was so easy. The chemistry was there, and then when we were in Miami she became like my sister. We were both on the same page, we both wanted to do our very best working in this big movie with huge actors. And that’s what really brought us together.
Tell us a little about your characters in Rock of Ages?
Julianne: Sherrie just wants to make something of herself, even if she’s not going to be the biggest rock star in the world. She wants to be around it, the excitement and the energy of a city like that. It makes her feel alive.
Diego: Drew is a barback at The Bourbon Room, a legendary club like The Whiskey, where all the bands play. He’s a rock star in his heart, and he’s a good, honest, romantic guy.
Sherrie and Drew are both in LA for the same reason, they have essentially the same goal in mind, so they click, they really connect. At first, they help each other out at work, but there’s a definite attraction; things between them just grow from there.
Julianne: Drew and Sherrie are the couple that you root for. They’re young and learning about life and being in a relationship, and excited for the future. It all seems perfect until they have a big misunderstanding.