In the Music issue of W Magazine, Tom talks about his upcoming film to “Rock Of Ages”, and why he decided he would do a music based film, when he has no background in music. During the interview, did Cruise admitted to making an outrageous request and demanding that a monkey be added to the script on “Rock of Ages”? And find out how he managed to tap into his inner Rock Star and transform himself into a sex crazed womanizer after the heartbeat.
Why did you want to do a musical now?
Kate [Holmes, Cruise’s wife] loves musicals. She sings and dances, and we kind of went through the history of musicals together. And Suri loved Hairspray. With kids, you watch everything over and over; I watched Hairspray 15 times with Suri. I thought Adam Shankman did a great job directing the movie, so I arranged to meet him and said, “Where’s our musical?” He came back and said, “Rock of Ages.” We went and saw it in L.A., and for me…I didn’t know how to play the character like that. I had to find my own Stacee Jaxx.
You began training.
I needed to find out if I could really sing! Ron came in and worked with me. And then I had to learn how to play guitar. I’m very good at air guitar—and air drums—but I had never played an actual guitar. After working for weeks on Stacee’s technical skills, I was thinking about the character, and I said, “You know what? I need a monkey.” Adam said, “What the fuck are you talking about?” And I said, “I’m serious—I need a monkey” [laughs]. When Stacee’s not onstage, he’s kind of sad. And I thought, This guy has to have a monkey that’s his best friend. Adam found this baboon. He sent me the baboon’s audition tape, and I said, “The baboon’s name has to be Hey Man” [laughs]. Stacee Jaxx doesn’t work without Hey Man.
There are a lot of sexy scenes in this movie: At one point you’re climbing a stripper pole; in another scene, you’re grinding up against a Rolling Stone reporter, played by Malin Akerman.
I knew we had to push the sexuality because of the nature of the character and the songs. He’s singing, “I Want to Know What Love Is.” Adam has a sweetness with this stuff, so you can push things pretty hard. With Malin, I thought of Susan Sarandon in The Rocky Horror Picture Show—incredibly sexy and very sweet.