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Rock of Ages - Broadway

A rock musical with the greatest hits of the '80s.

Rock of Ages Film Star Tom Cruise on Singing in the Glee Club and Rocking Out in Front of Def Leppard

Rock of Ages Film Star Tom Cruise on Singing in the Glee Club and Rocking Out in Front of Def Leppard
Tom Cruise as Stacee Jaxx in the film version of 'Rock of Ages'
The crew was watching [Def Leppard] watching me.
Tom Cruise gets all tattooed and shirtless in the forthcoming film Rock of Ages as Stacee Jaxx, a self-absorbed, over-the-top ‘80s rock star. In the May issue of Playboy, Cruise dished on playing a “slave to rock and roll,” and what it’s like to rock out in front of a screaming crowd for the highly anticipated film, in theaters June 15.

During shooting, the first song Cruise sang in front of an audience was Def Leppard's “Pour Some Sugar On Me,” with some very important guests watching. “Adam [Shankman, Rock of Ages director] called and said, ‘Def Leppard’s coming by the set,’” Cruise revealed.  “I said, ‘Man, that’s cool.’ Then I paused. ‘Wait, I’m rehearsing their song tomorrow.’ And he’s like, ‘Yeah!’” Cruise, who grew up listening to Def Leppard was excited but nervous to perform for the band. “I looked at my band and was like, ‘Hit it,’” said Cruise. “All the crew was watching them watching me.”

How did the rock legends react to Cruise’s interpretation of their hit song? “The lead singer, Joe Elliott, points at me and goes, ‘Fuck you! Fuck you!’ Then I saw big smiles on their faces, and I realized I’d gotten their stamp. It was a very cool moment. It was important they knew I was honoring their music and not making fun of them.”

To prepare for Rock of Ages, Cruise took lessons with Axl Rose’s vocal coach. Although the three-time Oscar nominee had prior experience singing in a glee club at age 14, he needed a little refresher. “[My vocal coach] was an opera singer who taught me how to control my voice,” Cruise said. “It’s like learning a new sport or a skill for a character.”

So now that he’s rocked out in arenas, who has a cooler job—Cruise or Bruce Springsteen? “I like being me because making movies is all I’ve ever wanted to do,” said Cruise. “But when I look at Bono, Springsteen, Bon Jovi or Axl Rose and hear the songs they wrote and how they perform them and the life they have, I have a greater appreciation. It takes so much work to get to that level.”

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