A shirtless Tom Cruise channels his Rock of Ages alter ego, Stacee Jaxx, in W‘s June issue, which he also covers.
Here’s what the 49-year-old actor had to share with the mag:
On singing and dancing as a kid: “You know what? I did the scene from Risky Business around the house. I would sing Bob Seger — my mother worked, my sisters were out, and I’d turn the music up. I learned how to dance watching Soul Train. I noticed that if a guy could dance, he’d get a lot of attention and girls would want to dance with him. I worked very hard at imitating those moves.”
On musicals: “[My wife] Kate 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.”
On preparing for the role: “I needed to find out if I could really sing! Ron [Anderson, formerly a vocal coach for Axl Rose] 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 f— 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.”