Julianne Hough & Diego Boneta Interview For ‘Rock of Ages’
Directed by Adam Shankman (Hairspray), the feature film adaptation of the smash hit Broadway musical, ‘Rock of Ages,’ tells the story of small town girl Sherrie and city boy Drew, who meet on the Sunset Strip while pursuing their Hollywood dreams. Their rock ‘n’ roll romance is told through the classic 80s rock ‘n’ roll hits of Def Leppard, Joan Jett, Journey, Foreigner, Bon Jovi, Night Ranger, REO Speedwagon, Pat Benatar, Twisted Sister, Poison, Whitesnake, and more. Arriving in cinemas June 15th, ‘Rock of Ages’ stars Julianne Hough, Malin Akerman, Russell Brand, actor/singer Diego Boneta in his feature film debut, Oscar nominees Alec Baldwin, Tom Cruise and Paul Giamatti, Academy Award winner Catherine Zeta-Jones, R&B queen Mary J. Blige, and multiple Emmy-winner Bryan Cranston.
Had you both seen the musical before doing the movie ‘Rock of Ages’?
Julianne Hough: I had. I actually saw it in LA, it’s such a blast, we were singing and dancing. It was crazy because I didn’t grow up in the 80s, but I listened to the music, and I didn’t realise I knew the words to all of those songs. And then I’m at the show thinking, “How am I singing along to every song?! This is awesome.” It’s fun, an amazing show.
Diego Boneta: I didn’t seen it until later, because Adam didn’t want me to see the musical because there’s a lot of changes. It’s the same premise, but some different characters. I saw it after filming and I was like, “This is an awesome musical.” And it’s not an easy one to adapt to a movie because the whole thing of ‘Rock of Ages’ Broadway is everyone’s drinking there, actors are breaking the third wall, all things you can’t do in a film. Adam Shankman and Justin Theroux killed it.
I thought you two worked really well together in the film. When did you know that you could hit it off as Drew and Sherrie?
Julianne Hough: I think in Diego’s audition.
Diego Boneta: Yeah, it was pretty much instant. I met Julianne when I was still auditioning, during the screen test. She was just so beautiful, so nice, so easy to work with.
Julianne Hough: He left the room and basically Adam Shankman and I were like, “Holy crap, he’s great, we need to hire him.” I don’t say that to him anymore, because he needs to fit through the door (laughs).
Diego Boneta: (Laughs) I consider myself the luckiest guy to work with Julianne.
With both of you having musical backgrounds, what was the preparation process like on ‘Rock of Ages’? Learning new styles, changing old habits….?
Julianne Hough: Yeah definitely. We were taking vocal lessons, trying to change our voice styles and everything for six or so weeks. We were recording….it was a long process, but sometimes that’s the best process for me because I love that we’re here on a movie and we are actually learning a skill. That’s my favourite thing. If I could do movies where I just had to learn a skill, that would be great (laughs).
Diego Boneta: I like to call it “Rock star College”. It was like six weeks of working with the best vocal coaches. I had to learn how to play guitar, which was a dream come true – now I don’t leave it. Working with Mia Michaels….and me and Julianne were the first ones to get there. We went through that process and it was great because we could use those tools for other things as well. Just working with the best people in business, that was amazing.
What was it like working with Tom Cruise as Stacee Jaxx? A role people may not automatically expect from.
Julianne Hough: The rock star in Tom came out, he is a rock star in this (laughs). It was incredible to just watch him. Every time I see ‘Pour Some Sugar On Me’, I freak out like a little girl. I actually am kind of a little girl, I have them butterflies, I’m thinking, “That is like the sexiest man I’ve ever seen in my life on stage singing ‘Pour Some Sugar On Me’….it doesn’t get better than that!” (laughs).
How was shooting the ‘Don‘t Stop Believin‘ performance alongside Tom and the gang, in front of that crowd?
Diego Boneta: Singing ‘Don’t Stop Believin‘ was awesome. Tom, Julianne and I, rocking out on stage, with a live audience – we were just having a blast. It was like we were really at a concert. There was a live audience, that was awesome, definitely one of the standout moments.
Julianne Hough: That was like the best thing for everything, everything I love to do: dance, sing and act. We were on stage with Tom Cruise, singing, dancing and acting in the movie. It was everything, the performance aspect, I literally felt like a rock star (laughs). It was such a surreal moment. And that was my favourite outfit of the movie.
Singing alongside someone as amazing as Mary J. Blige, what was that experience like?
Julianne Hough: She’s one of my best friends now. We were super close, I love her to death. We had some long, long shooting at nights. Where we would start at 6 in the morning, and then finish 10 in the morning the next day. So we definitely bonded, a lot. She’s phenomenal. That was probably more intimidating, doing all of the musical numbers with her than I think anybody else, because she’s just so brilliant.
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