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Adam Shankman on Tom Cruise's Singing & Katie Holmes's Dancing

Adam Shankman on Tom Cruise's ROA Abs and Casting Katie Holmes in a Musical

Adam Shankman directs Tom Cruise, Malin Akerman, and the rest of the all-star cast in his forthcoming musical, Rock of Ages. We sat down with Adam at a recent press event in LA and chatted with him about Tom's memorable shirtless scenes, casting unknown lead Diego Boneta, and his hopes of working with Katie Holmes on a musical. Rock of Ages arrives in theaters June 15.

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Now that he's played in my Sandbox, he wants me to play on his Sandbox. And so I feel like I have to go to blow some stuff up. All right, so I had the audition and like a little bit of electricity went through me. What was your gut reaction then I have to ask first time you heard Tom on film. Well, first time I had heard him singing was at a vocal lessons, coaching. And so I knew that was going to work. Then we went into the studio and I honestly, I can't remember. I think Dead or Alive was the first thing we recorded and I was just like "Oh, my God, this is gonna be amazing." But the first time, his first day of actual shooting, we shot the whole day was him performing pour some sugar on me with those hundreds of extras and Def Leppard showed up. And it was like just the most surreal experience I've ever been through and, you know, I had the six cameras going and it was just a blast. I was having fun. Were you so shocked at like how far he'd push it, or were you just like, "Yeah, push it farther?" You know, as we kept getting closer and closer and closer to him 'cause like he came in, he would learn the choreography, and then he would go home and he had a coach here and he would do dance for six, seven hours a day, and learning things, so by the time he got back he'd completely transformed both his body and his weight is amazing. Yeah, and we're really glad you took advantage of him while you take your shirt off because that's some of the best things. You know, it's like I've made some movies with some really good looking built guys and this was the only one where I was fine. All the other ones, I was like, "Oh, just put your shirt back on." And this was great. I was stunned. So, are we going to see you and Tom team up again maybe in the future? You know, we actually love each other. We talk about doing something. Now that he's played in my Sandbox, he wants me to play in his Sandbox. And so it's like I feel like I'm gonna have to go blow some stuff up. In an action.adventure film maybe directing. I know. Yeah. You think you could get Katie to do some dancing too, maybe some singing? I love Katie. She needs to do a musical, man, you know. I mean, I don't have a musical in me quite right yet. Again, they're really exhausting to me because they're just an incredible amount of work, you know, so. And the studios don't give you a lot of money to make them, so it's a very compressed experience, but I'm glad I did it. Tell me a little bit about casting Diego. The casting process went on for a really long time, and we saw thousands of guys, literally, and I was going through auditions off of a casting website that my casting directors had put together. And very much like in Hairspray when I found the lead, Nikki Blonsky. I saw the audition and like a little bit of electricity went through me and I thought, "Oh, God. He's good." That that works for me but I'm gonna keep looking. And I looked at like two more auditions and then I went, "God, I need to look at that again." And I went back and I watched it and I called my sister, who produced the movie, and I said, "Have you seen this guy?" And she was like, "Yeah. I loved him. Oh my god." So I said, "Okay. Let's bring him in." And I made him audition like six times and each time he just kept getting better, and better, and better and so finally by the end I did a chemistry read with him and Julianne and then I have them record going to the studio with the producer, music producer Armando and do more than words and have them. And I went to the studio and I said, "This is who I want."

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