Tom Cruise is shirtless on the cover of June's W magazine. He posed for a spread tattooed up and channeling his Rock of Ages character Stacee Jaxx. The movie, a big-screen adaptation of a musical, is out in the US on June 15 and sees Tom paired up on the big screen with costars Julianne Hough, Alec Baldwin, Russell Brand, and many more. Tom spoke with the publication about his desire to make a musical at this point in his career, as well as his background in music. He apparently even suggested an addition to the cast to director Adam Shankman. Here are highlights from Tom Cruise's interview in W:
- On growing up singing: "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 making a musical at this point in his career: "Kate [Holmes] 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 LA, and for me . . . I didn't know how to play the character like that. I had to find my own Stacee Jaxx."
- On taking vocal lessons: "I needed to find out if I could really sing! . . . 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-ck are you talking about?' And I said, 'I'm serious — I need a monkey.' When Stacee's not on stage, 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."