Shankman turns Cruise into rock god 0
Adam Shankman (AFP photo)
Adam Shankman, 48, is a dancer, an actor and a filmmaker. You may know him as one of the judges on So You Think You Can Dance.
(As a producer of The Last Song, he's also the guy who introduced Liam Hemsworth and Miley Cyrus a few years ago and was in the news happily claiming, "I want a finder's fee!" when their engagement was announced last week.)
As the director of Rock Of Ages, Shankman is the guy who gets Tom Cruise to transform himself on stage into a rock god. Rock Of Ages is a musical about the music scene in Los Angeles in the 1980s and about the young hopefuls who flock to that city to see if they can make it. Julianne Hough and Diego Boneta star as Sherrie and Drew -- young, in love, and hoping to show the world their musical abilities. Cruise plays jaded rock star Stacee Jaxx, and yes -- that really is Cruise singing.
He and Shankman met socially through a charity Shankman supports. "He asked me when we were going to do a musical. I didn't take it seriously, but he did talk about Hairspray, and how much he liked it, and how much Suri liked it." (Shankman produced and directed Hairspray.)
"So, when Rock of Ages came up, I contacted Tom. And he said, 'Seriously'?'"
Shankman says Cruise had just done Tropic Thunder, "So I knew he could take the p-ss out of the character, and commit like that, and he'd just done the MTV movie awards, dancing with Jennifer Lopez, so we knew he could dance."
What nobody knew was whether or not Cruise could sing. "He didn't even know," says Shankman. "He was so intrigued by the idea of the movie he couldn't say no," says Shankman, "but we had this sort of unspoken agreement that if he couldn't handle the singing part, we'd move on. It would just be a discussion."
But it quickly became obvious that Cruise could sing. What happened next for the actor was four months of singing for four or five hours a day. "I have this kind of blind faith that Tom Cruise can do anything," says Shankman, laughing. "If he can run up and down the tallest building in the world, I knew he could do something with this."
So, he gave it 100%?
"There's no hundred with Tom," corrects Shankman. "There's only a million per cent."