For those who were left salivating after seeing Tom Cruise shirtless and tattooed on the June cover of W last week, there's more! The magazine has released three new photos, which show the actor — sporting long hair and fake ink — putting on his best rock star poses to promote his upcoming movie musical, "Rock of Ages." In the film, which is based on the mega-hit Broadway play, he plays Stacee Jaxx, a sleazy '80s-era rock star that's part Axel Rose, part Bret Michaels — but with Cruise's own special spin. After learning how to play guitar and training with the Guns N' Roses singer's vocal coach for weeks, "I was thinking about the character, and I said, 'You know what? I need a monkey,'" Cruise, 49, tells the magazine in its June issue. "Adam [Shankman, the film's director] said, "What the f--k are you talking about?' And I said, 'I'm serious — I need a monkey.' 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."
After an extensive casting search for Cruise's primate co-star, Shankman found the perfect match: a baboon. But it had to meet the star's approval first. "He sent me the baboon's audition tape," Cruise adds with a laugh, "and I said, 'The baboon's name has to be Hey Man.' Stacee Jaxx doesn't work without Hey Man."
As for his character's sweet moves, Cruise didn't need too much practice. After all, he already showed us in 1983's "Risky Business" that he can bust it out, and even that memorable scene — in which the then-20-year-old actor danced around the house in his underwear and socks — was not much of a challenge. "I would sing Bob Seger — my mother worked, my sisters were out, and I'd turn the music up," he says. "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."
Obviously, those moves helped him snag his wife, Katie Holmes. In fact, it was her love of musicals that inspired Cruise to want to star in one. And it was their 6-year-old daughter Suri's obsession with "Hairspray" (he says they watched it 15 times in a row) that first got Cruise interested in working with its director, Shankman. "So I arranged to meet him and said, 'Where's our musical?'" Cruise tells W. "He came back and said, 'Rock of Ages.' We went and saw it in L.A." — and the rest is history.
"Rock of Ages," which also stars Alec Baldwin, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Paul Giamatti, Russell Brand, Julianne Hough, and Bryan Cranston, hits theaters June 15.
Nicole Kidman and Clive Owen in W
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