Exclusive: Julianne Hough in 'Rock of Ages,' Says Adam Shankman
Published: March 03, 2011 @ 4:51 pm
By Joshua L. Weinstein
Forget negotiations, Julianne's got the job. Julianne Hough will play Sherry, the lead role, in "Rock of Ages," director Adam Shankman told TheWrap Thursday afternoon.
"She's the lead -- she's the girl who comes to Los Angeles looking for the dream," he said. "We have Tom (Cruise) playing Stacee Jaxx, the biggest rock star in the world and we have Mary J. Blige playing Justice." Hough recently attended a performance of the Broadway musical in Los Angeles with Shankman.
Shankman directed Hough's 2010 video "Is That So Wrong." "We both speak the language of dance," he said. "We really see eye-to-eye on everything."
He said he "suspected this was going to happen for a long time." Still, he made her go through a rigorous audition. "I mean I really put her through it," he said. "And she was jaw-droppingly good." He said casting her as the lead was "a total no-brainer."
Another thing Hough brings to the set: A great attitude, Shankman said. "She is like the most open, sweet ray of sunshine of the world and I can't say enough good about her. And she was jaw-droppingly good in her auditions. It was a no-brainer."
He said he expects to announce more cast members in the next few weeks. "It's going to keep on for a little while because each deal is taking so whatever long to close," he said. "There's more forthcoming."
Most of the deals are pretty much done, he said.
Among the other deals that are done: Mia Michaels, one of Shankman's fellow judges on "So You Think You Can Dance" is choreographing. "I always forget that because of the show, we are celebrities in a weird way," he said. "And I can confirm that the lead executive music producer is Adam Anders, from 'Glee,'" Shankman said. "So it's a nice, all-star situation right now."
The movie features hair-metal songs from the 1980s, from bands including Bon Jovi, Styx, Twisted Sister and Poison. Shankman confirmed that Cruise will sing at least one song. Chris D'Arienzo, Michael Arndt and Alan Loeb are writing and Jennifer Gibgot, Carl Levin, Tobey Maguire, Scott Prisand and Matt Weaver are producing.