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Julianne Hough & Diego Boneta

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He’s just a small town boy living in a lonely world.  She took the midnight train going anywhere. Stage faves and accomplished singer/musicians Julianne Hough and Diego Boneta play starcrossed lovers in “Rock of Ages”. Moviehole spoke to the lovely duo about being a part of the vivacious new film.

A sexy scene with you and Tom Cruise – featuring a lap-dance – was cut from the movie. Were you bummed?

JULIANNE: I was initially bummed out especially because not only did it just happen and nobody is going to see it until on DVD but also because it was probably one of the best performance numbers I think in the movie. You got to really see Tom dance and sing. He was pole dancing more than I was. That’s the main reason but I understand why. I’m excited to do it on the DVD.

DIEGO: She was too good. She was too good as a stripper. {laughing}

JULIANNE: What are you trying to say? {laughing}

DIEGO: Just watch the scene and you’ll know exactly what I’m saying.

Adam Shankman was saying the irony of having you in it is that they didn’t see you dance that much because that scene got cut.

JULIANNE: Yeah that scene got cut. Also, there was a scene where up at the Hollywood sign on our first date, Drew and Sherrie’s first date, he basically closes his eyes and has a fantasy of her dancing..

DIEGO: Dirty dream. It’s not only a fantasy; It’s a fantasy where I grab her head and {laughing} pull it down which was a little too much.

JULIANNE: And then he wakes up because I slapped him on the face. No shit. They thought that it looked too much like I was Sherrie the stripper before I was Sherrie the stripper.

You started your career with Rebelde. It’s a kind of boy band with girls too. Do you think it’s a joke, good joke in the movie, you being in a boy band because in real life you are kind of boy band too.

DIEGO: Rebelde didn’t have that boy band look.

You know it’s true. I saw the pictures.

DIEGO: I was never a part of El Rebelde. I was a solo artist attached to the project. I toured with them and stuff. It is funny that you mentioned that because it was what El Rebelde was back in the 80s. Like if there wasn’t RBD or a boy band I mean that’s what they did, I did not like it. I did not like it. I hated that wig. The song is a guilty pleasure of mine and those lyrics are really funny.

But about the Rebelde times you like it?

DIEGO: Yes of course I like it.

You are proud of this?

DIEGO: I’m very proud of that. Being able to record an album in Portuguese, travel to Brazil, meet all these beautiful Brazilian women and being able to sing in the largest soccer stadium in the world at the Maracaña and falling on stage twice.

And playing in the garage, a small place in the shopping mall also in the beginning of the Rebelde.

Your first role in Hollywood, what do you think about it?

DIEGO: The first…

The first time that you acted in a Hollywood big movie. What did you feel about it?

DIEGO: Having to act with Julianne is very hard. It was so hard. I feel like the luckiest guy to be working with Julianne and working with this amazing cast. It’s very, very humbling. It was an amazing learning experience.

Could you both relate to your characters in a sense of coming to town with big dreams and having to not compromise yourself?

JULIANNE: Yes definitely. I came with $2000. I told my dad I had 5 [$5000] so I could come. There were things along the way that were really tough. I feel like I’ve always stayed true to who I am. Being on Dancing with the Stars, you know, I moved out there to act and sing but Dancing with the Stars was the way to get my foot in the door. They eventually became my family. That’s the best thing that I ever did. Things that you want sometimes don’t always turn out how you think they were supposed to turn out but they actually end up making everything better.

They do in the end.

JULIANNE: Yes.

It’s the journey.

JULIANNE: Yeah.

I’ve come to Adam and he sort of said that he sort of cut out a lot of the sexy stuff because it didn’t test so well with the mom demographic.

DIEGO: I wonder why.

How do you feel about that? Because a lot of the stuff in the movie you did is not that easy to film.

JULIANNE: Yeah. There was a lot of hard work that went into a lot of those scenes and a lot of preparation, choreography and dance lessons, just three days of shooting this one scene. But you know what, I get it. I would rather moms and their daughters come to this movie and be inspired and set a good example because that’s who Sherrie is. You don’t want your daughters and stuff to aspire to be like somebody giving somebody a lap dance. It all had a good message in the end. Of course, you’ll see it on the DVD. I think we want to appeal to a lot of people. I don’t know if I would take my daughter to see that. It was pretty sexy. My dad saw it just like a rough – we were on set and just showed playback or something while we’re shooting a different scene showed a playback of that scene – his arms started getting a little tighter. He was just a little uncomfortable. He sees me in my swimsuit, in my bikini and stuff in vacation but never like that. That was pretty revealing. It’s hard to see your little girl doing that.

Were you impressed with Tom Cruise and how fearless he was?

JULIANNE: Yes. That’s what I was saying about like this number – first and foremost the reason why I’m sad that it got cut was because it was brilliant. The number itself was so great. And Tom, that’s the most dancing and active part that you’ll see him do is this number. He does more pole dancing than I do. He was incredible in this.

DIEGO: Yeah. In amazing shape. Tom is a movie star. He’s a rock star. Not only is he that but he is the most humble guy and so thankful. He loves what he does. He would be on set treating each day like it was his first and last day on a movie. He was like a little kid like just having fun on set. He’s a veteran. He’s worked with everyone. He’s been in so many films. This is my first movie and seeing that really inspired me because you’re seeing a guy who is not only talented but he’s thankful and he’s humble. They are a rare combination.

He hasn’t let the spotlight change him.

DIEGO: No. Like Drew. Tom and I spent a lot of time together because we’re both learning how to play guitar. We were taking jamming sessions together. He was very curious about how the music world worked and what were the differences between a music producer and a movie producer. Something that really blew him away was that there is a lot of the same choices that go into scenes and recording a song. From how you want to finish a song with the librado going up or down, finishing early, going more. Those are all choices that you make in scenes too. It’s like almost the same things and same approach but just different ways of communicating it which I thought was very cool.

How did you get attached to the film? Adam said earlier you applied on his website?

DIEGO: No. Here is a crazy story. It was six weeks of auditioning – crazy, nerve-wracking, callbacks. Thanks to this video that I recorded a year before for a Glee audition that I was very close to getting that I didn’t get and I was very sad about. Adam looked at that video. Thanks to that audition and me singing, “You can’t always get what you want but you get what you need” that I got what I needed.

JULIANNE: It’s crazy because it’s the same thing when Adam told me because he was showing the other guys too and he said, “Look up Diego on YouTube.” The first thing that came up on YouTube was that song. That’s how…it’s crazy [talking over].

DIEGO: But that was for Glee.

JULIANNE: It’s kind of the same thing like how you might think it’s for something else but in the end…you know.

DIEGO: But you never know. You can only connect the dots looking back.

Adam said that he don’t know about your past with the Rebelde band. He saw your audition and don’t know…

DIEGO: He had no idea. But that’s why that really helped me because those are all tools. RBD sold 50 million records worldwide and that tour was ranked one of the top five tours of ’07 which was huge. Those tools helped me today. Being with a live audience and recording and all that, those are tools that are going to be with me my entire life. So when I moved here – I was one of millions – those tools where what really gave me the confidence to go for it.

What role did you go after for Glee?

DIEGO: The role that Chord Overstreet got who is a good friend of mine. I was very happy for him. I was like, “I thought that this was really the part but it wasn’t. It was this.”

You have a really strong career in Mexico and you’ve been here in Los Angeles like trying to make a career also in the United States. When are you coming back to Mexico? Are you still a recording artist? You’re going to pursue more acting?

DIEGO: First of all, I’ve known this girl for a long time so seeing her here and her asking me these questions in English, it’s very weird. I wish I could answer in Spanish but I don’t want to be rude. The first thing that I’m going to do is I’m going to take Julianne with me to the world premiere and we’re going to go eat some tacos and I’m going to teach her some Spanish. I want to be an international artist. If it’s working in Mexico or working here and playing different characters, yeah. We’re going to be going to Mexico for the premiere which is going to be on the 15th of August.

JULIANNE: Is that when it is?

DIEGO: Yeah. You’re coming?

JULIANNE: I can’t. I’m going to be shooting on the 18th.

DIEGO: She’s coming.

Your experience as a singer and acting, how does that experience helps you in this movie to sing and Dancing with the Stars and also dance with the that’s from Brazil and win two times with it?

JULIANNE: It’s kind of the same thing what Diego said about the tools that helped him in the past really helped him for this movie and gave him the confidence. My dancing that I had gave me something more than the next person didn’t have. It’s so hard to make yourself apparent in this world because there is always going to be somebody more talented than you. Always. The thing that I had was like I was a professional ballroom and Latin dancer. There is not a lot of those in the United States trying to be an actress or a singer. That’s one thing that I had. It helped me a lot. Just working with Helio and being on Dancing with the Stars like the work ethic and the discipline and the hours that you put into it, it like toughened me up. I worked really hard and I loved it. The hours and working really hard for a movie is that’s like nothing, a piece of cake for that part.

And Helio is a good dancer.

JULIANNE: Yes. He’s the happiest person. I love him so much.

He has a baby now?

JULIANNE: Yeah. His baby is the sweetest, most gorgeous little thing I’ve ever seen. He’s really changed a lot since he’s had her. He’s just like such a grounded guy now and amazing family man. I love him and I love his family. Kati, she’s amazing.

Q: So you’re used to seeing stars out of their element with Dancing with the Stars.

JULIANNE: Yeah.

Q: Again, with this, a lot of the actors didn’t sing before they came on set. Were you impressed by the way that they stepped it up?

JULIANNE: That’s what I loved so much about, like being on Dancing with the Stars is everybody is so capable of so much more when you actually put yourself in the position of vulnerability and want to learn. That was what was cool about everybody in this cast is they didn’t need to put themselves in a vulnerable place but they did and they exceeded everyone’s expectations. I’m like now, every movie that I want to do I want to learn how to do something in the movie, like I want a skill. We got to work with the best singing coach and the best choreographer and the best guitar teacher and producers. It’s like man, I want to learn how to be a cage fighter. I want to be a cage fighter in my next movie. That would be so fun.

Q: Could you both tell us what you’re working on right now? What are we going to see in or hear you in next?

DIEGO: I’m very happy because I’m working on my third album. Adam Levine signed me to his label and we’re working together. He’s helping me find songs and stuff which is awesome. This movie has opened so many doors in the film world. I’m meeting on different projects. There is a lot of projects in the works. Right now I’m shooting a TV show that I got before getting Rock of Ages which is called Underemployed. It’s shooting in Chicago. It’s a show about five best friends like a 20-something kind of vibe. I play the comedic levity in the show which is something new for me. Playing like the crazy goofy guy which has been a lot of fun and a very cool learning experience.

JULIANNE: I just finished an independent film Diablo Cody wrote and directed. So we’re going to hopefully take that to some film festivals later this year.

DIEGO: With Russell.

JULIANNE: Yeah with Russell. And then I’m about to start shooting a movie called Safe Haven. It’s a Nicholas Sparks book. Lasse Hallstrom, is one of the main reasons why I did the movie because he’s an amazing director, and Josh Duhamel. This fall, I’m shooting a film called Time and a Half or I’m attached I should say because it’s not a done deal yet.

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About Alicia Malone

Alicia Malone is a Film Reporter, TV Host, Producer, Writer, Editor, and all around movie geek. She developed her taste for film at a young age, spending many a heady Friday night pajama-clad at the video store, picking out her 7 films for 7 days for $7. Bargain! While at school she created a Film Club, electing herself President. Eventually the School Principal asked her not to get up in assembly to talk about movies anymore.
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