In “Rock of Ages”, Malin Akerman (“Watchmen”, “The Heartbreak Kid”) gets to prance around in her underwear with Tom Cruise. Clearly, talking to Moviehole wouldn’t be quite as fun.
Did you have a problem keeping a straight face?
Yes. We both did. Let me tell you. When he’s singing into my butt…you can imagine the rehearsals. We were laughing so hard. It was so much fun. I love physical comedy like that. For me the further you can push the limits the better.
Were you anxious about the fact that he’s so close to your butt?
You have to take showers at morning. Whenever it comes to comedy, I’m game. I really trust Adam Shankman. I love his work. I think he’s got a really good eye for tone as far as pushing it too far, keeping it sexy but funny and fun and interesting and grounded. I think once you have that trust, you just kind of feel like you’re able to be vulnerable and just go for it.
There has got a moment though when you’re like, I’ve got my tongue down Tom Cruise’s throat.
You know, it’s always a weird thing because that set – what you’ve guys seen – there is music and there is people and all that kind of stuff. It’s completely silent. There is no music. You just have all these extras who are staring at you and all you hear are tongues. It’s such a weird sound. You’re so embarrassed. So when they call cut it was just like 10 shades of red. We just started laughing so hard. It was just like, “What are we doing?” It’s crazy. It’s just such a weird. I met Tom a year before this movie even happened. I really do consider him a friend. He’s a wonderful man. When you’re acting with someone after you get over sort of – because I get excited too. When I first met him it’s like, “Oh my God. It’s Tom Cruise. He’s an amazing actor and I really look up to him.” But I Knew him through Katie…I did a film with his wife the year before. I’ve met him through her. Anyway, after you sort of get over the excitement and you’re working with someone you become just fellow actors. All that stuff kind of disappears and you’re in your character and you’re excited about it. It never is sort of like, “Oh my God…” It’s just kind of like, “Oh my God, I can hear his tongue. This isn’t so great.” That’s sort of where your mind goes to. You’re thinking about everyone is staring at you.
What do you feel when you’re reading the script about the tongue-y tongue kiss of all time?
I kind of went, “Oh wow, how are we going to do that? What does he mean by that?” When we got on set, we’re like, “Adam, when you say the tongue-y tongue kiss of all time, like what exactly does that mean?” He said to Tom, “Lick her eyeballs. Just tongue all over.” I’m like okay. Tom is so sweet and so respectful. He’s like, “Are you cool with this?” I’m like, “Yeah, just go for it.” He’s like, “Okay. I’m sorry in advance.” You just got to dive in. You just got to go for it and literally dive in.
You have a really cool hair in the movie.
Did you used to have it like that?
I always wanted it like that. I begged my mother’s to let me perm my hair and she wouldn’t let me. Now I’m really happy about it. Back then, I was so mad at her. There was the perm and also I wanted to shave one side of my head but she wouldn’t let me do that either.
It’s big now.
Yeah it is. I was such a big Cyndi Lauper fan when I was like six years old. I was like, “Mom, I want to shave this side.” She’s like, “No freaking way. I don’t want my six year old shave her head.” I got to finally live the hair. It was fake but it was fine. It was nice to take it off at the end of the day but I loved wearing it. We called it the Sharon Stone hair. It was great.
How did you prepare to play a journalist?
I just studied you guys. I got a lot of practice from you guys. I didn’t really do much other than develop sort of her as a character and personalize her myself. Like I said, I truly really have had a lot of time with journalists. One of my younger sisters is a journalist in Sweden. I knew I had a lifeline if I had any questions. Constance, she was such a big music fan and such a believer and was really more on a human level. I wanted to wake him up. He was so surrounded by all these yea-sayers. She just wanted the honest truth. I think that is something that we all want from people that we need anyway. You want honesty. You want truth. I kind of felt like that’s where I needed to play it for more than how many of you journalists. It was more about who would I be as a journalist in this position being a real music lover and a real fan of this man who has kind of gone downhill. It was kind of that. I didn’t really know where I would look for that other than inside my own person.
Was it weird doing the scenes with Tom because you’re friends with his wife?
No. I think it makes it easier when you know someone well and you trust them and you feel comfortable around them. Honestly you guys, it’s so not romantic. It’s so technical. And it’s so much fun. It’s so crazy. It is a crazy job that we have. But I guess we’re all just so used to it after doing it for so many years. His wife is an actor and my husband has been with me for nine years. He’s watched all my films. He’s been in all my sets and met everybody. There is just that trust there. I come home every night to my husband and he knows I’m not going anywhere. You know what I mean? It’s a job. We have a fun job. Those are the most awkward moments. Those really are the moments you look forward to the most. Those are really the most awkward moments. But of course they’re necessary and they’re fun. They serve a purpose and it’s great. But yeah, she’s done it herself.
Did you go into training before you did the…[talking over]
I did. I knew I was going to get into [inaudible 6:57] so I brought on my Watchmen training. I literally was like alright that’s it. Because I didn’t even think about it until I got to Miami. I was like, “Oh yeah,” there is that scene where I’m literally being in my underwear. Now I’ve got two weeks. I always constantly keep active then I went into like let’s just pick it up a pace.
What did you do in those two weeks?
It was an amazing hotel gym. There is not much. But luckily with Watchmen we were in a hotel, in the hotel gyms in Vancouver. Our trainers at that point have given us a lot of tips on really quick workouts that are really intense because we were trained by Navy Seals. It’s really intense. It gets you into shape really quick. It also had a really good sort of nutrition plan during that time, what to sort of be aware of if you want to tone up quick. I kind of adhered to that for two weeks and then I went out and [inaudible 8:03]. It was great.
You have a close relationship with the music. You’re a singer in a band. Also, shooting a movie CBGB is about Blondie.
Yes.I love it. I love music. Music is oxygen to me. I don’t know how you can live life without music. It’s just amazing. I was in a band in 2002 with my husband. That, we did for two years. After Rock of Ages got re-inspired to sing again because I have never been trained by a vocal coach and then all of a sudden, I was like, “Oh, that’s how you get a note. Okay, that’s great.” I came home after this whole experience and said to my husband, “Let’s play music again.” We were playing a little bit again and creating songs. It’s so much fun to create music. This movie is about CBGB and the owner of CBGB and how he opened it. It takes place over I think a four-year timespan. It will be several different artists that come through there and who sort of was on his stage. Blondie obviously is one of the performers. It’s not a biopic about her; it’s more about CBGB and she’s part of it and many other artists, as well. It will be fun.
How was it singing on screen then for the first time?
It was nerve-wracking. Amazing but extremely nerve-wracking. When we had our band, we literally recorded stuff in a closet. Our vocal booth was a closet. So going into this, you go into a real studio and you have that glass in between you and the producers. The producers, if they don’t push a button you can’t hear what they’re saying so you just see them talking. After a take you’re like, “God, they hate it.” Totally, that was the thing that I was most self-conscious about through the whole shoot was my singing abilities because that’s not my forte. But it was so much fun. I love having new challenges. I was so excited and so proud of the end result.
When you heard of Beck for the first time…
I was excited. I was like, “You guys you’re so much out of tune.”
Tom Cruise is good as well.
He was fantastic. We really did. It wasn’t [inaudible 10:38]. Of course they tweak it [inaudible 10:40]. We had an amazing vocal coach.
Who was the vocal coach?
Ron Anderson. He was great. Our musical producer and musical directors, they were wonderful. It was a nice collaboration and it ended up being beautiful. Tom has an amazing voice. It’s really powerful, really very brave.
You’ve done a lot of comedy. Are you looking for more?
Yeah. I’ve been doing a lot of stuff. There are some films that haven’t come out yet but hopefully will come out this year. I did a really dark thriller with John Cusack at the end of last year. It’s just me and him. It’s called The Numbers Station. It’s a life and death situation. It’s a lot about existentialism. That was a really big turn for me. It was great. And then I did a movie with Nick Cage called Stolen. That is also more of a thriller. I’ve just been exploring different avenues but of course I love comedy and I wouldn’t give up the comedy. I always like to challenge myself. It’s nice to do that with smaller independent films to see – because if I suck then the film probably won’t go anywhere and no one will see it. I love trying new things. It’s not that I don’t want to but big studio films they usually want to put the money on something that is tried and tested.
Have you thought about writing your own stuff?
I am writing my own stuff. I have two things that I’m writing right now. One that I’m writing completely by myself, it can be nothing but an independent film. It’s very dark. And then another one that’s a comedy that I’m writing with a fellow writer who is brilliant. It’s a slow process. It takes time. I want to make sure it’s great and eventually we’ll go out and sell it. Yeah absolutely I get tired of waiting. It’s fun to start developing your own stuff.
How many scripts do you read like a month?
Five. A lot. Well, actually it depends on whether you’re working or not. For instance now, it’s reading a lot of scripts, looking for the next thing after CBGB. It’s just a constant knowing what’s out there and seeing who the new writers are and being aware of who the directors are and what they’re doing and just keeping a few tentacles in there.
Do you like roles of females in comedy? Are they getting better and better?
There are a lot. I’ve got to say I think Bridesmaids was the greatest thing that happened to female comedy. I really do. I’m so happy about that. There is a lot more female writers that are coming out of the woodwork that we’re hearing about. It’s really exciting. That also is what inspires me to do my own stuff. It’s like alright, instead of complaining about it, let’s just sit down and write something. It’s that simple. It doesn’t mean that it’s going to be made. It’s not easy but let’s do it.
That’s what Kristen Wiig did and..
Yeah exactly. So many people who are doing it. What is her name, Mindy…
Yeah. Brilliant. I only saw the trailer for her show but it looks hilarious. I love it. I love that funny women are coming up and stepping up. Any women, big support, because it is a man’s world. It’s nice to get in there.
You saw the original musical play?
I did. I saw it twice. Before I even knew that the movie was being made and that I was going to be a part of it. I’m just such a big fan of music and comedy of course. It was a perfect marriage of the two. I loved it. I had to see once more.