To my right, a massive billboard of Hollywood icon Angelyne looms over us all. Behind me, the Rainbow Room's iconic sign lights up the night. To my left, the Bourbon Room's massive facade stands out from the rest of the Sunset Strip, which lies straight ahead of us. While one might assume that I was standing on Hollywood's Sunset Boulevard, you'd both be right and wrong. I was actually in Miami, Florida, on the set of Warner Bros.' upcoming musical Rock of Ages, which hits theaters June 15. This sprawling set gave us an impressive glimpse into life on the Strip back in 1987.
For one, I am only 35 years old, and I have only lived in Hollywood since 2008, so this massive and incredible stretch of road, reconstructed with 1987-style buildings in downtown Miami, struck me as both familiar and unfamiliar at the same time. For instance, the huge Guitar Center on Sunset was present, but 80s staples like Tower Records, which doesn't exist on today's "Strip," was right next door. Of course, one of the other big changes was The Bourbon Room. The fictional club lies at the heart of this musical, which Chris D'Arienzo adapted from his own award-winning stage play.
While Rock of Ages is an ensemble of massive proportions, with stars such as Tom Cruise, Alec Baldwin, Bryan Cranston, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Paul Giamatti, and Russell Brand populating the cast, the musical truly centers on Drew (Diego Boneta) and Sherrie (Julianne Hough), who are both chasing their dreams in TinselTown. As we all know, dreams don't pay the rent, though, so Drew has been working at The Bourbon Room as a part of the house band, where he meets Sherrie, fresh off the bus from the Midwest.
Yesterday, we showed you a clip featuring Mary J. Blige performing "Any Way You Want It," and an audio sample with Tom Cruise's performance of "Pour Some Sugar on Me." Sadly, we didn't get to speak with either actor on the set, but director Adam Shankman did show us the full "Pour Some Sugar On Me" performance... and I have to say, prepare for a Tom Cruise you have never seen before.
We were able to speak with Julianne Hough, Diego Boneta, director Adam Shankman, and production designer John Huttman during our time on the set. I can't quite share those interviews with you quite yet, but stay tuned for my full set visit piece coming in the next few weeks.