Count Phil Collen among those excited to see the hit Broadway musical Rock of Ages on the big screen.
That’s because the Def Leppard and Manraze guitarist wants others to hear Tom Cruise’s singing prowess.
Cruise is playing Stacee Jaxx, the lead singer of a band named Arsenal during the heady hair metal days of the 1980s. Cruise handles all of his own vocal parts in the movie, including a turn at Def Lep’s “Pour Some Sugar on Me.”
“I can’t wait till people hear him,” Collen told Noisecreep. ”The guy did a great job. He’s doing my vocal part, Joe’s part – all of them! This is someone who has never sung before. He was doing that thing that a lot of method actors do when they take on a role. They get into character completely. He told us he was taking five hours a day, five days a week, for four to five months, just to get the vocal aspect of the role down. That was fantastic to hear.”
Collen said that Cruise praised “Sugar” as an iconic song, which pleased the band.
“I was really pleased with how down-to-earth Tom was,” said Collen. ”He was very humble and actually told us how he thought ‘Pour Some Sugar on Me’ was an absolute classic. He said it deserved all of the respect and attention he can give it. So we were definitely honored.”
Collen also noted that he’s already seen the musical on Broadway, and it really nailed the Sunset Strip scene.
“I had the chance to catch the Broadway version of the musical and it was a lot of fun,” he said. ”It’s campy and kitschy, and it captures that time period so well. It’s not like a Spinal Tap kind of thing where they’re making fun of it, but they do have some fun with it. It has a ‘Glee’ and ‘High School Musical’ feel, but set on the Sunset Strip. I guess you can say it’s like ‘West Side Story’ done with songs from the ’80s.”