Last week we got our first look at Tom Cruise in character as Stacee Jaxx on the cover of the new issue of W magazine. Today we get to see a bunch of photos from the accompanying magazine photospread. Shirtless, tattooed and sometimes bathed in beauties, Tom is channeling his inner rock god for the magazine spread in support of his new film Rock of Ages. Click below to see tattooed Tom in all his guitar hero glory.
t’s a Thursday afternoon in a studio in Los Angeles, and Tom Cruise, dressed in jeans and an untucked white button-down shirt, is belting out “Paradise City.” He’s performing the Guns N’ Roses song—which he sings during the opening credits of his new movie, Rock of Ages—in character, as Stacee Jaxx, a fading rock god from the eighties. Sitting in front of the glass-enclosed recording booth are Cruise’s music advisers, including Ron Anderson, formerly a vocal coach for Axl Rose, whose trademark screech Cruise has perfected. When Cruise started this project more than a year ago, he didn’t know whether he could really sing. “Adam Shankman, the director, asked me if I could carry a tune,” Cruise tells me later. “I said, ‘We’ll see, won’t we? This is either going to work or it’s going to be dreadful’” … With Stacee Jaxx, he began with the mundane rock-star requirements—honing his newly discovered four-octave range and learning to play the guitar—but the physical soon gave way to the emotional. While everyone else in Rock of Ages is either ridiculous or playing their part with a wink (Alec Baldwin in a wig!), Cruise seems to actually be living in Stacee’s leather pants. He is alone inside another, much more interesting movie; there is a melancholic undertow to Stacee Jaxx—he’s only truly alive when he’s onstage, and he knows that his time there is nearly over … When W photographed Cruise in the penthouse of the Raleigh Hotel in Miami Beach several months before our meeting in Los Angeles, he was completely immersed in Stacee’s story. Rock of Ages was filming in Miami, and Cruise was sporting long hair extensions and tattoos. Playing the character took some courage: If he didn’t approach the role with sincerity and intensity, Cruise could easily look like a joke. “Stacee Jaxx had to be real,” he said during the shoot. “I didn’t want to imitate all these other rock stars. He had to be unique. If the audience doesn’t immediately buy into his absolute greatness, there’s no movie journey. Without that, you have nothing.” Back in the studio, Cruise lets out a pitch-perfect scream. “My throat is gone,” he says, sounding hoarse. “That’s all I’ve got.” Cruise says his goodbyes to the Rock of Ages crew and leaves the room. I follow him into another recording studio to talk. “After four hours of singing,” Cruise begins, “I sound like Donald Duck. No more rock star.”
You can read the full text of Cruise’s interview with W magazine HERE but it’s not nearly as interesting as these photos are. Well, not that these photos are interesting, per se, but they are worth talking about … no? I can’t say that I’m totally convinced that Tom can pull off this role but he has surprised me many times in the past, he could surprise me again this time. As I’ve mentioned before, I’m a HUGE fan of the original Broadway musical that this film is based on so I’m going to check out this movie with a very critical eye. I can’t say I’m impressed with Tom’s version of Stacee Jaxx … yet … but he may impress me in the film. We’ll see. What do y’all think? Can you take Tom Cruise seriously as a tattooed rock god?