Our full, unfiltered chat with the fetching star of the latest musical to hit our screens
Swedish-Canadian beauty Malin Akerman’s latest film is jukebox musical Rock of Ages, where she sweeps Rock God Tom Cruise off his feet with a song. We caught up with the star recently to talk about musicals, new challenges and unusual sex scenes.Tell me about your character in Rock of Ages?
Well Constance Sack is a reporter Rolling Stone and is a true believer in rock ‘n roll and music and loves the integrity of music and really was a big fan of Stacee Jaxx, Tom Cruise’s character. And then when she comes in to do an interview with him, you see she really cares about music and feels like Stacee has kind of sold out and she calls him on it. She’s quite a brave journalist, she doesn’t hold back and ultimately that sort of lures Stacee Jaxx into falling in love with her. And we have this crazy, amazing, fun love scene on an air hockey table!
It’s a strange scene! What did you think of it when you first read the script?
Yea. Oh my god I laughed my ass off! I mean it’s just so much fun, it’s so crazy. First of all I'm a huge fan of all this music – the 80s and Def Leppard and Led Zeppelin, it’s what I grew up on so this is just my kind of movie. And the fact that there’s comedy in it as well; making love on an air hockey table is just the craziest most amazing thing that I’ve ever heard. Never have I seen that before. And then to be doing that scene with Tom Cruise and singing at the same time ‘I Wanna Know What Love is’ which is an amazing song it was just the perfect combination for the craziest, sexiest, funniest, weirdest scene ever!You do have a history of unusual sex scenes, does that interest you in some way?
I guess it must, I guess that sort of gets me going! I don’t know… you’re right it’s so funny but I’m just such a sucker for comedy. And some of the sex scenes that I’ve done in the past are some of the funniest things that I’ve gotten to do. I was watching The Heartbreak Kid with my husband and he had tears rolling down his cheeks at the sex scenes because they are just so crazy. So this is yet another one but, you know, anything for comedy!What was the audition process like? Was it that pivotal scene that you auditioned with?
Yea it was sort of the lead up to that, and it was that song for sure. I know [director] Adam Shankman from before, and I was called to go straight in to read for Adam with Tom Cruise and it was lovely to go straight to that point instead of going through the process of putting yourself on tape. So it was one audition with Tom and that scene and then the singing portion of it. And I was extremely nervous because I haven’t sung in about… eight years! So I forewarned the musical director that he might want to plug his ears because I wasn’t sure what was going to come out! But luckily it wasn’t too bad and they ended up hiring me which was insane and so exciting, it’s such an amazing cast!Was it intimidating auditioning with Tom Cruise?
Well luckily I knew Tom from before because I’d worked with his wife on a movie [2010s The Romantics] so it wasn’t the first time I met him. I was lucky enough that we’d had dinner together and he came to set once or twice. So it wasn’t intimidating but the first day on set I was really nervous because I don’t ever want to disappoint anyone that I work with but I’ve been lucky with so many great actors that I’ve gotten to work with. So every time you work with someone like a Tom Cruise, you’ve got to bring it. There’s no slacking with that man. If you’re going to train to be a professional sprinter you want to sprint with someone who’s better than you so you get better. And I feel like when you work with someone who’s been in the business for a while, they just bring up your game. But it’s nerve-wracking and intimidating at first. These are professionals; they know when you bring your acting! Malin Akerman rocking the 80s look in Rock of Ages Enlarge Was the fact that it’s a musical a big draw for you?
Absolutely! I think with this music that we’re talking about. I’d seen the Broadway show twice and I just loved it, I thought it was so much fun. I’ve always been attracted to music and to be able to do both in one shot was an amazing opportunity, especially as it’s the kind of music that I love.Are you a fan of musicals?
I wouldn’t say I’m a huge fan of musicals. There are certain ones that I like.Which ones?Rock of Ages is one that I love. Jersey Boys was so much fun. As far as movies go I loved Moulin Rouge and Chicago. There have been a few that I won’t mention that I'm not crazy about. It’s kind of funny, I feel a little embarrassed sometimes when I watch musicals and they’re singing something like ‘And now I’m going to pick up this glass!’ Why don’t you just pick up the glass!? So it depends on what kind of musical it is.So you prefer jukebox musicals which use existing songs?
Yea I think so. But again there have been musicals that aren’t jukebox musicals that are wonderful, but I do appreciate jukebox musicals a bit more – just because it’s not that embarrassing moment because you know it’s a real song!How was the singing recorded? I presume it wasn’t live?
No, we actually recorded the songs before we started shooting so we would have a track to sing to. So that was done a couple of weeks before we actually started shooting. Julianne Hough in Rock of Ages Enlarge And are you happy with your performance?
Yea, absolutely! There have definitely been a few tweaks here and there because it sounds really great. I'm sure there were some notes that were out of tune but they’re able to fix anything in the studio now. But I’m really happy and it’s so much fun to hear it. These guys are such professionals – Adam Anders and Matt Sullivan who are our music supervisors. They’re just magical. So it’s fun because if I were to record something myself on GarageBand it wouldn’t sound anything like this.I wanted to talk about Watchmen briefly; you mentioned that you really enjoyed those action sequences, would you like to do more?
I would love to do it again, absolutely! I just haven’t been called in for anything action wise. But of course if the chance presented itself again I would love to. That was an extra challenge on top of just bringing the character to life with these action sequences. And now in Rock of Ages bringing the musical elements in, it’s fun when you get a little bit of a change.Speaking of a change - you’ve been in a musical, action film and comedies – are there any other genres you’d like to try?
Yea I would love to do a period piece, like 1800s kind of thing. Or all these amazing films that are coming out now, like Clash of the Titans – I would love to do something like that. It’d be fun to ride a horse and wear a corset! Alec Baldwin and Russell Brand in Rock of Ages Enlarge With the popularity of Swedish language movies now and the fact that it’s your native tongue, would you like to work on one?
Definitely, I’ve been looking. I’ve been checking out some scripts, I haven’t found anything yet that I’m in love with but I absolutely would love to go home and do something in my mother tongue it would be great. I’m on the look out for that.And finally, do you have any other projects that you’re looking forward to?
A lot of them have been independent films – one called The Numbers Station which hopefully we’ll be seeing this year that I did with John Cusack, it’s a thriller. And I’m really excited, I haven’t even seen the film yet, they’ve just edited it together. But that should be coming out this year if it gets picked up. So better keep a look out for that!Rock of Ages is in cinemas from the 13th of June. Check back soon for our review. Diego Boneta doing the Rocking thing Enlarge