Catherine Zeta-Jones says it was "way too much fun" to play a villain and sing Pat Benatar's "Hit Me With Your Best Shot," a timeless karaoke favorite, in the new 1980's-themed film "Rock of Ages."The 42-year-old Welsh actress portrays Patricia Whitmore, the ultra-conservative wife of the mayor of Los Angeles and the main antagonist who wants to shut down the The Bourbon Room on Los Angeles' famed Sunset Strip as part of a bid for revenge against a rock star who broke her heart.
The film is based on a Broadway jukebox musical. Along with Benatar's song, "Rock of Ages" features other 1980s power ballads and rock anthems from the likes of "hair metal" bands Foreigner, Poison, Whitesnake, Joan Jett and Def Leppard, which released the title track "Rock of Ages" in 1983.
Zeta-Jones, who won an Oscar for her role in the 2002 musical film "Chicago," said she had never seen the musical but was eager to star in the rock-themed movie, which was directed by famed choreographer Adam Shankman, who helmed the 2007 movie "Hairspray."
"When Adam called me and said, 'Darling, would you ever think about doing another musical?' I went, 'Yeah. With you?' He went, 'Yeah.' I said, 'Sure,'" Zeta-Jones told OnTheRedCarpet.com. "I mean, I didn't have to think much about it 'cause I wanted to work with him."
She said he told her: "So we're writing something in for you and you're going to be able to be a villain, very conservative.'""Then I said, 'That sounds too much fun, I'm not missing it," the actress said. "And then he told me I could get to sing a Pat Benatar song - 'Hit Me With Your Best Shot' and do a duet with Russell Brand, which is a wonderful medley of two songs that are fantastic. So it was a slam dunk for me. It really was. It was too much fun. It was way too much fun."
In "Rock of Ages," Julianne Hough, formerly of the 2011 "Footloose" reboot, plays main character Sherrie Christian, a small town girl who moves to Los Angeles to pursue an entertainment career and ends up waitressing at the Bourbon Room and stripping at a strips club. Diego Boneta, formerly of the show "90210," plays aspiring rock star Drew Boley, who ends up bartending at the club.
Tom Cruise plays bad boy rocker Stacie Jaxx, who is invited by the owner and manager of the Bourbon Room, played by Alec Baldwin and Russell Brand, to perform his farewell show with his band Arsenal at the venue in a bid to raise income to try and save it.
Zeta-Jones' character is angry with Jaxx for sleeping with her in college and never calling back. She seeks to shut down the Bourbon room and organizes a protest with church members in front of the club, where they perform "Hit Me With Your Best Shot."
The actress and Brand later sing a medley made up of the songs "We Built This City" by Starship and Twisted Sister's "We're Not Gonna Take It."
Jones began her acting career in the theatre at age nine. She said she remembered living in her native United Kingdom in the 1980s, when she followed some pretty flashy fashion trends.
"Up until '87, I was working in theatre in London and I had big hair and wore big shoulder pads," she said.
Flashy 1980s fashion is showcased well in "Rock of Ages."
When we did 'Hit Me With Your Best Shot,' we were all waiting to shoot and we all came in with our hair and makeup and we're like, 'Oh my God, that is so bad, it's great," Zeta-Jones said. "And then they go, 'Oh, look at you! Oh no, that's horrible!'"
"Rock of Ages" is set for release on Friday, June 15.Reporting by Cari Skillman of KABC Television, which produces the entertainment show "On The Red Carpet" (check for local TV listings).