You began training.
I needed to find out if I could really sing! Ron came in and worked with me. And then I had to learn how to play guitar. I’m very good at air guitar—and air drums—but I had never played an actual guitar. After working for weeks on Stacee’s technical skills, I was thinking about the character, and I said, “You know what? I need a monkey.” Adam said, “What the fuck are you talking about?” And I said, “I’m serious—I need a monkey” [laughs]. When Stacee’s not onstage, he’s kind of sad. And I thought, This guy has to have a monkey that’s his best friend. Adam found this baboon. He sent me the baboon’s audition tape, and I said, “The baboon’s name has to be Hey Man” [laughs]. Stacee Jaxx doesn’t work without Hey Man.
There are a lot of sexy scenes in this movie: At one point you’re
climbing a stripper pole; in another scene, you’re grinding up against a
Rolling Stone reporter, played by Malin Akerman.
I knew we had to push the sexuality because of the nature of the character and the songs. He’s singing, “I Want to Know What Love Is.” Adam has a sweetness with this stuff, so you can push things pretty hard. With Malin, I thought of Susan Sarandon in The Rocky Horror Picture Show—incredibly sexy and very sweet.
It’s hard to get that balance.
When you read a lot of rock biographies, you find that when these musicians are doing their work and it’s going well, that’s when they’re really alive. It’s all the other stuff—the noise and complications—that gets them into devilish behavior. Stacee is kind of floating until he comes onstage. That’s where he’s at home. Everything else is kind of a mess.
Was your goal to show something intimate?
Yes. It’s a little uncomfortable at times. But funny. Uncomfortable and funny: That was the goal.