8 Decades of The Hollywood Reporter
The most glamorous and memorable moments from a storied history.
It will be seen June 15 whether audiences accept Tom Cruise in a singing role in Rock of Ages dressed like vintage Axl Rose, but in 1983's Risky Business, the 20-year-old was a hit, lip-syncing Bob Seger's "Old Time Rock & Roll" while sliding across the floor wearing only briefs, socks and a pink dress shirt. The scene comes on the celebratory night when Cruise's suburban Chicago teen first has the house to himself. For the role, writer-director Paul Brickman says he needed an actor "who was innocent and brought some heat to the table, too." Producer Jon Avnet recalls what struck him about Cruise -- who'd made a mark in 1981 with roles in Endless Love and Taps -- was his being "precociously professional. He had an extraordinary command at an early age." To get the lip-sync scene right, Brickman says he and Cruise spent a Sunday on the set "and just kind of screwed around, made ourselves laugh and shot it that Monday." He notes Cruise was a high school wrestler and "has an innate talent in the way he moves and expresses himself." While the relationship he began with co-star Rebecca De Mornay (who played call girl Lana) lasted only two years, Cruise's skivvies scene hit a cultural nerve and has since been referenced in everything from Never Been Kissed to Scrubs and Arrested Development. THR's review, for its part, called the plot "unpalatable" and "pretty simplistic" and took no notice of Cruise's talent. No matter: The $6 million film took in $63.5 million and catapulted the actor's career.