Is Catherine Zeta Jones poised for crossover music success with Rock of Ages role?
by Robin Turner, May 3 2012
She started out with singing roles in musicals and landed a major part in Annie in her hometown Grand Theatre when she was just 14.
And she proved she had the voice for the big time when she bagged a best supporting actress Oscar for blockbuster Chicago.
But could Hollywood star Catherine Zeta Jones have a new crossover career as a singer in her sights on the back of her latest film role?
Industry experts have praised her inclusion in the soundtrack album of new movie Rock of Ages, and say the glamorous actressâ€™s track record in the music industry could see her following in the well-worn footsteps of the likes of Bette Midler and Barbra Streisand.
Gennaro Castaldo, spokesman for entertainment and retail giant HMV, said the Swansea-born star could easily cross over from movies into occasional recording stints.
He added: â€œWe know from her previous films that Catherine Zeta Jones has a great voice â€“ sheâ€™s Welsh after all, and, of course, she has a huge profile to go with it.
â€œSo if it was a direction she wanted to go in, and with the right material, I donâ€™t see why this couldnâ€™t open up as a whole new avenue for her â€“ where the focus of course remains films but every now and then she works on a music project.
â€œIâ€™m sure thereâ€™d be an audience out there for her.
â€œRock of Ages is going to be absolutely huge â€“ one of the summer movie blockbusters that will also sell really well on DVD, when it comes out later this year.
â€œItâ€™s going to show us another side to CZJ that could quite possibly help her launch a recording career.â€
The film, which focuses on a rock club in Los Angeles, has a score that includes the hit songs of iconic â€˜80s rockers Def Leppard, Foreigner, Journey, Poison, REO Speedwagon and Twisted Sister among others.
It is based on the hit musical of the same name currently playing in the West End and the film is predicted to be one of this summerâ€™s movie blockbusters.
On the soundtrack album, Tony Award winner Zeta Jones will be heard singing the Pat Benatar song Hit Me With Your Best Shot and a mash-up of Starship/Twisted Sisterâ€™s We Built This City/Weâ€™re Not Gonna Take It with British comic Russell Brand.
And Tom Cruise will perform tracks by Guns Nâ€™ Roses, Def Leppard and Bon Jovi. The Mission Impossible star will belt out the â€œhair metalâ€ classics Paradise City, Pour Some Sugar On Me and Wanted Dead Or Alive as part of his role in the new movie due in cinemas on June 15.
Rock of Ages follows waitress Sherrie Christian (Julianne Hough) and busboy Drew Boley (Diego Boneta) who fall in love during the rock music era of the 1980s.
Tom Cruise is Stacee Jaxx, a rock group lead singer and Drewâ€™s idol while Zeta Jones plays the main antagonist, Patricia Whitmore, the wife of the Mayor of Los Angeles, who wants to shut down the popular rock venue, The Bourbon Room.
Zeta Jones is no stranger to singing, her first big role being in the musical Annie in Swanseaâ€™s Grand Theatre and when she was 14 she was cast as Tallulah by ex-Monkees drummer Mickey Dolenz in Bugsy Malone and she later starred in 42nd Street.
She also had a part in Jeff Wayneâ€™s musical of Spartacus in 1992, her song from the soundtrack album For All Time being released as single, reaching number 36 in the UK charts.
She went on to release the singles In the Arms of Love and I Canâ€™t Help Myself and a duet with David Essex, True Love Ways, reached number 38 in the UK singles chart in 1994.
And Zeta Jones of course won an Oscar for her best supporting actress role in the musical-movie Chicago.
Rock of Ages star Alec Baldwin tweeted yesterday that the movie was a triumph for Zeta Jones.
He wrote: â€œRock of Ages…the film in which Catherine Zeta Jones shows once again why she is one of the greatest actresses in the biz.â€
And Rock of Ages director Adam Shankman said: â€œTaking classic, beloved rock anthems and seeing them through the unique perspective of the characters in the film was such an exciting prospect for me.
â€œWe had a phenomenal cast who performed these songs in such a powerful way â€” adding depth and meaningful imagery to the film.â€