EXCLUSIVE: Diego Boneta on Tom Cruise: "He Is One of the Biggest Movie Stars That Has Ever Lived"

Earlier this month, Mexican actor-singer (and heartthrob) Diego Boneta was cast as the lead in Adam Shankman's (Hairspray), highly anticipated movie-musical Rock of Ages opposite Tom Cruise, Alec Baldwin and Julianne Hough. The humble Boneta, 20, spoke to Latina.com about the day he found out he had landed the coveted role, what he hopes to learn from Cruise, and why Ryan Seacrest is lucky to be dating his on-screen love interest in real life. 

Where were you when you found out you had been cast in Rock of Ages?

I was actually in my house after suffering from a three-day migraine.  I’ve never had a migraine in my life, but I had been through some pretty stressful stuff waiting to hear on the part.  That’s why I had that migraine. The casting process took about a month and it was a very hard process. I invested everything and I gave my 120 percent many times, so it gets to a point where waiting to hear is very hard. So I was feeling terrible, it was a Sunday and I got a call around noon from {director} Adam Shankman. The call was very 'So You Think You Can Dance' because the way he told me I booked the part — he played it like I wasn't going to get it. Then all of a sudden he was like 'pack your bags, you're going to Miami!' My heart stopped. I was stoked. 

We’re going to take all the credit for discovering you in our "Feliz Navidadvideo last Christmas!

I know. {Laughs}. I know. I know. I know. I know. I know. I’m actually with my sister right now and she says hi!

So tell us: Have you already started working with Tom Cruise?

No, but we met.  Honestly, this is going to sound very cheesy, but I was watching Risky Business two months ago, and my biggest dream was to find a movie like that to break my film career and two months later, I’m doing that movie with the star of Risky Business. I really hope that one day I can make a movie that’s that revolutionary. That's one of the classics.

What do you think Tom Cruise can teach you?

I think that’s more of a question of what can’t he teach me?  He is one of the biggest movie stars that has ever lived.  I think he can teach me discipline, hard work, and never staying comfortable with where you’re at.  I’ve only met him once, but from what I can tell, he never settles for anything. He’s always trying to improve, and grow and grow and grow. Being who he is, he can stop anytime, but he doesn’t.  And I love that.

Are you going to infuse some Latin rock into your part in Rock of Ages?

This guy is from Detroit, and his mom is from Detroit.  There’s no Latin elements to this, unfortunately, but that’s who Drew is.  The only Latin element that Drew will have is that the character has my same initials – Diego Boneta and Drew Bowie, so that’s as far as it’s going to go with the whole Latin thing.

What song or songs are you most looking forward to singing in the movie?

 All of these songs and all of these artists are my musical influences. “Waiting for a Girl Like You” is one of the songs that I’m really looking forward to singing and “Don’t Stop Believing” of course. And “Here we go Again." All of the songs are amazing.

Is it going to be easy for you to fall in love with your co-star Julianne Hough on screen?

Julianne is the sweetest.  I am very lucky to have her as my female lead and as my co-star.  We’ve become really good friends.  She’s a great girl, she’s so talented.  She’s an amazing dancer, an amazing singer and an amazing person overall.  I’m so lucky to be working with her but you know, she has a boyfriend and I totally respect that. We are good friends.

We hear you're big on "guy code" - and not moving in on another guy's girl. 

Yea, you know, there’s a certain honor code that guys have.  We’re not going to step on any body’s toes and she’s a great girl. Ryan is a very lucky guy.

Has Ryan been on set watching you and his girlfriend work together?

No. I actually haven’t met Ryan yet.  We haven’t started shooting yet. We’re at rehearsal still and all that stuff.  A lot of dance rehearsals, guitar rehearsals, vocal rehearsals, and scene rehearsals.  We’re going to start shooting in about a month.

Speaking of girlfriends, are you currently seeing anyone special?

No, I’m not. I’m free and single and available.  So if you know anyone in Miami, hook me up! {Laughs}.

When you were working 20 hours a day as a cast member on the Mexican telenovela Rebelde, did you ever dream this would happen to you?

This is my biggest dream. Film and music and being able to do both in a movie like this, while singing these songs is a dream come true and it hasn't even sunk in all the way yet. Did I think it was going to happen now?  Absolutely not. I still can’t believe it.  I’m so honored and humbled to be working with everyone who’s involved in this.  It’s going to be an amazing learning experience.  I’m taking as many notes as I possibly can because all these people are beyond amazing.  And I’m living every single moment to its fullest.

Are you doing it for Mexico?

Para Mexico y para mis amigos latinos!  I’ve said this a million times and I’ll say it a million times more: My biggest joy is being a Mexican and being a Latin guy and proving that Latinos can make it anywhere, doing anything. And we proved it with this.