About The Production
The idea for "Rock Star" first began to take shape as producer Robert Lawrence perused the New York Times one Sunday morning. "I read this fascinating story about a tribute band member who became a real rock star — who replaced the very singer he had been impersonating for years," remembers Lawrence. "The notion of a tribute band member who ultimately played in the actual band was extremely intriguing to me."
Lawrence contacted screenwriter John Stockwell, who had just penned "Breast Men" for HBO. Stockwell immediately connected with the story. As he puts it, "I think it's everyone's secret fantasy to be plucked from obscurity and catapulted into fame and fortune. The 'Horatio Alger in leather' tale of wish fulfillment is a really appealing one."
Stockwell did quite a bit of field research for the film, but as he admits, it wasn't exactly a chore. "I got to relive my rock youth, going to Ozzfest, the KROQ Weenie Roast,
and lots of other shows," says Stockwell. "I hooked up with the band Pantera, and they kidnapped me — took me on their tour bus and
warned me that I'd better get it right! They were very intent that it be a credible movie about the hard-charging lifestyle."
Director Stephen Herek was drawn to the project for several reasons. "I've always loved rock and roll," explains Herek, "and I've always loved musicals, and this is sort of a modem-day musical — without people breaking into song right in the middle of a scene or anything. In this story, we get to watch a character who's living his dream — and we get to go along for the ride and peck behind the curtain a little bit to see how crazy' this world actually is."
Mark Wahlberg was attracted to Stockwell's story, the characters and the rock and roll backdrop. "I had never really listened to rock or metal," the former hip-hop artist admits. "My background as a musician was pretty different than what is portrayed here, and I thought it would be a challenge. Just walking around in those tight pants and being comfortable enough on stage to move the way these guys did — that was a challenge right there!"
The filmmakers were thrilled when Wahlberg signed on to portray Chris Cole. "Mark is an amazing actor, and one of the most dedicated and hardworking professionals I've worked with," says producer Toby Jaffe. "He absolutely immersed himself in the character and really brought Chris to life. His dedication was amazing — he would typically work a twelve-to-fourteen-hour day. after having arrived on set hours early to rehearse stage choreography or work on guitar and vocals."
"Mark is one of the most talented guys around," director Stephen Herek agrees. "I've always loved his movies, and actually working with him has been a wonderful experience. He was living this character 24/7 — he works his tail off, and he has this tremendous innate talent and ability — he's just incredible."
When Chris Cole is chosen as Steel Dragon's lead singer, he is transformed from a small-town nobody into an instant icon; it all seems way too good to be true. The perks of his sudden hard-rock stardom — the screaming fans, sexy groupies, expensive toys and wild parties — are more than he could have ever imagined.
Chris performs night after night to packed houses, singing the crowd-pleasing Steel Dragon standards. But he begins to realize that something is missing from his dream-
come-true; there's no room in his new universe for the people who made it possible for him to get there in the first place — his parents, his buddies back home, and especially Emily, Chris' girlfriend and manager of his tribute band, who finds herself increasingly lost in the backstage crowd.
Jennifer Aniston portrays Emily, whose faith in Chris gives way to disillusionment as<
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