Miami, Fort Lauderdale Stars in Rock of Ages
Director Adam Shankman curled up on the coach at Miami’s Mandarin Oriental hotel as he reflected on "Rock of Ages," the ’80s jukebox musical filmed in South Florida and opening in theaters across the country this weekend.
Locations across the region were transformed: North Miami Avenue became the Sunset Strip, Revolution Live in Fort Lauderdale’s Himmarshee Village was rechristened The Bourbon Room, and even "Mt. Trashmore," the monumental Coconut Creek landfill, got a cameo with the famous Hollywood sign. Hundreds of eager locals were on set day and night as extras, hoping for a glimpse of the film’s A-list stars.
After a long day of interviews with the local press, Shankman admits with a giggle this is the only city where he’s been asked about filming in Florida. Newcomer, Julianne Hough, familiar as one of the celebrity hoofers on TV’s Dancing with the Stars, sitting next to him, is quick to jump in.
"It was great staying on the beach," she said, noting she began every day with a walk on the beach. When asked which she prefers, Miami Beach or California, Hough, making her debut as a leading lady, doesn’t hesitate, "South Beach."
But, after the chit chat, it’s back to business as the two plug their movie.
Shankman acknowledged the challenges of adapting a Broadway musical for the cinema. Best known as a choreographer and one of the regular judges on Fox’s So You Think You Can Dance, his last turn in the director’s chair was the campy 2007 adaptation of Hairspray, starring John Travolta.
While filming Rock of Ages,"he says he heeded advice offered years earlier by Hairspray writer/director John Waters.