VMAN26

ARTICLE DEREK BLASBERG

PHOTOGRAPHY BRUCE WEBER

STYLIST NAOMI DELUCE WILDING

CREDITS ARTICLE CONTENTS

DESTINATION EVERYWHERE

MENSWEAR'S DAREDEVILS

THE SECOND COMING OF DIEGO BONETA

EXTRA CREDITS

HAIR DAVY NEWKIRK (TRACEY MATTINGLY)  GROOMING JO STRETTELL (THE MAGNET AGENCY, L.A.)  PRODUCTION GWEN WALBERG (LITTLE BEAR INC)  PHOTO ASSISTANTS MICHAEL MURPHY, JEFF TAUTRIM, WILL ADLER  PRODUCTION ASSISTANTS LUKE ADLER AND GARRETT KOHLER  STYLIST ASSISTANT CLAUDIA CRACIU  HAIR ASSISTANT EDDIE ARANA  GROOMING ASSISTANT JESSICA AHN  PRODUCTION RENTALS EDGE GRIP AND QUIXOTE, LOS ANGELES S PECIAL THANKS BOXEIGHT STUDIOS, LOS ANGELES

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HOLIDAY MOVIES YOU DON\'T WANT TO MISS JUDY GREER R.E.M.\'S BLUE L.A. ALL THE KING\'S MEN

THE SECOND COMING OF DIEGO BONETA

PHOTOGRAPHY BRUCE WEBER
FASHION NAOMI DELUCE WILDING
TEXT DEREK BLASBERG

THE STAR OF SUMMER’S BROADWAY-TO-BIG-SCREEN MUSICAL, ROCK OF AGES, BECOMES A HIT—AGAIN

Diego Boneta used a pretty smart formula to start his career. The Mexico City–born actor always dreamed of being a singer, but in this world of reality TV and glossy teen soap operas, he knew that the best way to get his music in the ears of possible fans was to trade in the airwaves for the small screen. That’s why, after finishing in fifth place in a Mexican version of American Idol called Código F.A.M.A., he strategically agreed to appear on the hit TV show Rebelde under the condition that his character, a town crooner, could sing his own music. “My music instantly became international,” he says now, adding that he went back to re-record some of his hits in other languages to appease a variety of European and South American fans. “It clicked: I realized acting can be a vehicle for my music.” The plan worked per- fectly. Following the show he toured throughout Mexico and Latin America and performed in stadiums that held tens of thousands of screaming fans. “We played a sta- dium in Rio [de Janeiro] that held 125,000 people,” he remembers. “During rehearsals I must have zoned out because someone kept asking me if I was okay. I was like, ‘Mick Jagger played here last night. Give me a minute.’”

Boneta had a similar plan when he moved to L.A. in 2010, when he was 20, but knew he would be starting from square one. “Lots of people told me I was crazy to move at the peak of my career in Latin America,” he remembers. “But that’s exactly it: I didn’t want to leave when they were done with me.” So Boneta and his par- ents, two engineers that he jokes have absolutely no experience in the performing arts or the politics of the entertainment industry, moved to Southern California. It was a change of pace, to say the least. “No one cared what I had done in Latin America, or that I had just packed a stadium in Mexico the night before,” he says. “I couldn’t walk the streets in Latin America, but here? No one cared. It was the most humbling experience in my life.” He compares it to a real-life Batman scenario: he was Bruce Wayne in L.A., a familiar, non-famous face free to go about his business; but back in Mexico City, he was as popular as a superhero. Perseverance paid off, and so did his old performer’s formula. He scored the role of Javier Luna, another Latin crooner, on CW’s 90210, and again performed his own music.

Last year Boneta bagged his biggest role yet: Drew Boley, a young singer who moves to Los Angeles in the late 1980s in hopes of becoming a rock star, in the celebrity-stocked Rock of Ages, based on the hit Broadway play. As with many things in Hollywood, it wasn’t simple. There were six auditions and callbacks, and before he was officially green-lighted the role, some blogs confirmed him as Boley. “When the news leaked that I had the part before I really had it, I got the first migraine of my life. If I didn’t get the part, I would have looked like the biggest asshole,” he laughs. While it was definitely a part he could relate to, his fellow cast members Tom Cruise, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Alec Baldwin, and Russell Brand created “the most surreal situation ever.” He found himself in Miami studying with a voice teacher and guitar trainer with Cruise, a man whose dedication left Boneta awestruck. “He was the first person on set and the last one to leave. He was so motivating and so inspiring.” While jam sessions in Cruise’s hotel room were otherworldly, when asked about his strongest memory from the film, another moment comes to mind. “My mom called me one day andaskedwhatIwasupto.ItoldherIwasatthe recording studio with Mary J. Blige. I had to stop myself and ask, ‘How is it going to get any better than this?’”    

EXTRA CREDITS

HAIR DAVY NEWKIRK (TRACEY MATTINGLY)  GROOMING JO STRETTELL (THE MAGNET AGENCY, L.A.)  PRODUCTION GWEN WALBERG (LITTLE BEAR INC)  PHOTO ASSISTANTS MICHAEL MURPHY, JEFF TAUTRIM, WILL ADLER  PRODUCTION ASSISTANTS LUKE ADLER AND GARRETT KOHLER  STYLIST ASSISTANT CLAUDIA CRACIU  HAIR ASSISTANT EDDIE ARANA  GROOMING ASSISTANT JESSICA AHN  PRODUCTION RENTALS EDGE GRIP AND QUIXOTE, LOS ANGELES S PECIAL THANKS BOXEIGHT STUDIOS, LOS ANGELES

MORE TO LOVE

HOLIDAY MOVIES YOU DON\'T WANT TO MISS JUDY GREER R.E.M.\'S BLUE L.A. ALL THE KING\'S MEN
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