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Andreas Rentz, Getty Images

tom-cruise
Andreas Rentz, Getty Images

Rock of Ages‘ star Tom Cruise, who turns 50 in July, celebrated the milestone by appearing in next month’s issue of Playboy.

No no, not as a model (though wouldn’t that be unique) but as an interview subject, talking about his family, his religious beliefs, and having a stable of high-powered attorneys ready to attack.

On the latter subject, Cruise told the magazine while he’s able to ignore a lot of the gossip that swirls about him, there does come a point at which it goes too far.

“You start with a letter saying, ‘Okay, you know it’s not true. Apologize,’” he said. “But with certain ones you have to go, ‘Okay, you crossed a line, and now you have the attention of my lawyers.’ [laughs] When it involves your kids, you have to go, ‘Here’s the line.’”

Some of the more salacious things written about him involve his often vocal devotion to Scientology, but he says he’s in a no-win situation when it comes to talking about it: “If I don’t talk about my religion, if I say I’m not discussing it or different humanitarian things I’m working on, they’re like, ‘He’s avoiding it.’ If I do talk about it, it becomes, ‘Oh, he’s proselytizing.’”

But one thing he is willing to talk about is his wife, actress Katie Holmes, whom he calls “funny and charming.”

“When she walks into the room, I just feel better,” he said. “[She's] an extraordinary person, and if you spent five minutes with her, you’d see it. Everything she does, she does with this beautiful creativity.”

Professionally, he says ‘Rock of Ages’ was a special challenge, and that to prep for the role of rocker Stacee Jaxx, he often spent up to five hours a day with a vocal coach who also works with Guns N’ Roses frontman Axl Rose.

“He was an opera singer who taught me how to control my voice,” the actor said. “It’s like learning a new sport or a skill for a character. I had to find out how to move air through the vocal cords and where to place it in my head, in the chest. It’s something you have to do every day to strengthen your voice.”

But even after having a taste of the rock star life, he’s not ready to abandon films for music.

“Making movies is all I ever wanted to do,” he said. “But when I look at Bono, Springsteen, Bon Jovi or Axl Rose and hear the songs they wrote and how they perform them and the life they have, I have a greater appreciation. It takes so much work to get to that level.”

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