Shooting is nearly finished for Burlesque, a contemporary musical that focuses on a neo-burlesque club in Los Angeles, loosely inspired by Bob Fosse's Cabaret. Entertainment Tonight recently sat down with the cast to get the scoop on what the movie's about and what it's like working with the legendary Cher. The film stars a league of notable actors such as Kristen Bell (Veronica Mars, Couples Retreat), Eric Dane (Grey's Anatomy), Cam Gigandet (Twilight), the now Oscar-nominated Stanley Tucci (The Devil Wears Prada, The Lovely Bones), and Alan Cumming (X-Men 2). That's not to mention two powerhouse pop divas who co-headline the film, Cher and Christina Aguilera, both of whom will be singing in the film.
Burlesque marks Cher's first real role in about 10 years, minus a small cameo in 2003's Stuck On You, and Christina Aguilera's big screen debut. The movie focuses on a fledgling burlesque club owned by Tess (Cher) in which Nikki (Bell) is the premier dancer. Ali leaves her small midwestern town and heads to L.A. where she discovers the club, and turns everything around for Tess when she's given a chance to perform and blows everyone away.
It's been ten years since Aguilera's debut album and she's had plenty of opportunities to do films but has held off until now. Unlike contemporaries such as Britney Spears, Justin Timberlake, and Beyonce, after all this time she has yet to appear in any feature films because she was waiting for just the right project. She told Marie Claire in January, "I didn't want to do something that was easy for me. I've actually had my character rewritten to be tougher and a little more spunky." Aguilera also tells Entertainment Tonight, "I've always had tremendous respect for [Cher]. A woman who's done everything before anyone did it."
Plenty of pop stars have tried foraying into acting and it didn't turn out very well. Mariah Carey and Madonna come to mind among many others whose acting projects have become infamous and earned them Razzie nominations. When asked about Christina's acting chops, Cher had glowing things to say. "I'm shocked, but she's really good. And the other day we were hamming it up so badly, it was so old — like vaudevillians we might as well have been. And she was keeping up. I mean she was hot. She was really up there. Her game is good."
Aguilera and Cher recently made an appearance at the Golden Globes to do some early film promotion (Burlesque hits theaters Thanksgiving weekend) which created quite the buzz as both women have been known to do. Certainly Screen Gems is hoping the women will be able to return to the ceremony next January as nominees. With such talented actors and a script by Erin Brockovich scribe Susannah Grant, it isn't a long shot to predict it just might happen.
Below is the full Entertainment Tonight interview with the cast of Burlesque.