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Jon in Liz Smith Column 2 May 2000
Mostly U-571 related stuff...

Source: New York Post , May 1 2000 / Posted to DCBJML


AFTER YEARS of praising Jon Bon Jovi in print, and one dazzling meeting with the star at an event here, we finally snared a sit-down with this big talent. How was this accomplished? He was amused by our mention of his Annie
Leibovitz pic in Vanity Fair, on a tanning bed, in his undies. Oh, he also wanted to promote his appearance in the submarine smash, "U-571," but that was incidental. Jon laughed when remembering inviting Annie to his house in
New Jersey: "She looked over every inch of the place, inside and out. Nothing seemed to catch her imagination. Then she spotted the tanning bed. I was a dead duck, after that!"

"U-571" hadn't opened when we spoke, so Jon, perhaps the most natural and appealing of all the rockers who aspire to film, was still crossing his fingers. The movie, which also stars Matthew McConaughey, David Keith and Harvey Keitel, is Jon's first "action" flick. Did this whet his appetite for similar fare? Dressed head to toe in immaculate black, his blondish hair a bit longer than usual (in preparation for his coming tour - he has to look like a rock god again!), Jon said, "Actually not, I'm much more attracted to dialogue-driven projects. I took this because, along with all the action, the story was really strong and the words were great. Of course, in the end, some of the best stuff was cut from the final print, including a wonderful scene between me and Matthew, who, by the way was so wonderful to work with - a dream, such a giving actor. But I'm experienced enough now not to get too attached to my scenes; everything is done for the betterment of the movie,
not one performer."

Dream projects for this very serious actor? "A romantic comedy with heart and a rich story. And, I'll tell you now, if and when Elton John's ‘Aida' is made into a movie, I want to do it!" Nor would Jon turn up his fine nose at
classic fare, such as "Cat on a Hot Tin Roof," as the tormented character Brick, or "Sweet Bird of Youth," as the desperate hustler, Chance Wayne. Both projects are naturals for him, and would be great, we agreed, on HBO or Showtime, where TV is so challenging and diverse. Jon's next film is "Pay It Forward" with Kevin Spacey, Helen Hunt, Haley Joel Osment and Jim Caviezel. "You know," he said, grinning with pleasure, "this was the first movie I've ever done where nobody asked me about my music, nobody referred at all to any other career. I was treated as a complete actor."

But music is still a part of his life. Bon Jovi hits the road on July 12, set to do 50 shows around the country. That's about 200 less than the last time the band went out, but Jon doesn't want to be so long away from his Jersey
home, his Jersey girl, wife Dorothea, and his Jersey kids. The new album is called "Crush." He wrote 60 songs over the past year, and says, "48 are in the vaults now. I've got enough material for two more albums!" I mentioned the grind of a road tour, but Jon said, "Look, I have a luxurious setup; the ones who really work are the roadies - it's circus life, and hard as hell."

Is it the same thrill stepping on stage in front of thousands of screaming fans, as it was back in the mid-'80s, wedged into pants so tight he might as well have been naked, with all that mall hair in his eyes? Jon smiled a bit wearily. "It isn't really. That is, the anticipatory thrill is not the same anymore, but that's just growing up and changing. But the thing is, the second I hit the stage, I go, ‘Oh, yeah, this is what I do for a living!"'

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