She's living the dream
After years of resisting it, Christina Aguilera is mak ing her feature film debut in the big-screen musical Bur- lesque, starring opposite musical icon and an Oscar- winning actress Cher. "I was just waiting for the right project to feel really passionate about," says Aguilera, who turns 30 next month. "I just didn't want to be that music-to- movies artist who just had to do it to do it."
Aguilera plays Ali Rose, a small-town Iowa girl with a big voice and big dreams. So she heads to Los Angeles, where she happens upon a burlesque lounge and immediately sets out to become one of the girls, who are ruled by the club's glamorous owner, Tess (Cher). There is, of course, rivalry with another dancer, Ricki (Kristen Bell), and love is in the air, with a bartender (Cam Gigandet) and a charismatic entrepre- neur (Eric Dane) vying for her attention.
Aguilera became heavily involved in the $55 million project, from choosing cos- tumes to writing and per- forming songs, including the title number. The part also jibed with the singer's own passion for old Tinseltown. She lists All About Eve with Bette Davis, Meet Me in St. Louis with Judy Garland and "a lot of Marilyn movies'' as among her favorites. In one scene, the girls in the club even dance and lip-synch to the classic Monroe and Jane Russell number Diamonds Are a Girl's Best Friend.
"I love old Hollywood glamour and the screen sirens, the way things were shot back then through those star filters," she says.