The guy is Diego Boneta, the 20-year-old Latin music star who has landed the male lead role opposite the Dancing With the Star alum in director Adam Shankman's movie adaptation of the Rock of Ages musical.
"Even though I still haven't met Ryan, I'm sure he's the nicest guy," Boneta tells me. "And you know, guys have this honor code thing and I totally respect that."
In the flick, Boneta will play Drew Boley, an aspiring rock star in the late '80s working in a bar on L.A.'s legendary Sunset Strip. Yup, Hough plays his love interest, a Kansas girl who moves to Hollywood with dreams of becoming a star.
Boneta is studying performance footage of Mick Jagger, Axl Rose and Steve Perry for inspiration. He still hasn't seen Rock of Ages on Broadway. "Adam said, 'You know what? That's good,'" Boneta said. "I'm going to do my interpretation of what I think Drew Boley is. I'm just going to have fun."
Tom Cruise also happens to be in the movie, too. "I was at the recording studio listening to a duet that Julianne and I did, and all of a sudden, Tom walks in and I'm like, 'Hi, Mr. Cruise. How are you?' And then Adam asks, 'Hey, Tommy, do you want to listen to Diego and Julianne's duet?' He was like, 'Yeah, if it's OK with you.' I'm like, 'Um, sure.'
"After the song he came up to me and congratulated me," he continued. "He was really nice."
Boneta may not even be old enough to drink yet, but he says he's well acquainted with classic rock. "All of my influence comes from these guys because my parents were big on playing that music," he said. "I'd go to school and would be like, 'Hey guys, do you know who Freddie Mercury is and Queen?' And they're just like, 'No, we listen to Britney Spears.'"
Shooting begins next month in Miami.