Julianne Hough, Diego Gonzalez Boneta

Valerie Macon/Getty Images, Jason Merritt/Getty Images

I'll get to Tom Cruise's amazing musical transformation in a sec, but first let's talk about Julianne Hough's new leading man.

His name is Diego Boneta.

Who's that you ask?

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He's the hottie Mexican singer-actor who just landed the lead role in Rock of Ages, director Adam Shankman's movie adaptation of the hit Broadway musical. He's playing Drew Boley, a young upstart who moves to Los Angeles in late '80s with dreams of becoming a rock star. He also falls in love with an aspiring singer from Kansas named Sherri (Hough).

"It's that feeling you get when you realized you've discovered lightening in a bottle," Shankman just told me about Boneta's audition. "It reminds me of when Zac Efron auditioned for Hairspray, Channing Tatum for Step Up and Liam Hemsworth auditioned for The Last Song. When the guy walks in, the guy walks in!"

Shankman said he didn't know that Boneta was a Latin music star until after he auditioned. He's also had bit parts on Pretty Little Liars and 90210. "I have since seen him on stage and in his concerts, and he totally owns the room," Shankman said.

As for Cruise, Shankman said he's been "singing five hours a day" to prepare for his work as musician Stacee Jaxx.

What should we expect? "Right now," Shankman said, "It's this brilliant mashup, it seems, of Axl Rose, Keith Richards and Jim Morrison."

He also confirmed that Amy Adams is still in talks to play a journalist who ends up in bed with Cruise's character.

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