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NEW YORK, NY - JUNE 12:  Mia Michaels attends The Friars Club and Friars Foundation Honor of Tom Cruise at The Waldorf=Astoria on June 12, 2012 in New York City.  (Photo by Larry Busacca/Getty Images) Mia Michaels.

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When Mia Michaels Grabbed Tom Cruise by the Short and Curlies

What's it like to turn Tom Cruise into a rock icon? Nobody knows that better than Mia Michaels, who was hired by Rock of Ages director Adam Shankman (whom she knows well from So You Think You Can Dance) to choreograph Cruise's moves as debauched hair-metal singer Stacee Jaxx. "I watched him transform physically from being a classic sexy man into a rock star," Michaels told Vulture this week at the Friars Foundation Gala honoring Cruise. "And it was awesome watching the transformation." How did Michaels get Cruise into character for his sexy duet with Malin Akerman to "I Want to Know What Love Is"? "My hands were all over him at all times, but when you're working, you don't think about that," confided Michaels. "My hands were inside his pants at one point, pulling him, pulling his pubes, and it was just part of the choreography. It was just very funny, because when you're in the dance, it doesn't matter. It's about if it's right, and if it is, let's go with it." Still, things were kept totally professional, right? Well, mostly: "I feel like I put every ex-boyfriend into Stacee Jaxx," Michaels laughed. "I swear to God, every single one of them."

Photo: Larry Busacca/Getty Images