Akerman hopes to rock with role alongside cruise & co

models rarely make THE GRADE AS ACTresses. BUT A MOVIE WITH tOM CRUISE MAY CHANGE THAT for malin ackerman, says Paul Byrne

It's never easy for models when they turn to the world of acting. Most people assume they just won't be able to handle the multi-task of walking and talking.

It's not always the case, of course, with the likes of Cameron Diaz, Charlize Theron and Jessica Lange proving they're far more than just a pretty face with a smokin' hot body.

For Swedish babe Malin Akerman, the journey from the catwalk to the Hollywood Walk Of Fame began in 1997, when she played an avatar in the TV series Earth: Final Conflict. In 2001's Shotgun Love Dolls, she played Rock Candy. Clearly, Akerman was happy to play the babe. She was just putting herself through college, after all, on her way -- thanks to her parents separating early on -- to becoming a child psychologist. How is that working out then? "Still getting there," smiles the 34-year-old actress. "I just need to do about another 50 movies and I should have enough money for college.

"I think it's like most things in life, acting kind of happened to me whilst I was busy making other plans. I certainly didn't take it seriously, starting out.


"But then the roles got more interesting and I got more interested. By the time I had seven or eight roles under my belt, I suddenly realised, hmm, I'm actually enjoying this. So, I moved to LA ... "

Sure, in movies like Harold & Kumar Get The Munchies and TV shows such as Entourage, Akerman was still playing the babe, but, with 2007's The Heartbreak Kid -- playing the psycho bride opposite Ben Stiller's sucker-punched groom -- she just about stole the show.

"I definitely had a lot of fun on that movie," nods Akerman, "and it was a turning point. For the first time, I felt I could actually bite into a role. I learnt a lot on The Heartbreak Kid and it was really the first time I felt really satisfied with what I'd done."

Shame it wasn't a hit then. In fact, for all her sterling work, Akerman has yet to 'open' a movie, as they say in Tinseltown.

Which means Akerman will be hoping the star-heavy cast, including Russell Brand, Paul Giamatti, Alec Baldwin and Tom Cruise, will help make this month's Rock Of Ages the monster hit everyone expects it to be.

Set during the glam-metal craze that swept America in the early 1980s, Julianne Hough and Diego Boneta play the out-of-towners who meet on Sunset Strip as they pursue their Hollywood dreams.

Cruise plays the boy's rock idol, Stacee Jaxx. Brand plays club manager Lonny Barnet. Baldwin is club owner Dennis Dupree. And Akerman plays the aptly named Constance Sack.

"That 1980s' LA scene is a world that's just ripe for comedy but you've also got this great glam metal.

"I think we've all had a moment in front of our bedroom mirror where we wanted to be rock stars, and making Rock Of Ages gave everyone involved a chance to kind of live out that fantasy. On screen. So, you know, it's there forever."

Rock Of Ages hits Irish cinemas on June 15