Daily Telegraph- 15.03.2001
Jon Bon Jovi, rock 'n' role

The frontman is now the leading man. Jon Bon Jovi, the occasional rock star who's been increasingly swayed by a film career, is in Mexico, plying away at his first headlining movie role. 
``It's very different to music, where you write it, produce it, record it and market it,'' Bon Jovi says. 

``With a film, you do your part and you leave.

But this has been very much a building-block scenario for me. Any actor has to start somewhere.

``I never asked for more than I deserved or could handle and, given this is my ninth movie, I guess I've gained enough of a resume and enough respect to be able to handle the situation.

``I'm just a student of it,'' Bon Jovi says. ``I couldn't shine Russell Crowe's shoes, or Sean Penn's or Tom Cruise's or Brad Pitt's, but I'm not afraid to give it a shot.'' 

In that, Bon Jovi has laid out his band's agenda, lyrically and literally -- identify, chase and live the dream -- and applied it to his film ambitions.

Bon Jovi is south of the US border, playing a vampire hunter, in a film produced by horrormeister John Carpenter, craftsman of Halloween and The Thing. The new film's working title is Los Muertos: Day Of The Dead.

As an actor, Bon Jovi has been widely praised for performances of understatement. He credits it to the teachings of method actor guru Konstantin Stanislavsky.

This time last year, Bon Jovi was wrapping up his latest album Crush. ``I can't rap and I can't dance like a Backstreet Boy,'' Bon Jovi said back then, ``so we'll see how this record goes.''

It sold. And has sold 6.8 million records to date. Crush earned Bon Jovi, for the first time in his 20-year-career, a Grammy nomination for best rock album.

``I didn't bother to go to the Grammys, nor did I have any desire to go. I've never thought much of the Grammys as a whole, when you think they've lauded Milli Vanilli and the Starland Vocal Band, and gave the album of last year to Steely Dan.

``I think it's about who you know, when it comes to the Grammys. It really doesn't have a lot to do with the views of the record-buying public.

``Honest to God, the opportunity to make records is way better than going to those cheesy awards shows.''

Bon Jovi doesn't know where his band sits on the current pop spectrum. Nor does he care.

``I couldn't do a duet with a Backstreet Boy or Eminem, in order to gain popularity.

``I don't mean any disrespect to my idols, like Elton [John, who did a duet with Eminem at the Grammys] and Steve Tyler [of Aerosmith, who teamed with Britney Spears and `N Sync at the Super Bowl] because I really look up to both of them.

``But you know what?'' Bon Jovi says. ``If asked to do the same sort of the thing, I'd rather not.

``My hero was Southside Johnny [a solo act, and frontman with the Asbury Dukes], who didn't give a f....

``Or Bruce Springsteen. He never, ever compromised and he did what he did. If you liked what he did, good. If you didn't, that's good, too.''

Bon Jovi, one of the only mega-platinum rock stars still standing from the last two decades of the 20th century, figures he's earned some respect, even if it's grudgingly.

``I don't need this band to make a living. It's a great living, it's a great life, but I don't need it.

The guys in the band have other outlets, I have other outlets, so the records and the tours, they are absolutely not motivated by the bucks.

``I don't care about the money. I go out there to have fun. Then I go home. And that's exactly what this is about. It has nothing to do with selling more millions of units for the record company. I don't care.''

bon jovi plays a one-off australian concert at colonial stadium in melbourne on march 24. also on the bill are jimmy barnes, grinspoon, the mavis's, primary and zed. proceeds from the show will go to state emergency services and australian volunteer firefighters around the country.