Cher Bumps and Grinds in “Burlesque,” Dreams of Jackass Role

When she walks into a suite at the Four Seasons hotel, a black sweater studded with gold sequins wilting off her milky shoulder and skin tight black pants revealing the body of a 20-year-old, the entire press corps collectively gasps, then sighs lovingly, "Cher."

Ladies and gentlemen; we are in the presence of greatness.Lest we not forget, this is the woman who played God on "Will & Grace."

Taking a break from her blockbuster Las Vegas show, Cher is promoting "Burlesque," her return to the big screen after a six-year absence, a film her co-star Stanley Tucci calls, "Gay Fantasia." Directed by Steven Antin, brother of Pussycat Dolls founder Robin Antin, Cher and Christina Aguilera star in this story of a small-town girl (Aguilera, in her big screen debut) who moves to Hollywood for her shot at stardom and finds it while working in a burlesque club run by a former dancer (Cher). Tucci, who we would happily watch read the phone book, works his usual magic as the club's stage manager while Cam Gigandet and "Grey's Anatomy" star Eric Dane supply the man meat.

It's a lush, beautifully photographed musical filled with show-stopping song-and-dance numbers, that calls to mind movies like "Gypsy," "Chicago," and "La Cage aux Folles" with just a hint of "Showgirls" (in the funny, campy way minus the sleaze).

Asked why she stepped away from an acting career that earned her wide critical acclaim for iconic roles in films like "The Witches of Eastwick," "Mask," and her Oscar-winning turn in "Moonstruck," Cher takes a pull from a Big Glup-sized iced coffee, shrugs and says simply, "I forgot. Nothing came to me that I liked, except a part in 'Mamma Mia,' which I was on the road and couldn't do. I've been busy, it's not like I've been a shut-in, but I forgot that I like acting so much. "

In July 2011 she'll be heard supplying the voice of a giraffe in Happy Madison's feature, "The Zookeeper," but if Cher has her druthers, her next role will have her going toe-to-toe with a Jackass.

"There's the movie with Johnny Knoxville that I'm really interested to do, called 'The Dropout.' It's very dumb, very 14-year-old boy. But I love it. I love him too."

"Burlesque," featuring Cher's effortlessly charming performance, a reminder of just how talented she is, opens November 24. 

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