Josie and the Pussycats Stars Studied Hard

Rachael Leigh Cook, Tara Reid, and Rosario Dawson didn't have to write rock songs — and didn't really have to fully perform them. But for the actresses to look like the rock stars they portray in Josie and the Pussycats, which opens in theaters tonight, the three signed up for music lessons.

"In the first week the drum teacher was like, 'Oh my God, we're in serious trouble, you suck,'" says Reid, whose fiancé, Carson Daly, also makes a cameo appearance in the film — as himself.

Reid says she practiced at her kit 15 hours a week in the two months before filming. "I couldn't coordinate my hands. You really have to be able to move your hands and your feet at different times. And I started doing it and then I got faster at it and it was fun. It's so therapeutic and I've got little muscles for the first time in my life, cause I was throwing down so hard."

Cook, who lip-syncs to the vocals of Letters to Cleo singer Kay Hanley, also did her best to look adept at guitar — though she says her abilities don't run deep.

"I can play part of the chorus to 'Layla,' — that's pretty exciting … and that's about it," Cook says. "I don't remember anything else."

Dawson was happy with the progress she made on bass — so much so that she didn't want to give it up.

"They went into my room and took the bass and the amp," she explains. "And all my picks I had around my house — and took it while I was at work. The last day, the day we did the concert, after I came home from work it was gone. [They said], 'Well you're not going to need this anymore.' And I'm like, 'We're on the cover of Entertainment Weekly holding the bass, like, why can't I have one?' So it really sucks, I'm going to have to buy one. I'm definitely getting a bass and I'm actually getting drums."

In all, the actresses learned to look like they were playing three songs before a camera. The studio wizardry of Kevin "Babyface" Edmonds got it all to click on the soundtrack, which moved up to No. 82 on this week's Billboard Top 200 albums chart. Adam Duritz from Counting Crows and Jane Weidlin from real-life girl group the Go-Go's also contributed to the collection.

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