It’s a job some ladies would do without payment: playing one of the strip club patrons stuffing singles into the thongs of the stars of “Magic Mike.”
PopcornBiz put the questions to the film’s stars – Channing Tatum, Matthew McConaughey, Alex Pettyfer, Joe Manganiello, Matt Bomer, Adam Rodriguez and the lone lady, Cody Horn – and director Steven Soderbergh: just how carried away did the extras get on set when the guys worked their routines?
Matt Bomer: I think those were all happy accidents when those happened. It was a part of the world, and if they wanted to lick you in certain places or touch you, or whatever, it was welcome. It was just a part of the world we were creating.
Channing Tatum: Gotta commit!
Adam Rodriguez: We were really grateful to them for that. You need that. You’re going out there and you want that audience screaming to help you know that you're doing the right thing, and they did that for us.
Tatum: Actually, McConaughey said something yesterday: they were there for a while with us and they became sort of our friends. You'd get off stage and they'd go, 'That was a really good one. Really, that part where you did the thing, that was great.'
Matthew McConaughey: Yeah, they were crazy during the dances and then afterwards they'd become very motherly, like wanting to take care of us. 'That was a good one. You done good today,' especially after a few weeks.
Joe Manganiello: I mean, they were excited. I will say that. And that is definitely evidenced when you see the film. We had a wild time. I mean, it was really a good synergy between us and the crowds of extras. Actually, I would get back to my trailer and I'd take my costume off and dollar bills would fall out.
Alex Pettyfer: The people watching us were so great and gave us so much, I guess, support. Channing is one of the best dancers I've seen, but then there's another level where Matthew McConaughey comes on stage and from the girls point of view, they don't sit anymore. They just go like that and rip off Matthew's thong and leave him in a pit of women, naked.
McConaughey: No. I snuck out of there. I even stayed somewhat on beat.
Tatum: He did, actually!
Steven Soderbergh: [in the movie] you can see that someone tore the string of the thong, and what happened is Matthew, to sort of get out of that situation, did a tuck and roll because of that. You were, come on…he was daring them to do something.
Cody Horn: I think that with women, when they go to strip clubs it's more of a group thing and they go for a spectacle. It's kind of like going to a Broadway show in that way, and when men go, Alex implied – although I have no personal experience with this and I'm not saying that he does either –
Pettyfer: I love the fact that you're pointing out that I go to female strip clubs.
Horn: No, this was a question that came up yesterday, and your answer was that for the men it's more personal, it's one-on-one. They go to have a moment. That's all I'm saying.
McConaughey: My wife now/girlfriend at the time actually showed up, snuck in quite a few days and she gave me the thumbs up and said, 'Go for it, baby.' So she's going to like it. My dance routine, was I nervous? I was very nervous, yeah. Before going out on the stage, to dance even if you’re not taking your clothes off, for everyone live is kind of nerve-wracking, but then knowing you have to strip down, very nerve-wracking. Then after doing it once…God, I wanted to get up there and do it again! That was a lot of fun.
Tatum: My wife married a stripper and so she knew what she was getting into, and she made a lap dance a prerequisite for the marriage [NOTE: ‘Magic Mike’ was inspired by Tatum’s own teenage experiences as a male stripper]. I just respect these guys for jumping into the thong with both feet and out onto the stage, because I've done it before and it was still nerve-wracking for me. I can't imagine what these guys had to go through. Bomer had to go first. I felt so bad for that.
McConaughey: As far as trusting wardrobe, it is one of the larger leaps of faith to trust a thong.
Tatum: And sometimes they completely betray you.
McConaughey: It weighs like what a dollar bill weighs. It weighs nothing, and you're going, 'This is the only protection…at the end of this performance, this is the only protection that I have.' So, the first time you put it on you're going, 'What is every possible angle I can be in’ and ‘I gotta check to see if it's really covered, everything is covered.' You don't understand how it is and for the most part it is.
Bomer: I think this whole experience opened all of us up in some way. I remember being at my sister's wedding reception a month after we wrapped and I'd had a few drinks and all of a sudden I was doing body rolls on the dance floor. I realized, 'Matt, it's time to let go. You can’t take this with you. It’s already been captured on film.'
McConaughey: Let me say this on the competition side: We all got to see Channing dance for the first time so it was obvious: We were like, 'Okay, the best I can do is get second place.”
Manganiello: A very, very distant, distant second place. Chan is in a dancing movie. We're in a dry humping movie...I think if you're a smart, single guy you're going to go see this on a Friday or Saturday night, because guess who's going to be in the theater?
Tatum: And if you're really smart you'll wear a fireman's outfit and you just might go home with a few numbers – or even better, someone.