Did any of the ladies playing the club patrons take their roles too seriously?
Matt Bomer: “Yeah, 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.”
So, that helped to inform your performance?
Adam Rodriguez: “Absolutely.”
Channing Tatum: “Very much so. 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.”
What was it like to work on a movie that looks at what it means to be a man these days? Channing’s character has to become a man, to grow up.
Alex Pettyfer: “What’s it like to be a man? It’s kind of interesting. Oh, God, I don’t know.”
Adam Rodriguez: I think so much of what the story is about is getting out of this waystation that we’re all in that has become our life. We thought that it was a pit stop on the way to achieving some bigger dreams, because all of the guys in the movie have bigger dreams, whether it’s Dallas or any of the characters.”
Joe Manganiello: “Big Dick Richie doesn’t have bigger dreams.”
Matt Bomer: “That’s true. He knows what his big dream is.”
Channing Tatum: “It’s less about the male dream than about the female dream for Big Dick Richie.”
Joe Manganiello: “This is the best place for him. The safest place for the rest of the world. ‘Ma, I made it!’ But I think it’s about club life. It’s about being trapped in this life. It’s a very attractive, shiny place to be and I think that people get stuck in it and years go by. I think the Kevin Nash character is the perfect example. He’s kind of the Keith Richards of male strippers. He’s figured out the chemistry. He’s a lifer. He’s in his fifties. He’s still there. He’s going to OD every other day, get that straight, but that’s it. You go in there as this fresh-faced kid, probably underage and you wake up 20 years later going, ‘What the hell did I do?’ I think that’s what’s at the heart of it.”
Channing Tatum: “I think everybody either knows somebody or has experienced it themselves, whether they did or didn’t graduate college, afterwards you’re like, ‘Okay, what do I do now?’ You have the dreams that you want to do and then you have to do other jobs until you can get to that dream. Mike, and I think a lot of these guys, just sort of fell into this thing and it was fun and years just sort of ticked on as the party was happening. Then all of a sudden you’re like, ‘Wow, it’s seven years later and I don’t really have very much to show for it. I’m not any closer to my dream.’ At some point the party had just gotten away and it became your life. I think that’s happened to a lot of people. They just get sidetracked.”
Channing and Matthew, you both had some great solo dances. Did you have any reservations about the lack of clothes? And are your wives lucky enough to get some private dances?
Channing Tatum: “My wife married a stripper and so she knew what she was getting into and she made that a prerequisite for the marriage. Look, 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 racking for me. I can’t imagine what these guys had to go through. Bomer had to go first. I felt so bad for that. I was like, ‘Maybe I should go first.’ Everybody just committed. Every single person up here just went for it, and I wish we had time in the movie to show everybody’s dance because everyone worked so hard on them. It’s a humbling thing to get up there and you’re left with very little to the imagination in front of almost 300 people. It’s very, very nerve racking.”
Matthew McConaughey: “As far as trusting wardrobe, it is one of the larger leaps of faith to trust a thong. It weighs…”
Channing Tatum: “And sometimes they completely betray you.”
Matthew 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.”
Channing Tatum: “The most part.”
Matthew McConaughey: “I said this yesterday, but I had to put on the thong and kind of walk around and try to have normal conversations. You have to talk about football or what you ate last night, something. Then that’s what’s funny, and then you lean against a wall, like, ‘Now I’m just hanging out, man,’ to get comfortable with it because the first time you put it on your body kind of contorts and you’re like, ‘I need straighten up, my shoulders back or something, hips out.’ It is somewhat unnatural. Channing would be there just talking about what’s going on in the scene with Soderbergh. He’s in his red thong, just working it out, behind the scenes producerial work.”
Steven Soderbergh: “Channing had a great phrase about all of that because I felt, one of the appeals of it to me was if everybody is dressed like that every conversation is funny. There’s no wrong answer. Anybody who starts having a serious conversation while they’re wearing a thong, it’s going to be funny. But you said also, when you first got into it, you’re mantra was, ‘It’s only weird if you make it weird.’”
Channing Tatum: “It’s true, very, very true.”
Steven Soderbergh: “So, that was the attitude that everybody took, which is it doesn’t have to be weird if you don’t want it to be weird.”
Matthew McConaughey: “There’s nothing weird about Kevin Nash in a thong, talking to you about Picasso’s cubism years.”
Channing Tatum: “What’s weird about that?”