About The Production (Continued)
It's Raining Men!
While giving audiences a window into Mike's growing awareness, the film also
them into the hot seat-front row center-as the Kings of Tampa storm the stage
and Adam joins
his newfound brothers-in-arms: six guys at the top of their game, representing a
range of mancandy
archetypes anyone will recognize, whether or not they've ever been to a strip
Joining Tatum and Pettyfer in the spotlight are Matt Bomer, starring as Ken,
signature act is emerging from a toy box as every girl's perfect Ken Doll come
to life; Joe
Manganiello as Big Dick Richie, known for an act requiring no props apart from
what he was
born with; Kevin Nash as the wild man Tarzan, who swoops across the stage on a
Adam Rodriguez as the suave Tito, who provides a Latin flavor to the show.
"All the guys were great and each one brought something specific. We wanted
who could improv and be funny, not necessarily guys who could dance," says
Soderbergh. As it
turned out, aside from Tatum, none of the new recruits had that kind of dance
were all natural athletes who could draw on either stunt training or musical
while Nash, portraying the veteran of the group, has more than 20 years of
to his credit. Even so, nothing could fully prepare them for that moment when
the pants fly off.
Rodriguez, who packed an intensive cardio-and-weights regimen into his "CSI:
schedule to prepare, confides with a laugh, "My first thought upon reading the
script was that it
sounded like a good time. I could relate to the humor and the camaraderie. My
was, 'Damn, I'm out of shape. I have a lot of work to do!'"
"I knew if I took this part I'd have to go to places that weren't
comfortable, but it's one of
those jobs where you just have to check your inhibitions at the door and dive
in," Bomer says.
It helped that everyone else was in the same boat. Indeed, standing around in
robes, discussing waxing and tanning techniques, was a great equalizer. As
acknowledges, "There's nothing like shared potential humiliation to bond people,
bonded quickly. They all came in to watch one another do their solo routines and
and they were so generous with each other-no competitiveness, no egos. Watching
through those routines in front of 150 female extras and the entire film crew
was awesome. They
all jumped off that cliff."
Following each anxious debut, the actors found it got progressively easier
Manganiello notes, they actually started looking forward to the next
opportunity. "Even after
working on our routines for weeks, that first take is a shock. You're
concentrating on the
choreography, trying to hit your marks, and then when it's over you want to go
right back out
there again. The only thing I can compare it to is skydiving: as soon as it's
over you want to do
it again because you realize you missed the first three seconds. And those women
crazy. We'd go home at night still buzzing from the energy off that crowd."
The extras, armed with stacks of singles and a mandate to go nuts, were
getting the actors pumped for their big numbers. Nash, who has performed to
understands how vital that interaction can be. "With the whole group
participation aspect of a
show like this, I think there's a collective chemistry that happens. There's an
rush you get from a live audience."
To choreograph the shows, the filmmakers enlisted Alison Faulk of The Beat
who worked on "Magic Mike" between supervising choreography for Britney Spears'
Madonna's world tours. Faulk did her homework by going to lots of clubs and
getting a feel not
only for the dancing but for "what works with the audiences. What do they
respond to? What do
"It's not just about the dance moves; it's about them looking sexy, feeling
creating a fantasy," she offers. "Each routine has a little romance behind it, a
It's all in the tease. I think women know it's supposed to be fun and a little
Starting the cast with basic moves like body rolls and hip circles, then
staging and spacing, she ultimately prepared them for a series of comic skits
tailored to each of
their characters, as well as several group numbers, including the rousing
Raining Men." The goal was to make them look sharp and put on an exciting show,
but not be
so highly polished as to make it unrealistic.
Pettyfer, admittedly the least practiced dancer of the bunch, cites how his
inexperience helped define the character: "I was initially very shy and didn't
want to move. But
Alison came up with these great routines with only a few steps. It ended up
building in that Adam thinks he's a better dancer than he really is, but it's
his freshness and his
willingness to give the audience what they want that works for him."
Adam's make-or-break moment, when he is unexpectedly thrown onto the stage to
opening beats of Madonna's "Like a Virgin," was more true to life than audiences
"That was the one scene we purposely didn't block," says Pettyfer. "They didn't
even tell me
the song they were going to play. They just said go out there and do it. After
those first few
moments, taking off my hoodie and feeling the crowd reacting, I thought, "This
is pretty cool.'"
Following his auspicious intro, the Kid later returns to the boards more
decked out as a boxer and then a cowboy. Matt Bomer's additional personas
include not only the
Ken Doll but a white-coated Dr. Love; Joe Manganiello does a silhouette dance as
businessman and also nails the ever-popular fireman routine, as well as a golden
springs to life; and Adam Rodriguez introduces a sly merengue in a Havana Nights
later appears in Navy whites as an officer and not-so-gentlemanly gentleman.
The most demanding and acrobatic sequences fell to Tatum, including a
performance that has him spinning fast on a hand loop and executing a standing
back-flip off the
stage, a stunt he'd always loved. "It's doesn't matter exactly what you're doing
out there if
you're having fun," he states.
Proving that point, Matthew McConaughey threw his leather vest into the ring
despite the fact that he'd never danced on stage before and even though, in the
Dallas didn't perform. McConaughey recounts with characteristic good humor, "I
couldn't be in
this movie and not at least give it a shot. C'mon, I had to try it. If I never
got out there and
danced in a thong I would surely regret it." He proved remarkably adept and
creative in helping
to develop his routine, and Dallas's surprise solo late in the film truly
defines the striptease
mindset by capitalizing on an hour of will-he-or-won't-he speculation.
Am I Magic Mike right now, talking to you? I'm not my lifestyle.
As much as Mike instinctively saw potential in the Kid, he sees something
else in the
Kid's sister, Brooke, who starts to take up more of the time he spends away from
the club and its
regulars. Unlike the women he's used to meeting, Brooke is strong, sharp,
interested, though not falling for him so easily. Most intriguing to him, Tatum
doesn't just roll over and say, 'Gee, Mike, you're awesome, you're such a great
challenges him. She wants to know who he really is."
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