Alex Pettyfer Interview For ‘Magic Mike’
A dramatic comedy set in the world of male strippers, ‘Magic Mike’ is directed by Academy Award-winner Steven Soderbergh (Traffic, Ocean’s Eleven) and stars Channing Tatum in the title role. The film follows Mike (Tatum) as he takes a young dancer called The Kid (Alex Pettyfer) under his wing and schools him in the fine arts of partying, picking up women, and making easy money. Magic Mike seems like the perfect role model: he’s got a nice car, a nice apartment, and a seemingly endless supply of women. What’s his secret? He’s a male stripper, and when The Kid dives headlong into Magic Mike’s world, his mad dancing skills and hunger for excitement make for an unforgettable summer. Alongside Channing Tatum and Alex Pettyfer, ‘Magic Mike’ stars Matthew McConaughey, Matt Bomer, Joe Mangianello, Olivia Munn, Riley Keough, Cody Horn, Kevin Nash and Adam Rodriguez. ’Magic Mike’ arrives in cinemas June 29th in the US and July 11th in the UK.
Speaking to Matthew McConaughey and Channing Tatum, they were telling me how they created a back-story for their characters. Did you have one for Adam/The Kid?
Alex Pettyfer: Yeah. With Adam I came up with the back-story that in High School, he was a really promising American Football player. But he got into a fight with his coach, dropped out of school and went to live with his sister. He kinda has this jaded attitude towards everything. I think he really feels like he missed his opportunity. Then he starts working on construction with Channing Tatum’s Mike, sees that there’s some kind of….life with this guy, he looks up to him a little bit. And then with Mike, Magic Mike in the movie, he’s like the frontrunner, the showman. He’s the guy you come to see. He’s the guy. He’s the closest to Dallas. He’s like the lights outside of the Broadway show.
I can imagine this film being a challenge both mentally and physically, was that one of the things that intrigued you about ’Magic Mike’?
Alex Pettyfer: I think that’s definitely part of the reason why I wanted to dive in, because I was very scared about doing the movie – and also I wanted to work with Steven Soderbergh. But, yes, it’s kind of a huge challenge to act without clothes on (laughs). You can physically prepare for what we did, but mentally you can never fully prepare – I had never experienced it and neither had any of the other guys apart from Channing Tatum. First of all it was comforting knowing that we were all going through the same thing together. But physically, everyone wanted to get in shape, we all had dance lessons. There was actually one class where it was me, Kevin Nash and Adam Rodriguez, we’re trying to do this 4th of July dance. Where we co-ordinate with everyone and it’s like we have to step in-line and in-time, I actually have the video, which I’m not going to show – it will be really embarrassing if that gets out (laughs). It was certainly a challenge though.
Did your inexperience with dancing help define your character in ‘Magic Mike’?
Alex Pettyfer: Oh yeah. I was initially very shy and didn’t want to move. But Alison Faulk, our choreographer, she came up with these great routines with only a few steps. It ended up being character building in that Adam/The Kid 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. And his make-or-break moment, when he’s thrown onto the stage to the opening beats of Madonna’s ‘Like a Virgin,‘ that was the one scene we purposely didn’t block. 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.” (Laughs).
What was it like working with Matthew McConaughey as Dallas?
Alex Pettyfer: I was speechless when I saw Matthew McConaughey in ‘Magic Mike’ because he’s so f***ing good (Laughs)! In the movie, his character Dallas, he sees something in The Kid and their relationship builds on that. And I think The Kid sees Matthew McConaughey’s as a sort of father figure. He was great to work with, a lot of fun. All of the guys were; Channing Tatum, Matthew, Matt Bomer, Kevin Nash, Adam Rodriguez. We were all in it together, it really felt like that on set.
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