Matthew McConaughey Interview For Steven Soderbergh’s ‘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.
Your known for going shirtless in many of your movies, with ’Magic Mike’ you get to go a step further?
Matthew McConaughey: Yeah (laughs). It was a bit different, I had to learn to drop the trousers. I’d been doing character work on this thing for years (laughs). I knew it was coming, I knew it was out there in the horizon (laughs). And then I got that call and was like, “That’s it! I’m ready.” I can go down low now (laughs), “Let’s get the leathers and lets get them off.”
Your character in ‘Magic Mike,‘ he’s a man with a vision….?
Matthew McConaughey: Oh yeah. Dallas is a lot of things but primarily a businessman, and he’s always on the lookout for the next big thing. But the guys, these are Dallas’ guys, they’re his boys. Mike is his main man. I’d say he met Mike six or seven years ago and Mike’s the kid who just had it. That was probably his first guy on. He had some ideas, recruited some more guys on. He thinks of it as an extended family, he’s somewhat of a father figure, he’s somewhat of a cult-head at times. Dallas is the creator of this thing that they’ve done, this exquisite Revue. Following his vision, he’s got the hottest Revue going and now he’s thinking a lot bigger than that, you know? He wants to move to Miami, a larger piece of real estate, he wants to take over South Beach. At the same time, he wants to spread it around the globe, spread content….he would want to go astro if he could (laughs).
With the nature of this movie, I can imagine it being something you have to dig right into and be fearless?
Matthew McConaughey: Yeah, no doubt. With just what it is, you know? A stripper movie. That world is already carny, the sub-culture if you like. It immediately brings that to it, “OK, this is going to be wild!” The literal stage of getting on that stage is the biggest leap. Because you can be in the back in the locker room, doing scenes while playing the character – but when go from behind that curtain and there‘s “action!” and you go onto the stage for the first time. That was one of the biggest buzzes I’ve had. It was like going on the mound and throwing the first pitch at a baseball game in front of 60,000 people. And I remember, even though he’s done it for real, Channing Tatum was a little cranked the first time he done it too.
What did you find the most challenging in the dance scenes….?
Matthew McConaughey: The big thing is the eyes, you’ve gotta lock in and own it (laughs). Then also trying to not mouth the song, or the lyrics. Because it’s a nervous tick…..it’s how you kind of keep a meter going. It helps you keep time when you mouth the lyrics. I was nervous though, I’ve never been on stage like that and I’ve never done choreographed dancing like that. It was a lot of fun though.
How did you approach your character with the help of Steven Soderbergh?
Matthew McConaughey: Steven Soderbergh, he’s cool man, a real cool guy. He’s doesn’t say much, he says what’s needed. One thing he did…. approaching ‘Magic Mike,’ we spoke very little. First thing he said was, “You really couldn’t make any wrong choices, there’s really no way to go wrong.” And the next thing he told me was, “He’s connected with the UFO’s man,” (laughs). That’s about all he said to me about this for two and half weeks. What that did for me was let me know, “OK, I’ve got to find my guy, get his identity, get him off the page. Then let then him fly.” Then when I came back and brought the ideas to Steven, he didn’t as much want to hear them, he wanted to see them. He’s great.
I can imagine getting to work with Steven being one of the appealing aspects of the project?
Matthew McConaughey: Yeah. Knowing that I was in the hands of somebody who’s got a real specific point of view, not that I knew exactly what the point was going to be. He’s a real artist, a real shaper. And also knowing that it wasn’t going to be the typical male stripper movie. Very early on, I also got this about Steven Soderbegh: he likes funny. There were places where myself and other people pushed it into those things in terms of the drugs, the sex and things, but he was like, “No, come back a little bit.” Also, just the way he shot some of the dancers, where he would stop the camera, in a tasteful yet suggestive way (laughs). A lot of directors would have shot it differently.
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