Joe Manganiello & Matt Bomer 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 Manganiello, 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.
With the nature of ‘Magic Mike,’ I can imagine it being something you have to dig right into and be fearless?
Joe Manganiello: You really have to. I don’t think there’s a 99% on this one. Especially when you show up on the first day and Matthew McConaughey is wearing a yellow, spandex holster top and bike shorts (laughs). You go, “I had it right thinking to come in at 100%!”
Matt Bomer: That was the first thing that Steven Soderbergh said to me, pretty much, “Jump off the cliff and I’ll catch you.” And I think when somebody of that calibre says that to you, you trust them and realise that you’re gonna have to go, literally and figuratively, whole hog (laughs). If I’m going to play a stripper, there’s only a few directors I would do it with and he’s definitely at the top of that list because I know that he’s going to do it in the most authentic way possible. As soon as I knew he was on board, and that I was going to work with the guys in the cast, it was a no brainer. 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.
Having someone like Steven Soderbergh at the helm must have helped immensely, on a film where, at first, many of you guys were out of your comfort zone doing the stripping scenes?
Matt Bomer: Definitely. It was a lot of work, but it was such an interesting story to me. And one that hadn’t been told in the way that I thought it could be. Once I knew Steven Soderbergh was directing it I was like, “This is going to be a blast.” It was terrifying though and all of us were going to have to step way out of our comfort zones, but it was definitely worth it. And Channing Tatum, I think he did such a great job of setting the tone on the set. Everyone felt special. And our choreographers were great as well, they gave us all something we could do and feel like we were good at doing. I think that atmosphere making the film emboldened everyone, made us all want to do our best. Which is the best environment….not to be better than everyone else, but just to do the best as a whole.
Joe Manganiello: Yeah. And the script to me really read like an expose when I read it. So I thought that combined with Steven’s style, that it would be really interesting. I grew up working in clubs and bars, from a very young age, so it was like, “OK, so we’re gonna tell this story.” But then when the guys got together, we kind of realised, “Man, there’s a whole bunch going on that wasn’t on that original script. And this is like ‘Animal House’ funny, ‘The Hangover‘ funny with the guys.” I think that added a whole another level to it.
Was it daunting going on stage in front of the huge crowds of extras, with them going wild?
Joe Manganiello: The first time you get up on that stage, the first time you’re just trying to nail the choreography, you’re trying to making sure you’ve got this here, this came off here, you step here, you’re in time with the music. But then as soon as you’re done and you come off that stage, you’re like, “Get this back on me, I’ve gotta get up there,” (laughs). There’s such an energy to it, such a funness to it.
Matt Bomer: Yeah. It was definitely an endorphin rush but it was terrifying, certainly, at the same time. Channing Tatum just done such a great job of being so supportive of everybody from day one. He was always open to any questions we had. To me it was this incredible bonding experience because we’re all taking these risks together, you know? It was electric.
How was it off set with you guys while you were filming ‘Magic Mike’? I understand that when you didn’t have to be on set shooting, if someone was filming an individual scene, you would all still be there to support each other.
Joe Manganiello: Yeah. A lot of that is because we were laughing so hard (laughs), you didn’t want to miss it. It was the funniest thing you’d seen in your life. For example, I knew Matt was working on his Ken routine, but I hadn’t seen it yet. So I’m like, “When is he going on? OK, I’ve gotta get there. I’ve got to see Dr. Love,” (laughs). You had to see it all because it was like a circus. On ‘Magic Mike,’ it was a completely unique experience where everyone was out of their trailer, on set at all times, watching what everyone else was doing, laughing hysterically, high-fiving, screaming. There was a real sense of camaraderie on ‘Magic Mike,’ and I think the dance moves were what brought all that together.
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