Earlier in the year, Campus Circle sat down with Channing Tatum for The Vow when not much was known about Magic Mike other than it was a movie loosely based on Tatum’s stint as a stripper. He reflected about just coming back from the set of the movie, and how it was wild to walk the streets he last walked as broke 19-year-old. While on the surface, Magic Mike just seems like fun, sexy men fare for the ladies, it does have depth.
Tatum portrays the titular Mike, an entrepreneur that combines work with pleasure as a stripper, trying to make enough money to start his own furniture design business. Mike was enjoying the perks of his night job, but when he takes the new guy, Adam “The Kid” (Alex Pettyfer), under his wing, he realizes that he might be outgrowing the “magic” of male stripping.
“So much of this movie is about getting out of this way station that has become our life that we thought was a pit stop on the way to achieving some bigger dreams,” reflects Adam Rodriguez, who plays Tito in the film.
However, this isn’t the case for all the men.
“Big Dick Richie doesn’t have bigger dreams,” Joe Manganiello jokes of his very, very well endowed character, who has a lot of the best numbers.
Tatum explains that some of the guys in this movie take on many jobs to get closer to achieving a goal, but let themselves get sidetracked by the lifestyle, something he has seen happen firsthand as a former stripper.
“Years sort of tick on as the party goes on; then seven years go by and you realize, ‘Wow, I am not any closer to my dream,’” he says. “At some point, the party got in your way and became your life. I think that’s happened to a lot of people; they just get sidetracked.”
Helming the film is director Steven Soderbergh (Traffic), who brought a lot of realism to the story of a young man’s struggle to make it in a tough economic environment while also attempting to have fun. While the movie will no doubt attract a largely female audience, Soderbergh clarified that the movie does have something to offer to the males as well.
“There might have been a concern for men having to see the film that the movie [is] driven more toward the female audience, [and] that there would be nothing in it for them for them to latch onto,” he said. “Of course, I knew that that wasn’t what I wanted. In fact, some of the issues that the characters are going through are issues all men confront. Men try to define themselves by what they do, and so if you’re dealing with a character that’s trying to figure that out, there is something there for guys too.”
Manganiello suggests that there might be another incentive for men to check out the flick: “If you’re a smart single guy, you’re going to see this on a Friday or Saturday night because guess who’s going be in the theater…”
Channing added, “If you’re really smart, you’ll wear a fireman’s outfit. You might go home with a few numbers, or even better, someone.”
And as far as the audiences who complain that if a movie about female strippers were made, it would be demeaning toward women, Tatum counters, “We’re just trying to do our part to objectify men for the first time in movies.”
While the ladies are sure to have a good time in theaters, the real lucky girls are the ones who got to be on set, including Cody Horn, Olivia Munn and Riley Keough. Matthew McConaughey, who plays the fearless leader Dallas, regales, “They became our friends. They were crazy during the dances, and then in between takes they’d become motherly, like, ‘That was a great one! You done good!’”
Even if you weren’t fortunate enough to spend months filming with these guys, you’re sure to enjoy all the eye candy when you see them on the big screen. Matt Bomer (“Blue Collar”), who plays Ken, was a dream in his “Ken” doll performance, Manganiello was smoking hot as a fireman, and the “Raining Men” number was one of the most visually stunning numbers of any movie I’ve seen.
Although you may be dying to see what’s underneath them, the costumes were truly an essential part of the movie. McConaughey explained that they played huge part of the undertaking of immersing audiences in the world.
“As far as wardrobe, it is a large leap of faith to trust a thong,” he jokes. “I had to put it on and walk around, and try to have normal conversations. You have to talk about football or what you ate last night, something!”
“It’s only weird if you make it weird. It doesn’t have to be weird,” Soderbergh interjected.
“There is nothing weird about Kevin Nash in a thong talking to you about Picasso’s cubism years,” McConaughey concluded.
Perhaps the costumes were a little too immersive: Once the cast engrossed themselves in the world of stripping, some had trouble letting go, even after the shoot was over. Bomer recounted, “I remember being at my sister’s wedding reception a few months after we wrapped, and after a few drinks, all of a sudden I was doing body rolls on the dance floor, and I realized, ‘Matt, it’s time to let go.’”
Channing suggested that perhaps him and his cast mates should make use of their new skills before completely letting go of their male stripper mentality.
“Can we enter some strip competitions? Some strip-offs?,” he joked.
Whether or not the cast reunites for another round of scintillating performances remains to be seen, but until then they can reflect on all the risqué moments that took place during filming. The guys recalled a scene in which McConaughey ends up in a pit of women naked.
“These women lost their minds!,” exclaimed Tatum of the scene.
And so will women around the world when they see Magic Mike in theaters.
Magic Mike is now playing.