From the 12th of July Steven Soderbergh’s movie “Magic Mike” will be in Dutch cinemas, two weeks after it opened in the United States. The media in the States are showing teasers with juicy details on the production, which is set in the world of male strippers.
Channing Tatum plays the title role. Tatum, who’s from 1980, started out as a very successful fashion model for labels such as American Eagle Outfitters, Emporio Armani, Abercrombie & Fitch, Nautica en Dolce & Gabbana. Following this, he made his acting debut with a part in “Coach Carter” in 2005, in which Samuel L. Jackson plays the basketball coach at a high school, who is banning his team from a competition because of their poor school results. Before working as a model Tatum started out as a dancer.
He performed in Miguel Royeca’s workout movie and also in the video clip of Ricky Martin’s “She Bangs,” both released in 2000. And even before becoming a dancer, when he was a broke eighteen-year old, he worked as a stripper in Tampa Florida, where the movie “Magic Mike” was shot too.
Those experiences have inspired “Magic Mike.” In an interview he did with the Sydney Morning Herald in 2010 he spoke about this phase in his life: “I did it for almost a year. I’ve lived a crazy life, for sure. It seemed like a fun thing to do at the time and I got out unscathed. It’s nothing I’m ashamed of and I’m not proud of it either. I wanted to talk about it in the beginning of my career but my publicist wouldn’t let me.”
At the same occasion he mentioned he would love to use his experiences for a movie: “Oh yeah. I’m going to be getting back in my thong [G-string] again,” he said. Because Tatum is about fifteen years older now he can’t play the inexperienced teenager anymore so in this movie he’s the veteran helping out The Kid. He shows this young stripper the nightlife, teaches him how to pick up women and how to make easy money. The English actor Alex Pettyfer, who also started out as a model, plays the part of The Kid.
Pettyfer is from 1990 and ranked no. 21 in Glamour’s review of sexiest men in 2009. He’s very sexy and he’s got seven tattoos, amongst which a Celtic Cross on his chest, and he can act! He’s been nominated for several awards and won at two occasions.
There are even more attractive men parading around in “Magic Mike” than just Channing Tatum and Alex Pettyfer. The two perform in club Xquisite, owned by a man called Dallas, played by Matthew McConaughey.
Dallas is a former stripper, about who The Hollywood Reporter said that “from the looks of the photo, he doesn’t take his retirement very seriously.”
In an interview with The Advocate McConaughey said the strip scene he did for the movie was his own idea: “It wasn’t in the script, but Soderbergh said in the beginning that if it felt right, I could strip at the end of the movie. I said, ‘I gotta dance, man.’ I would regret it for the rest of my life if I was in a male stripper movie and didn’t get up there and strip myself. At first it was scary as hell, but then it became like a drug, and I couldn’t wait to do it again.
Look, I love to dance, but I’ve never been a stripper. Channing’s one of the best hip-hop street dancers I’ve ever seen, and I didn’t want to challenge his style, so I worked on my own strengths. I also knew that my dance had to be the dirtiest. It had to be wonderfully filthy. That’s all me up there. I don’t need a stunt ass.” There are important supporting parts for Joe Manganiello and Matt Bomer. Manganiello, who’s very successful as the werewolf Alcide Herveaux from the third season of the vampire television series “True Blood,” is known in “Magic Mike” as a stripper called “Big Dick Richie.”
One of the blogging critics wondered: “Can you imagine in a film about male strippers what doesn’t make it to screen?” This implicitly expresses the presumption that we will not find out whether the nickname is justified. But a man is more that his manhood and Perez Hilton, the flamboyant gay blogger, who’s always into what’s new in Hollywood and the latest gossip, headlined one of his columns on “Magic Mike” that Channing Tatum thought “Straight Guys Would Love Joe Manganiello’s Naked Butt In Magic Mike!,” and then went on to quote Tatum: “With Joe Manganiello naked in a movie, I think even straight guys are going to be, ‘Sh-t, I need to see that. That man is a specimen.’”
And then there’s Matt Bomer as Ken. Just like McConaughey Bomer was initially “terrified” at the idea to have to strip in front of the camera.
But, he says, “That’s why I wanted to do it... it pushed the envelope and made my family go ‘What?’” With all these, and even other tasty gentlemen in the cast – like Adam Rodríguez, who’s mainly known as Eric Delko in the television series “CSI: Miami,” but who’s also a stripper in “Magic Mike” – you’d almost forget Magic Mike is also a dramatic comedy, in which Mike develops a crush on Paige (Cody Horn), The Kid’s sister.
But just like gay men purchased videos of the Chippendales during their heyday for the men and preferred to ignore the heterosexual facade, we leave commenting on the romantic content to other, more expert reviewers and just admit we’re primarily interested in the almost naked bodies and the impressive muscles.
It’s obvious that with so many barely clad gorgeous guys prancing around “Magic Mike” is worth a trip to the big screen.