Cape Town - It's one of the most anticipated films of the year. The boys are back with some new additions. The cast of Magic Mike XXL sat down and revealed all in this Q&A.
Ladies, can each of you share an anecdote or moment that was particularly memorable for you?
Andie Macdowell: Oh, wow. Anything? Well, we were shooting nights, and they had been shooting quite a while when I came in. I was terrified but pretending that I wasn't. I came in acting in the role of this crazy woman and I think that Amber Heard thought that really was who I was.
Amber Heard: Probably just that. I thought Andie was out of her mind. But that's a testament to how great she is. This movie … it's funny because the energy between everybody is palpable, both in the room and on set, and you can also see it on the screen. There's a strange truth represented in the characters and I picked up on everyone's personality coming through in amazing ways, despite the fact that you're acting—you know know, it's scripted.
Jada Pinkett Smith: During rehearsal time I got to get a special lap dance from Matt. Do you remember that, Matt? I think I got set up. I just wanted to watch his rehearsal, because I found out how well he sings. So I'm sitting there, and he comes out and he starts his routine and he came over to me and we had a little special moment. It was awesome.
The movie says a lot about male friendship. Can you talk about why it was important to have the friendship and the love these guys share in the movie?
Adam Rodriguez: I think it was just a natural byproduct of how we all felt about each other. It was the thing that you got a glimpse of in the first movie and I think it was partly the impetus for making a second one—there was a story there to be had.
You get a group of people in a room and you let them play, and get a chance to get to know each other, and sometimes magic just comes out of that. That’s what happened on the first movie. We all really made friends that we’ll have for the rest of our lives, and through that, through blowing each other up, as Chan said, there was just a whole lot of gold to be mined. And that came through in the movie just very naturally. I think it’s the skin that gets you in the movie and then it’s the humanity of these characters and their friendships that you actually end up falling in love with.
Matt Bomer: But I think you also have to give a lot of credit to Greg. I know that early on, Greg said, 'Look, we're going to get to the end of this movie and at the end, people are going to have tears in their eyes when they say goodbye to these guys.' And I was thinking, 'We're making a male stripper movie here. People are going to be crying in the male stripper movie?'
But I put that in the back of my head. I thought, 'Okay, just keep that in mind.’ And sure enough, when we got towards the end, man … whew! That last day was really hard. It was hard to say goodbye to my friends. And I think the ending was smart, too—to go out in this kind of Diner-esque way, where you don’t know what’s going to happen on Monday morning with these guys, but you care about them and you’re rooting for them. I think that that’s really just a tribute to Greg and the heart that he brings as a director to this project, which I think was such a perfect direction, and evolution from the first movie.
Adam: That last scene was the last one that we shot in the movie. It was the last day, the last scene.
Channing Tatum: Yeah, and then we started drinking.
Kevin Nash: And eating ice cream. [Laughs] Ice cream, carbs, and alcohol. [Laughs]
Channing, your dance moves just keep getting better and better in these movies, and all the guys do fantastic work. How long did you train and practice the choreography before you started shooting to get those routines down?
Channing: We had a big CGI budget and that's actually tWitch with my face on his body. Yeah, we had a good amount of time on this one. I don't know exactly the amount of days, but everybody showed up. Everybody came and was like, 'We're doing it this time.'
I think it was a little bit of an oversight on the first one, that we couldn't fit all the dance routines into the movie, so we kind of designed the way we filmed the dancing a little bit better so we could show them all, I guess. Because after you see one person go on stage and take his clothes off, the next one gets a little less interesting, because they all end the same.
But as far as the dance goes, I just wanted to blow it out of the box. The first one was kind of tethered to reality, and the real world of male revues are not all that interesting. They kind of suck, to be honest. I was like, 'If we’re going to do another one, I want it all to just go. I don’t want them to ever be able to do a fireman routine on any stage, ever, ever again.'
And I think all these guys brought their own thing to it. It was cool. It was fun to craft what they were really interested in doing.
For the everyday women that show up in this film, I think this may be the best happy ending in feature film history. What was the audition process like for the women who showed up and got a chance to experience that amazing happy ending?
Channing: Look, they were all just wildly well behaved. In the first film, they ripped Matthew McConaughey’s phone off of his body and that was not even a hundred of them. And I thought that almost 1 000 women was going to be uncontrollable. And then, I don't know, everybody was just really well behaved. I wish I had like an anecdote that was really crazy, but we just loved that they were there. And I think they were just really enjoying it because we didn’t rehearse on stage, so they didn’t get to see what was coming, in a way. They got to see it for the first time, every time. The way we shot it, we kind of piece mealed it out, so we didn’t do the whole thing all at once.
We just had fun and had fun with them, and that's it.
Can you talk about the epic routine at the end? Amber, I know you were acting, but your reaction was unbelievable. Can you just talk a little of the experience of filming that routine?
Amber: I wish I could take credit for a lot of those reactions. I mean, it was acting. But it kind of wasn't. With a lot of your reactions, that's genuine. I couldn't stop laughing. I laughed the entire time, I think, when I wasn't like scared to death. And it was all in good fun.
Channing: I think we actually filmed her reaction the first time that we showed her what the dance was going to be with the choreographer.
Amber: In rehearsal, they showed me the polite half-speed version of that dance. I didn't see it for real until there was hair and makeup and a thousand screaming extras surrounding us.
Stephen 'tWitch' Boss: Mind you, that was actually the first time that I met Amber. We were going through the routine and there was a part where it was slow enough for me to be like, 'Hey, I'm tWitch.' [Laughs]
Amber: I'm like, 'Oh, okay, nice to meet you.'
What was the vibe like on set between takes or during your off-time? Did you hang out or do any fun things to pass the time?
tWitch: You're kind of seeing it right now. It really was the reason to do the second one; you wouldn't even have to write anything. You just turn the cameras on. I know a lot of people come up and say, 'Oh, we just loved each other. We all really like hanging out and stuff.’ And I don't know, I haven't been on a movie where people would show up on their days off to watch and to support their friends. It just doesn't happen on movies, and ultimately it would happen every day on this thing.
Channing, can you talk about how all this came about?
Channing: Pretty much the only thing we knew was that people have to go to the first one to really even merit making a second one. And we couldn’t have any idea that the first one was going to do what it did. That’s why we made it for so little money. We were just kind of making a little independent movie. And then we won the lottery with it somehow.
After that, I think the only thing we knew that was creative left on the table was the convention and a few other stories that, I don't even know if they actually made it in. We knew Matt was going to sing, and that was about it. Then we had to start filling in and Greg really took the lead on that one.
This film, in some ways, is a wonderful homage to women, because the guys love the women and the women represented here are very strong, intelligent, beautiful women. So, in the process of making this, did any of you learn about what women might want in a man?
Donald Glover: With the scene I had, it was kind of a thing where I found out I got this and thinking, 'Would this be cool to a girl, if you just rapped to them, like a freestyle rap? Is that going to feel smooth?' And I think at the end of the day, what I found out after asking friends was that everybody just wants it to be a conversation. One thing my dad was always telling me when we were doing this was, 'You know, your mom taught me that you either want to be right or you want to be happy. And to be happy, it's got to be a conversation.'
And that’s everything that kind of happened in this film. We're dancing together—it's not me telling you what you want or you telling me. It's always something that’s going back and forth. I never saw it as just a lesson’s being learned so much as, 'We're all having fun. This isn't a scary thing. This is really cool.'
Even when there was a question about the girls being crazy and the convention scene, there was one scene where I’m dancing with a woman and her dress came up and I was like, 'Oh, I'm so sorry.' And she said, 'No, that was awesome. Keep going.' It was great. And we’re all friends. We still hang out. She’s from Savannah. I talk to her all the time. It was awesome because it was a freeing feeling. So, yeah, I think it’s just about conversation and being open.
This summer there are so many movies directly aimed at women. And for all of the 'bromance' that's going on in this movie, there's also a component, obviously, of eye candy for gals. Do you see yourselves as carving out that territory as the girls' movie?
Andie: I wouldn't mind commenting on that. Okay. First of all, there are a lot of really sexy, hot women in this movie. And also, I think it’s a great date movie because the guys are going to go with their ladies and be inspired, and hopefully they have it all set up at home with some music that's picked out ahead of time. And they've got their little costumes prepared. The tone is already set, because I was slightly embarrassed when I went to see the movie with my manager and a bunch of strangers because I found it a little arousing, this movie.
Watch the trailer here:
Magic Mike XXL opens in cinemas nationwide Friday, 3 July!
(Photos: Warner Bros)
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