LOS ANGELES - Warner Bros. hit the perfect combination of sexual titillation and star power this weekend with the debut of "Magic Mike." The Steven Soderbergh drama was sold as though it was 2 hours of a strip club movie more than a film with an actual plot. Throw in a star on a major winning streak, Channing Tatum, and you have a very impressive $39.1 million weekend. Some moviegoers may have realized, however, that a bunch of the sexy star's dance numbers were included in a number of homages instead of the complete bit. For fans of Joe Manganiello ("Big Dick Richie"), Alex Pettyfer ("The Kid"), Adam Rodriguez ("Tito") and Matt Bomer (A real life "Ken" doll), that had to be mighty disappointing. Speaking to Rodriguez and Bomer late last month, they seemed somewhat relieved their director decided to not show the entire Full Monty.
"I think as hard as we all worked we'd have loved for the whole movie to just be in those [montages], but you obviously know that can't be the case," Rodriguez says as Bomer bursts out laughing. "For me, I would say I was really happy with what they showed of the group routines. There was a moment with sparklers I thought would have been fun to see, but the edit made sense [not to include it]."
Bomer adds, "I'm sure there will be a DVD release with some features that have some full length numbers on them."
Place your orders now ladies (and gents).
For both actors, the opportunity to work with someone like the Oscar-winning Soderbergh is a huge career boost. Bomer has made for himself on television with a starring role in USA's "White Collar" and with a recurring character on "Chuck," but this is easily his biggest cinematic opportunity to date. Rodriguez spent 10 years on "CSI: Miami," but before "Mike" his most noteworthy performance on the big screen was in Tyler Perry's melodrama "I Can Do Bad All by Myself." That prompted an easy question: at what point did their agent mention this potential Soderbergh movie would find them stripping down to thongs in front of screaming ladies?
"I know those things were tied in the same sentence, I'm not sure what order they came in. Steven Soderbergh - when that name came up I thought, 'I'm in' and the word 'strippers' scared the hell out of me," Rodriguez says.
Bomer says he was "terrified and confused" on why he was considered for the film, but Soderbergh's involvement sealed the deal.
"He's a bucket list director. He's someone I dreamed about working with for my entire life. I knew he'd be the right person to do it and he'd be the right person to tell the story and I read the script and it didn't shy away from the real aspects of this world," Bomer says. "He said, 'Jump off a cliff and I'll catch you.' And we just dove in 150%."
Going through this experience, one has to wonder if it made the cast more confident as actors. According to Rodriguez and Bomer, a good actor always needs some fear or insecurity to bring out their best work.
"I think as an actor you're always baring your soul, but to bare your soul and to do it naked in front of strangers was a new experience and it was empowering," Rodriguez says. "You realize it's all about playing a character and no matter what that is it felt good to rise to the occasion."
Bomer adds, "I don't know if it makes other roles easier or not. I feel like fear is such a good guidepost in terms of what roles you chose to take, because inevitably it means you don't have this in your back pocket. It's gonna stretch you or make you get out of your comfort zone. I think there are all jobs we'll do over the years that we know we can do pretty easily and every now and again a job will come along like this that really scares the bleep [out of me] and I'm just gonna have to rise to the occasion and do it."
You can watch the entire interview embedded at the top of this page.
To catch Tatum and co-star Matthew McConaughey's thoughts on "Magic Mike," click here.
"Magic Mike" is now playing nationwide.