For those of you who saw Channing Tatum’s semi-autobiographical hit Magic Mike back in 2012, and will admit it, the fact that there is a sequel on the horizon with the title Magic Mike XXL should be as intriguing as it is unsurprising. The original film made money, featured a cast on-the-rise actors (including a pre-McConaissance Matthew McConaughey), and was critically acclaimed. Why not capitalize on a good thing?
As such, XXL picks up three years after the events of the first film with Magic Mike (Channing Tatum) and the Kings of Tampa (Joe Manganiello, Matt Bomer, Adam Rodriguez and Kevin Nash) on a road trip to an annual stripper convention in Myrtle Beach for one final performance and a journey that celebrates the humor in male bonding, female sexuality and the evolution of male entertainment.
Playboy recently sat down with star Joe Manganiello to discuss the sequel’s more lighthearted tone, his firm stance against spray-tanning, why The Backstreet Boys and Nine Inch Nails ended up together on the soundtrack and his take on a Sexy Six adaptation of our Lucky 7.
When did you first see the finished film?
The beauty of the way that Steven [Soderbergh] edits is every single night I got to see what we shot that day edited together. We’d get done with filming, run to the gym and then order dinner to the editing suite which was like a converted room in our hotel and we’d watch whatever football or baseball game was on that night and then as soon as it was over Steven would take his headphones off, they’d switch the computer over to broadcast on the TV and we’d watch whatever we shot, with music. And we shot pretty much in sequence so yeah, I started seeing things pretty quickly. And I think eight days after we came back from filming I was at the SoHo House and everyone’s wives were there, Steven’s and [director] Greg Jacobs’ and I thought, “They’re having a goddamned screening and we’re not invited!” So I snuck into the back and watched it through a curtain and I got to see it all cut together.
Was there an official cast screening after that?
Lucky for me they were doing friends and family screenings and my mom was in town so I got to bring her.
And what did your mom think?
Well, my mother has a t-shirt that says “Big Dick Richie’s Mom” that she wears to Starbucks, so she’s very proud. [Laughs].
I know you’ve done roles before that require a certain level of fitness and spray tan…
I don’t spray tan.
I’m Sicilian. I just don’t like smelling like a sweet potato and I also don’t like how they try to start painting muscles on your body. It just looks weird.
We see and experience different types of objectification of men and women in film and different requirements for both — was there anything especially different on this one? Were the guys in hair and makeup as long as the women?
Not me. I don’t spray tan, I don’t wax, I don’t pluck. I’m lucky that I don’t have body hair. I don’t fuss. I don’t shave, I’m kind of a guy that way and I think if I had to spend a lot of time in the makeup trailer it would drive me insane. I would hate the experience, so I’m not that guy and I’m not on some weird manorexic diet. I order the porterhouse for two, and someone always asks, “Is that for the whole table?” And I go, “No, it’s for me.”
What was your fitness prep for this film? You are very fit in general, but did you have to increase or change your workouts, or was it the same?
Pretty much. I think this time around I didn’t do much cardio to be honest with you, because I wanted to stay a little bit bigger. I thought that’s kind of a part of Big Dick Richie’s character; I didn’t want to be too thin or leaned out. I thought a little bigger and a little more meathead-ier was going to be better for the character.
One of your dance scenes is set to Nine Inch Nails’ “Closer.” How did that happen?
[Laughs] I got to pick the music, which was really great. I was given a list of songs and then I had to pick a backup song in case we didn’t get something, but we got everything — all my first choices, from The Backstreet Boys to Nine Inch Nails. Probably the biggest difference in budget between the first Mike and the second one is the fact that we had money for music.
I noticed on Twitter that Trent was following me, which was a trip, I’m a huge, huge Nine Inch Nails fan. I haven’t hung out with Trent per se, but I do know AJ from The Backstreet Boys, so that definitely helped. That was something fun that I got to add to the character. I pitched this idea that you would find out earlier in the movie that Big Dick Richie was kind of this closet Backstreet Boys fan but you didn’t know that. [Laughs] So then, when he’s completely falling on his face trying to make the girl smile in the convenience store, this life preserver comes in the form of “I Want It That Way” playing in the mini-mart. What you then find out through the choreography is he’s practiced in front of the mirror and knows the choreography from the video [Laughs].
What was your first encounter with Playboy?
Hoo boy. I wanna say it was with my friend’s brother, out in a burned-down cabin in the woods, in a metal box buried in the ground. We all heard about it, so after a half-day at school we’re running back to the woods to see if they can dig up the metal box and there was a Playboy inside. Now kids have the Internet, so they don’t really have to go hunt it down they way that we used to.
What is the sexiest movie you’ve ever seen?
Sexiest movie ever? Probably Basic Instinct. When it came out I was maybe 16 — that was kind of mind-blowing to see as a teenager.
What is the sexiest food?
[Laughs] Maybe chocolate covered strawberries.
What is the dirtiest joke you know?
God, I’ve been doing bad with the jokes this week. You can tell I haven’t been at a cocktail at a party in a while, man…. can we come back to it?
What is your pop culture blind spot?
Yeah, I think people’s fascination with reality shows. Look, I understand that there is a place for it, but I don’t understand, I can think of a million other things that are more nourishing for me to be doing.
What would you like to be doing next?
Well, how’s the script? Who’s directing? That’s pretty much how I govern those decisions, but for the first time I’m in a really nice spot where I have choices today that I didn’t have last year.
What is the sexiest song of all time?
“Closer,” by Nine Inch Nails. Of course.