(Photo: Claudette Barius/ Warner Bros. Entertainment)
Adam Rodriguez is probably most recognized as TV's Eric Delko in CSI Miami, but he’ll soon be remembered as Tito, the dancer who provides comic relief and takes it all off in the new feature film Magic Mike. Directed by Steven Soderbergh and starring Matthew McConaughey, Channing Tatum and Alex Pettyfer, the film explores the glories and pitfalls of the stripping world from the male perspective.
BET.com chatted with Rodriguez about why he wanted to be a part of the film, his pick for the ultimate male stripper song and more.
Your role as Tito in Magic Mike is a multifaceted and revealing one on many levels.
[Laughs] Yes indeed, yes it is.
So why did you want to play him?
More than anything I wanted to work with Steven Soderbergh — that was the big hook, for sure. And right behind that was the challenge of having to play a stripper and everything that embodied; getting in shape physically, learning the dance routines and making this character more than a one-dimensional person. Plus the challenge of it all — the fear of having to be naked in front of the world, and do these revealing, crazy dance routines — just scared the hell out of me. And I always like to run towards my fear.
It was obvious you had to be extremely physically fit to play this role. What kind of exercise and dance training did you undergo to transform into character?
I went to see a nutritionist right away because I know that diet is a key component to getting in shape. I had to keep my meals really balanced with 40% protein, 30% carbohydrates and 25% fat. When you eat meals that way you balance the sugar levels in your body and you don’t get any spikes. Your body is constantly burning calories as opposed to trying to store them. That was step one and step two was spending hours and hours in the gym. Tons of cardio, weight training and then we had weeks of dance rehearsals to get all these group numbers down. We had to make it look like we'd been doing this for a living for the last eight or ten years.
This movie will definitely be a favorite of the ladies, but what will your mom and the other women in your life think of you shaking and showing off your stuff in Magic Mike?
I think when they see my a-- flapping back and forth up there it’s gonna be a funny surprise for them [Laughs]. They’re gonna get a kick out of it, they’re gonna get a good laugh and maybe blush a little bit. My mom might be surprised. But I can’t wait for her to see it because it was one of the best work experiences I’ve ever had. This whole project was a dream come true on a lot of levels. Getting to work with a director like Steven Soderbergh, the cast and the bonds that we formed and the fun we had doing this movie. We all got along amazingly well. This has been my favorite work experience ever, so I’m anxious for my friends and family to see this movie.
You’re now an expert, so what’s the ultimate male stripper song for ladies who need dancers at their parties?
The ultimate stripper song? That’s tough. It depends on what kind of fantasy you want to live out. You want the champagne room fantasy? Or the middle of the floor fantasy [Laughs]? When I did my routine I actually danced to Jay-Z and Kanye West’s "N----s in Paris." For me, that was a great song because it had a good hard beat to dance to.
Why should BET.com audiences see Magic Mike? Is it really a movie for the guys as well as the girls?
Every guy that I’ve spoken to that has seen it has been pleasantly surprised at how much they enjoyed it. On a lot of levels it’s like watching any sports movie — the camaraderie between the men, the friendships that are built. We’re all on the same team, we all work in the same club. These guys are all in pursuit of a bigger dreams and being male strippers is just a means to an end to get there. Unfortunately, for most of them, they get stuck in that life and they never get to realize their dreams. But lastly, [I’d tell guys] go take a girl on a date to his movie. You’ll look cool, it shows confidence and you might learn a move or two. At the very least you’re gonna get a girl that is hot and bothered at the end of the night. And if that’s not what you want to do, I’d say hang outside the movie theater after the movie is over. I’m sure you’ll do better there than you will at any club in your town that night.
Magic Mike arrives in theaters June 29.
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