Those eyes. Those lips. That buttery, cocoa skin. Those abs! Supermodel Tyson Beckford has been a sex symbol for the better part of two decades. Now he’s bringing his allure to the big screen in the upcoming male stripper flick, Chocolate City (in theaters May 22), where he plays a testy bad boy who isn’t game to share the spotlight with anyone. And did we mention he and the rest of the star-studded cast (including Robert Ri'chard and Michael Jai White) spend a good portion of the film shirtless? You’re welcome.
B*Real chatted with Beckford about his transformation for the film, and, of course, his favorite moves for complete seduction.
B*Real: Tell us about your character, Rude Boy. Are there any similarities between you?
Yeah, there are some similarities. He’s a driven guy and he’s no joke. He’s just somebody you don’t want to cross. I’m kind of like the same way. I’m really nice but, as my manager says, "Don’t get on his bad side or he will cut you off." It’s a trait of a Sagittarius. You know, we’ll love you until you cross us, and when you cross us, it ends.
What did you enjoy most about playing Rude Boy?
I love the fact that, and I don’t usually say this but, he just didn’t give a f**k! He didn’t give a f**k about the other dancers, he didn’t respect the management...he just did it his way. There’s a scene where they’re doing a routine and he just goes off and starts dancing on his own, and they’re like, “Yo, Rude Boy, that’s not the move," and he says, "I don’t care, this is what I want to do.” And I’m not like that at all, so it was fun to do something that was out of character for me.
Not that hunky male dancers are a stretch, but what do you think makes Chocolate City a must-see? It’s getting some comparisons to Magic Mike.
The best thing about Magic Mike, I thought, was the dancing. The storyline itself wasn’t the greatest. And I think a lot of women left [the theater] feeling disappointed because there was not a single Black guy in it. And I don’t know a single male strip revue [show] in the world where there’s no Black guys. This is something you’re going to want to see because it deals with the day-in, day-out of a real strip club and what it’s really about. There’s a real jealousy thing when you’re the guy making $10,000, and then there’s the one guy who's barely making his payout for the night. It’s almost like the rap game, where it becomes cutthroat.
You spent this spring as a celebrity host for Chippendales in Las Vegas. If you could be a male entertainer full time, what would your stage name be?
I was kinda upset that we gave Robert the name “Chocolate Thunder,” when I thought I should have that name. I’m a lot darker chocolate than he is! I look at him as more caramel-chocolate. But that would probably be my mine.
What would your signature move be?
Every night that I get on stage [for Chippendales] I do this gyrating thing. The girls seem to love it. Or when I do this Jamaican dutty whine kind of thing, they love that, too.
In the movie, the character Michael is trying to hide his stripping job from his mom and his girlfriend. If your girlfriend had a stripper past, would it be a deal breaker?
For me? No. I’ve dated strippers in the past. I was much younger then. I probably wouldn’t do that now because it was such a wild ride because you’re dating the hottest stripper in the club and everybody’s trying to take her home every night. At some point, she’s going to be weak, and if you don’t show up, somebody’s definitely going to take her away.
Are you seeing anybody special now?
No, I’m currently single. I’m just getting ready to start dating again. My last relationship didn’t work out so well for me, so I just want to take my time and find the right woman this time.
We’re sure the ladies will take you up on that offer. So if you were dating, what’s your idea of a sexy, romantic evening?
I think somewhere with low occupancy, a good ambiance, good bottle of wine, a great meal and good conversation. Before, I used to want to take them to the shooting range, take them to play pool or the movies, but you really can’t get to know somebody until you sit down and break bread with them.
Last question. What's the sexiest thing a woman can do or say while keeping her clothes on?
I guess making me laugh, talking dirty to me, or telling me dirty jokes. For me, that’s fun. Or even watching a woman dance to her favorite song. I love to watch a woman dance to Beyoncé.
(Photo: Patriot Pictures)
(Photo: Ilya S. Savenok/Getty Images)
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