Over the years, Vivica A. Fox has had her share of man candy, both on screen and off. But perhaps nothing comes close to the actress’s newest film, Chocolate City (in theaters May 22), which uncovers the life and times of hunky male dancers at a popular strip club. And did we mention that hotties Michael Jai White, Tyson Beckford and Ginuwine round out the cast?
Fox plays the mother of Michael McCoy (played by Robert Ri'chard), a young college student who turns to stripping to help her pay the bills and to put himself through college.
In an exclusive interview with B*Real, Fox chats about what makes Chocolate City a must-see (aside from all those chiseled abs!), plus she shares her own tips for spicing up your night with bae.
B*Real: Tell us about your character, Katherine McCoy. How does she take the news that her son is stripping for cash?
My character is a little bit of a church lady, which was really, really fun, and I used a little bit of my mom and sister as inspiration for this character. Michael is her golden child. He’s got the scholarship and she wants him to stay on the right path and do the right thing. They’ve fallen on hard times and all of the sudden, Michael is starting to bring in all of this cash and the mother thinks that he’s either dealing drugs or out doing something illegal. And then it becomes a very pleasant surprise for her when she finds out he is stripping and using his good looks and is still planning on doing the right thing.
Some folks are comparing Chocolate City to Magic Mike. What do you think makes Chocolate City stand on its own?
I also went to see Magic Mike and when I went to see that film, I noticed that there really weren’t any minorities in it, especially African-American men. Me being a producer, my brain started going, ‘Whoever makes [Chocolate City] is going to score with this,’ because I just knew there was something missing and our boys can put it down! So when Jean-Claude [La Marre], the director, approached me about doing this, I jumped at the opportunity. He said, 'You’re going to play the mom and we’re not going to make it like Magic Mike. We’re going to make a story about a young man, and really for males and females, because a lot of them are working their way through college.
That’s such a different twist on the male stripper storyline.
More than anything else I think the storyline is really, really great because it shows how this young man, he wants to help out his mom and he wants to be able to work his way through college and he discovers this world. So the storyline is going to be surprising but also be rewarding. I think it’s a perfect girls'-night-out movie, that the girls can all get together and have some juicy fun that is harmless. And if the boys come see it, they can find out some moves to seduce their women.
Chocolate City and 50 Shades of Grey are among the movies encouraging women to explore their sensual side. What’s your advice to women who feel too timid to talk to their partners about trying some new moves in the bedroom?
I say go take your partner [to see Chocolate City], if he’s willing to go. It’s not just a chick movie. Say, “Let’s go see this together and learn together.” I think if you go and try to keep it a dirty little secret, and he finds out afterwards, he’ll be like, “What are you hiding?” But if you go together, you can have fun and say, “Maybe when we go home I can try some moves on you or you can try those moves on me.”
Do you think a woman should be cool with her man going to the strip club with his friends and vice versa?
I personally don’t have a problem with it because you know who they’re coming home to. If they start doing some side activity and they get busted, now we have a problem. Sometimes you can learn there. Why not learn it from a person that knows what they’re doing?
When you want to spice it up with that special someone, what are your go-to moves for seduction?
My go-to moves for seduction are a little getaway with a beautiful suite that has an excellent view, a nice dinner, a bubble bath, some wine, sexy lingerie. I’ll let your mind think of the rest of the journey.
Noted! Any final words about the film?
Go see Chocolate City! You will have a wonderful, fun time. And if he’s a real man, he’ll go with you and have a good time, too, and you can go home and have some foreplay!
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(Photo: Leon Bennett/Getty Images for The Players' Tribune)