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Q) Please tell us about your character Tito in the movie Magic Mike.
A) I play a character named Tito and he's one of the dancers. He is one of the guys at the club who has been dancing for a long time. Like the other guys, he has dreams of doing bigger and better things, but meanwhile his life is really happening at the club. He's not out there getting what he wants. His dreams have been put away on a shelf. What I want to be is something else, but in the meanwhile I'm a stripper.
Q) How did you prepare for the role?
A) Getting into shape was a big part. I had to lose weight and get my body into the physical shape I needed to in order to show off and be a male stripper. I know the other guys in the movie always come to a movie in great shape like Matthew McConaughey, Channing Tatum and Joe Manganiello. These guys are always in buff shape so I knew I had to show up and be as good as them. That was my motivation. I didn't want to show up at work and be the weak link.
Q) What attracted you to this role?
A) What attracted me to the whole thing was that it was a Steven Soderbergh movie and I'm a Steven Soderbergh fan. I think that he tells great stories on film. To get a chance to participate and add something to a film that he was doing was a dream come true. That was what attracted me initially. As I realized how much work and what I needed to put into it that got me excited. The fear of knowing that I was going to have to dance and basically be up there naked with a thong on that scared the hell out of me. It got me excited to work hard, live up to the challenge and face the fear.
Q) What challenged you the most about the role? Was it having to perform dance routines?
A) We had a lot of dance rehearsals. We had dance choreographers to help us work out the group and solo routines. Just putting in as much time as possible and dancing around my living room and practicing the routines was hard work. It was focusing and buckling down to give it everything I had.
Q) Did you watch any male revues for inspiration?
A) We did go see a male revue in Hollywood that has been going on for a long time. Channing, myself and Reid Carolin (the writer of the movie) went to look at it live and in person. It was interesting to watch. It was something I would never go to see at any other time in my life. It was interesting to watch and the kind of show these guys really put on...They really do come out in costume and have a dance routine! There is a lot of components to what they were doing. I was like, "Damn! It's not just get out there and shake your ass!" There is actually entertaining going on and work put into it. It's something that we tried to put into the movie, as well.
Q) What were some of your favorite scenes to shoot forMagic Mike?
A) My favorite scenes to film were the dance routines. We had worked so hard on them and they were such a big challenge to get right. I enjoyed getting the chance to do that. I also enjoyed getting the chance to perform with the guys. Especially the solo routines - that was great! The solo routines were great because I was scared and nervous to get up in front of all these people and be in a thong doing it.All of the things you can imagine being scared of...those were all of things that made it exhilarating and fun.
Q) Were you familiar with any of your costars or friendly with any of them before shooting the movie?
A) I knew Channing for a while from passing. He had done an episode of "CSI: Miami" about the second season of the show. We got along really well. We had actually spent the whole day doing the scene together and then I watched his career take off. I was always following him and rooting him on although we didn't see each other or speak. Then, I got a phone call from him about the movie. He said, "I don't know if you remember me from 'CSI: Miami'" and I told him of course I remembered him. We talked about doing this and that's how it all happened.
Q) Why will people want to take their time to see Magic Mike?
A) I think people will want to see it because they like having a good time. For that alone...You're going to have a ball seeing this movie! It's such a fun movie. The dance routines are funny and the chemistry and commradery between the guys is fun to watch. There is a great love story that's in it. It's a great movie to go see! It's a great movie to go on a date with! If you're a guy, you get your girl to go to the movie, let her get excited, you earn a few moves watching the movie and come home and show her what you got!
Q) Is that what separates the film from other dance themed movies?
A) I think the subject matter sets it apart from other dance movies. A lot of the other dance movies are focused on one particular type of dance, not necessarily an occupation that requires dance. I think the fact that it's set in the world of a male strip club sets it apart. That definitely makes it unique. And the fact it is a Steven Soderbergh film makes it unique, too.
Q) What other projects have you been working on? Any chance you'll be returning to television soon?
A) I don't really know about returning. "CSI: Miami" was cancelled so I won't be going back to that. I did an episode of "Necessary Roughness" that aired this week. I had a great time doing that show. I played a baseball player that is in a slump and has an interesting cure for it. I think it'll make people laugh.
Q) You are a part of the social networking site Twitter. Why is that such an important place for you to connect with fans?
A) I think Twitter is a great way to connect. It's a great way to connect without sort of getting bogged down with language. You only have a certain amount of characters to communicate so communication has to be really efficient and right to the point. You get to say what you want and they get to respond. It's fun! It's almost like having a conversation with all of your followers at the same time. I love it!
Q) What would you like to say to everyone who is a fan and supporter of you and your work?
A) Thank you for supporting me, being there and enjoying my work enough to continue to support me in the future!
PHOTOS ONE AND TWO BY JOEY SHAW