You may remember Adam Rodriguez from his days starring on the long-running hit drama “CSI Miami,” but the sexy star is heating things up on the big screen with the Friday release of the stripper flick “Magic Mike.”
“Magic Mike” stars Channing Tatum in the lead role as he relentlessly pursues the American dream by roofing homes to doing all types of handy work. And by night, he’s rocking the club as a stripper in a sizzling all-male revue alongside Rodriguez, Matthew McConaughey, Joe Manganiello (from “True Blood”), Alex Pettyfer (“I Am Number Four”) and Matt Bomer (“White Collar”). NBC Latino caught up with the hot actor-director, who dished on what he has in common with his larger-than-life (ahem!) stripper character and revealed to which of Tito’s exotic dance moves were in fact, entirely his.
Magic Mike looks like a fun, sexy movie and stars a great cast …but let’s face it, it’s not Oscar-winning material. What made you decide to join the film?
“I think there’s more story to this movie that people might expect. It’s being marketed as fun and audiences will have a great time watching it, but with Steven Soderbergh directing it, there’s a real story about people who are in pursuit of their dreams and are stuck along the way doing something that was supposed to be temporary. As a result, their dreams go by the wayside and that was the thing that drew me to the character and the film – that it wasn’t just about guys shaking around in a thong.
There was depth and substance to this film, a story, that as someone who took a chance on their career I really understood. At 19 I decided to become an actor. I was working as a stock broker and I had a moment where I was sitting in the office when I realized that I could spend the next 20 years in an office working away. No one in that office there looked happy and I knew working there was something I didn’t really want to do. I had to make a decision to leave and chase what I wanted. When I read the ‘Magic Mike’ script, I realized that there were guys who didn’t have that moment of epiphany. And so being able to bring my experience to the story was really great.”
Did those stripper moves come naturally or did you have to go to stripping school?
“You know, I will say there a few moves that came naturally! I’ve lived long enough to learn how to shake my hips. But we really owe our success to our two choreographers, Alison Faulk and Teresa Espinosa. They were amazing and gave us every bit of support, guidance and confidence the entire cast needed to pull it off and shake it the way we did.”
You’re best known for your long-standing role on CSI: Miami, which was just canceled. Looking back, do you have a favorite moment or episode?
“I definitely have two favorite moments. The series ran 10 years and we did a flash back episode during season 8. I had left the show by then and I wanted to have a proper ending for my character. So for that first episode of season eight, we found how out Horatio got his glasses. My character gave him his first pair. It was awesome because it was such an iconic part of the show and his character. So my favorite moment was when I put those sunglasses in his hand for the very first time. My second favorite moment is definitely looking back to the two episodes I was able to write and direct. It was amazing to be that involved in every aspect of the show and I loved it.”
What would be your dream role?
“Believe it or not, my dream role is [Magic Mike character] Tito. Now that all is said and done, to be challenged in this way, to achieve this type of physical condition and to find substance and humanity in a character that people would assume was shallow, was a dream come true. In the future, if I could match or top the experience I had making this movie with [director] Steven Soderbergh and the rest of the guys, I would be golden.”
“You’re Puerto Rican and Cuban. Which side do you unusually identify with more?
“My dad is half Puerto Rican and half Cuban, and my mother is Puerto Rican and a mix of other things. So those cultures were intermixed throughout my life. I don’t identify with one over the other. But it also depends with food – if I have carne mechada, then I want arroz moro. If I’m having chuletas, I want habichuelas rosadas!”
I hear you’re recently single. Inquiring minds want to know: what does a girl need to do to catch your eye?
“She should mainly be herself, relaxed and unafraid to laugh and be silly. The main thing is to have the confidence to laugh at yourself and allow others to laugh along.”