Salma Hayek Pinault is the latest high-profile performer to join the Magic Mike Cinematic Universe, and it doesn’t take long into the movie until the actress is, uh, thrust into the action.
Magic Mike’s Last Dance is barely five minutes old by the time Hayek’s wealthy socialite Maxandra Mendoza convinces Channing Tatum’s titular stripper to come out of retirement and treat her to a very lengthy, very steamy lap dance that would make fans of ’90s “Skinemax” late-night programming blush. (Did we mention it’s very lengthy, and very steamy?)
“My god, what an initiation,” Hayek Pinault says with a laugh in a new interview with Yahoo Entertainment, where she is joined by Tatum.
Salma Hayek Pinault says a ‘goofy’ Channing Tatum helped her get through the steamy lap dance scene that kicks off #MagicMikesLastDance.
“I got to discover that Channing, as goofy as he is, he’s an absolute gentleman and I felt very comfortable with him,” she tells @djkevlar. pic.twitter.com/rVzUhLcOGn
— Yahoo Entertainment (@YahooEnt) February 9, 2023
The 56-year-old actress admits she was nervous to capture the sequence, which involved no body doubles.
“The good news is that we shot it at the end,” she says. “And I got to become friends with the main choreographer, a [female], and that made me feel very safe. And I got to discover that Channing, as goofy as he is, he’s an absolute gentleman and I felt very comfortable with him.”
Magic Mike’s Last Dance kicks off in Miami, where Tatum’s ex-exotic dancer is working as a bartender at a fundraiser hosted at Maxandra’s luxurious seaside estate. After she discovers Mike’s past — and experiences his talents first-hand — Maxandra convinces him to relocate to London with her, where she hires him to direct a male dancer-led cabaret show at the upper-crust theater she runs, long-owned by the family of her soon-to-be-ex-husband.
In addition to being more of a two-hander than previous installments, Last Dance took a different approach from predecessors Magic Mike (2012) and Magic Mike XXL (2015) when it came to casting its gyrating ensemble. While those films employed actors who could also dance (Matthew McConaughey, Joe Manganiello, Matt Bomer, Donald Glover, etc.), Last Dance found real dancers who could also act.
“These are some of the best dancers in the world,” Tatum says proudly.
But that made Hayek Pinault, who told us in a 2017 Role Recall interview that she went under a trance to film her sultry vampiric striptease in Robert Rodriguez’s 1996 thriller From Dusk Til Dawn, all the more daunted for her big moment at the end of the production.
“It was intimidating because, by now, I had seen all these amazing dancers, including [Channing],” she says. “[But the other actors], they’re not strippers. These guys are like amazing professional dancers. And I was so intimidated because now they got to go work with me, [Channing] and the choreographers. But it was fun. It was joyful. That’s what I can say.”