Miami-raised Alison Faulk is the lucky woman who made the moves for the hunks of Magic Mike XXL, the second Channing Tatum film about the trials and triumphs of male strippers, inspired by Tatum’s own bump and grind time in Tampa. The film, in theaters, also stars Joe Manganiello, Matt Bomer and Jada Pinkett-Smith. Faulk, who choreographed the first Magic Mike, as well as for J.Lo, Madonna and Pink, says it took a combination of trust, humor and female instinct.
So what is it like coming up with all these sexy moves for guys?
One of my jobs besides choreographing is to stand in for the girls [in the club] in rehearsal. So I’m constantly getting danced on by these amazing guys. All you can do is giggle — omigod, there’s someone’s crotch in your face. Luckily we have such a good foundation from the first film. It is awkward. But you can’t take that too seriously.
What did you do differently from the first “Magic Mike?”
In the first film we gave you the typical stuff — the fireman, the cowboy, the military number, It’s Raining Men. For the second one I wanted to utilize the guys’ individual talents and personalities and to focus on what women really want. They don’t want to just watch, they want to interact with the guy. Joe Manganiello does a scene where he proposes to a girl, and walks through a wedding ceremony. Of course I’d want him to carry me away and consummate our marriage.
How did you come to choreograph these movies?
Channing’s wife and I toured with Janet Jackson, and she and I were roommates for five years. So when I started getting into choreography, she said, “You should call Alison.” I was so honored. We had that friendship to start with, so there was already a trust there, and it was awesome to go into the project that way. Channing has really great instincts and taste. I’ve learned through the years that he’s always right.
Did you use any of his experience as a dancer in this movie?
The finale at the male stripper convention is based on a real thing. They used to go to this actual stripper convention. He’s a gentleman, so he did not give any specifics. He just said it was so crazy. And that all these things you could imagine going on are probably going on.