With an all-star cast that includes Channing Tatum, Alex Pettyfer and Matt Bomer, Matthew McConaughey, 42, didn't want to be the only actor who didn't drop trou in this summer's Magic Mike.
"It wasn't in the script, but [director Steven Soderbergh] said in the beginning that if it felt right, I could strip at the end of the movie," McConaughey tells The Advocate. "I said, 'I gotta dance, man.' I would regret it for the rest of my life if I was in a male stripper movie and didn't get up there and strip myself."
McConaughey says he worked "two, three nights a week" to master the choreography, which paled in comparison to the amount of time it took to design his barely-there underwear. "The thong's your armor, man. It's your sword. Well, I guess it's really the sheath for the sword."
The actor admits it was "scary as hell" to film his first striptease, "but then it became like a drug, and I couldn't wait to do it again. Look, I love to dance, but I've never been a stripper. Channing's one of the best hip-hop street dancers I've ever seen, and I didn’t want to challenge his style, so I worked on my own strengths. I also knew that my dance had to be the dirtiest. It had to be wonderfully filthy."
The famously fit actor never entertained the idea of using a body double, however. "That's all me up there," McConaughey says proudly. "I don't need a stunt ass."
The film, which also stars Joe Manganiello and Adam Rodriguez, inspired the actors to beef up, McConaughey says. "Everybody was pretty damn ripped already, but boy, if you really want to get men in great shape, just tell them they're going to play male strippers in a movie and have their sh-t onscreen for the rest of time," he tells The Advocate. "Vanity, baby."
Magic Mike hits theaters June 29. McConaughey recently teamed up with New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees, 33, to raise money for the j.k. livin foundation and Brees Dream Foundation. Together, the men auctioned off a meet-and-greet with Jimmy Kimmel, a signed jersey from Lance Armstrong, and four tickets to a taping of Real Time With Bill Maher, among various other items.