Seven things we learnt at the Magic Mike XXL Australian Arena Premiere in Sydney*

*Some facts may or may not be said in jest

Monday. July 6th. 2015. The magic begins.

After a surprisingly well choreographed, and I might I add scintillating, dance routine from an all-male Aussie troupe dubbed the ‘Magic Mike XXL Aussie Dancers, the men of the hour – one Mr Channing Tatum and a Mr Joe Manganiello (just as giant in real-life as you’d expect) – along with director Greg Jacobs and writer/producer Reid Carolin, introduced their passion project ‘Magic Mike XXL’ for the female-heavy auditorium to enjoy in what can only be described as an almost interactive experience.

Staging a film of this genre in an arena setting is a novel idea, but it’s genius marketing all the same as everyone in attendance was there because they wanted to be, so at any given moment of the MMXXL crew delivering on screen in their various states of undress, the reaction was rapturous; quite often the screams from the females on screen were hard to decipher from those in the viewing crowd.  Following the screening, the quartet so graciously took part in a fan-driven Q&A that did its best to peel back the g-string and reveal all.

So what did we learn?

1. As Channing Tatum urged viewers to throw money at the screen and Joe Manganiello admitted to owning a TV as big as the arena screen, director Greg Jacobs stated the very obvious that it was just as much to film as it appeared (and he may have been naked off screen as he directed).  On the writing side of things, Tatum and Reid Carolin brainstormed the story in a hot tub in Vancouver – and why Vancouver? Tatum’s wife was filming there (and, yes, the crowd didn’t take too kindly to hearing him reminding them he’s off the market).

2. Joe can no longer walk in to a petrol station the same way (all will make sense after seeing the film) but if he decided to in Australia, it would be Tim Tams and a long black that would be his choice of “props”

3. Body doubles were not used. Channing Tatum can dance – and only because he used to be a stripper.

4. Joe doesn’t practice his “dance face” in the mirror, he practices on his fiancée; and much to Channing’s annoyance (“This is bullshit” was his exact phrase) this announcement of his impending nuptials brought the crowds to applause.

5.  The waxing budget out-ballooned the spray tan budget and the skimpy costume budget.

6.  ‘Magic Mike 3’ would be purely Joe prancing around in tights

7.  The eight words used to describe MMXXL? Hard. Dialogue. Shirtless. Men. Fucking. Awesome. Best. Friends.

Hard hitting journalism at its finest.  The guys were all in jovial spirits, and seemed well aware of the reaction they gage from people, especially women, so props to them all for involving themselves in a situation that wasn’t nearly as sordid and disastrous as it could’ve been.

And just in case we do get a ‘Magic Mike 3’ (MMXXXL perhaps?) it seems safe to say Australia will welcome it with open arms, especially now that we know Joe “fucking loves Australia”.

Magic Mike XXL opens in Australian cinemas on Thursday, July 9th. 



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Peter Gray

Film critic with a penchant for Dwayne Johnson, Jason Momoa, Michelle Pfeiffer and horror movies, harbouring the desire to be a face of entertainment news.