Interview: Stephen “tWitch” Boss of “Magic Mike XXL”

Posted on June 30, 2015 at 3:45 pm

copyright Nell Minow 2015
copyright Nell Minow 2015

I asked actor/dancer Stephen “tWitch” Boss whether it was as much fun to make “Magic Mike XXL” as it looked, and he said, “Absolutely and even more. People have been asking me what I would say to guys that are hesitant to see the movie?”You might not be big on male nudity but there is an underlying bro movie, a road trip movie that they will love. I think that all guys would like to jump on the road and take a road trip with their friends, an epic road trip with their friends.” He said there was as much bro-bonding off-screen as on. He also enjoyed the dancing, especially his first big scene in a very special club for ladies. “All of the moments of research, all of the anxiety of what it would be like to be dancing around women like that and acting seductive and dancing seductively you know. What was it going to be? And then it happened in that moment and it was a very, very special time. It was great actually. Some guys have a natural, built in smolder, but not everybody is Ryan Gosling. So, the challenge was finding the approach and the fine line and what actually worked for me. What happened was I just found elements of my dance style that I could just tweak a little bit. I dance very aggressively. That is just my style. I dance very aggressively so I had to find a way to balance that out to where it’s not scary but it’s just like a sexy aggressive kind of thing. So it just took practice. We had a great choreographer, Alison Faulk and also Theresa Espinosa who were in rehearsal with us. They helped hone and the sexy, hone and the nasty and then just blend them and put it on screen.” They made sure each character had a distinctive style. “We read through the script and made sure that each performance was remarkably differently from the next and that each character could actually have their moment to shine in the individual pieces. And again, you know, shout out the choreographers, Theresa and Alison for being able to use people’s individual strengths. That was perfect and that’s one of the greatest things too is that, this movie, it’s going to go beyond this film. It’s going to shift the way that male entertainment packages are going to offered as opposed to just like a Chippendale’s-style show. We’re mixing all kinds of different elements, more individual and contemporary.

He enjoyed the “healthy competition” among the actors in “Magic Mike XXL.” “We just wanted to be at our best because we knew that everybody was going to be at their best. And because these are a professional group of gentlemen. They were 100% yin there. Like he’s either going incredibly full out or he’s not going to do it and that was the attitude. Anytime we stepped on stage we had to be the best.”

tWitch said that his earliest dance inspiration came from music videos, especially Michael Jackson, Paula Abdul, and Janet Jackson. “It’s what I latched on to in my heart.” Later he studied the movies of Gene Kelly, Fred Astaire, and the Nicholas Brothers. And he loved Sammy Davis, Jr. “And you know who I have been getting into it recently here even though he was a singer, Jackie Wilson.” His favorite style of dancing is locking. “That derived from the Funky Chicken back in the early 70’s. There is a subculture that has taken it and studied it and taken it down to a technique and a science. Overseas they’ve broken it down to university level. You have a curriculum of Locking so you know I love that.

Coming up next is the new season of “So You Think You Can Dance.” “This season is called ‘Stage vs Street.’ We take the top 20 and we split them in half, 10 stage dancers and 10 street dancers. I am the mentor for the Street contestants and that starts July 3rd. It’s going to be a great show and I have faith in my Street team. We bring a very raw energy and we have some things to say.”
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