Constance Wu Worked at a Strip Club to "Study" for Hustlers
And she made bank doing it.
Actors are known for digging in deep for roles. That could mean Adrien Brody dumping his girlfriend and living off the grid for The Pianist or Dustin Hoffman embracing sleep deprivation to ensure that he looked completely exhausted in Marathon Man. But for Constance Wu, it meant making money at a strip club. During an appearance on The Kelly Clarkson Show, Wu explained that prepping for Hustlers involved working in a real-life strip club and taking home real-life tips.
During their sit-down, Clarkson asked Wu about prepping and "studying" for her role and, in classic Wu style, she was frank about it, saying that she just did the most obvious thing and got up on stage at a strip club.
"I did work at a strip club," she explained. "I went undercover. I am not being funny, and it was not funny. I put fake tattoos on my neck, I changed my hair."
"What did you have to do?" Clarkson asked.
"Stripped," Wu replied. "I gave lap dances to strangers. I made 600 bucks my first night."
Wu went on to say that her approach was critical to an accurate portrayal of her character and capturing the emotions of that initial reaction to stripping and strip clubs: "That feeling — because you can't duplicate it — [of] the first time you walk into a club and say, 'Hey, I would like to have a job here,' and then you go work that night."
The Cut notes that Wu wasn't completely new to the idea of stripping, however. In addition to her night of real-life performing, she had a stripper pole installed in her home, had private coaching, and even got pointers from her Hustlers co-star, Cardi B. It's unclear where in the process she got the real-world exposure, but $600 is no joke.