Stepping into the scene-stealing shoes of Matthew McConaughey is certainly a daunting task, but Jada Pinkett Smith was up to the challenge. In fact, she walks into "Magic Mike XXL" and walks right away with the movie. Or struts away with it, rather.
"Nobody can replace Matthew, let's just be real on that. I surely know I can't, with his fine self," Pinkett Smith says. "But I actually didn't feel the pressure being a woman. If a man had actually played that role, that's a hard act to follow. But because I'm a woman, I knew right away that the audience's minds would have to shift, because there's just no comparison."
For the follow-up to Channing Tatum's partially autobiographical stripper film, McConaughey's Dallas has abandoned the boys. In desperate need of a new emcee, they turn to Pinkett Smith's Rome, who runs a private adult entertainment club catering to an exclusively female clientele.
"The role was at first written for a guy," Pinkett Smith reveals. "I was like, 'Channing, why me?' And his whole thing was like, 'Jada, I really feel like in this arena there's a sense of responsibility that we can inject in this idea.' I just really connected to how I wanted women to feel about themselves watching this movie, and adding the energy of exaltation, celebration and inspiration."