Constance Wu revealed recently that she made $600 in one night working as an “actual stripper” in preparation for her role in the film, “Hustlers.”
“I went undercover. I gave lap dances to strangers,” Wu told Kelly Clarkson during an episode of “The Kelly Clarkson” that aired on Monday.
Clarkson initially expressed skepticism, but Wu affirmed how committed she was to her role in “Hustlers,” where she plays a single mother who returns to stripping after the New York City financial crisis in 2015.
“I’m not lying! I made $600 my first night. I am not being funny, and it was not funny. I put fake tattoos on my neck, I changed my hair… You can’t duplicate the first time you walk into a club and say, ‘Hey, I’d like to have a job here,’ and then you go work that night,” Wu said.
Clarkson and Wu also commiserated over the difficulty level of pole dancing.
“When you’re naked, they don’t care if you’re that good,” Wu explained.
“Hustlers,” a lesson in “feminism”?
2019’s “Hustlers” saw Wu star alongside Jennifer Lopez, Julia Stiles, Lili Reinhart and rapper Cardi B.
The film’s plot revolved around a group of former strip club employees who band together to turn the tables on their Wall Street clients.
Lorene Scafaria wrote and directed the movie, which was inspired by a 2015 New York Magazine article by Jessica Pressler.
The female-helmed film, and its diverse cast, have prompted praise from feminists who see it as a welcome salvo against male-centric Hollywood.
“In 2019, sex workers are some of the most powerful women in America. That’s the reason ‘Hustlers’ has been cleaning up at the box office. Every movie theater in America is now an ersatz strip club, catering to a gaze that doesn’t objectify its subjects so much as shower them with solidarity and aspiration,” wrote feminist academic Amy Schiller in a piece entitled “‘Hustlers’ is a lesson in feminism from women of color.”
“You love to see it: a swaggering, unabashed admission that beauty is capital, and women deploying everything used to deny them power – their bodies, sexuality, and financial precariousness — in order to reclaim their own,” Schiller added.
Journalist Radhika Sanghani, writing for Glamour in November, wondered whether “Hustlers” proved that “stripping is a form of feminism?”