Constance Wu apparently swore by some serious method acting for “Hustlers” — and made hundreds of dollars as a real stripper.
On Monday, the 37-year-old star revealed that she went undercover to work at a strip club in preparation for playing Destiny, her character based on former stripper Roselyn Keo.
“I did work at a strip club to get ready for ‘Hustlers.’ I went undercover. I gave lap dances to strangers,” Wu told Kelly Clarkson on her NBC talk show.
Keo, who has written a book about her life, is one of the real-life “hustlers” convicted in 2016 of luring men into overspending in strip clubs.
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@constancewu did a great job portraying me in the #HustlersMovie Can’t wait for everyone to see what I have up my sleeve… #RoselynKeo #TheSophisticatedHustler📚 #therealDESTINY #AsianPersuasion ❤️😘 Necklace is from @marcjacobs @nymag #collaboration #NYCnights 📷@avmediafilms💄@mariposamakeup
Clarkson did not immediately believe Wu, who insisted on telling the truth.
“I’m not lying! I made $600, my friend,” the actor shared about her first night. “And it was not funny.”
To ensure that she looked the part, Wu changed her hair and put fake tattoos on her neck.
“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,” she added.
It’s unclear how long Wu had worked as an undercover stripper, but it appears she had spent most of her time in clubs in San Francisco. She recalled the experience in an interview with Vulture back in September.
“I went with two of my guy friends, and we went to five different clubs. It was so f***ing fun. And nobody knew who I was. I’m not really that famous. Also nobody expects this sitcom mother of three boys to be in a strip club.”
Wu also learned pole dancing, which she paid for by herself before filming started.
“I installed a pole in my living room. I took pole classes; I took private coaching sessions,” she told Vulture. “I became friends with a couple of strippers.”
While Wu remembers details of her preparation for “Hustlers,” she has not actually seen the movie. Last week, she told “Live with Kelly and Ryan” that the last work she had seen involving herself was “Crazy Rich Asians.”
“I didn’t watch my talk show appearances or ‘Fresh Off the Boat’ or ‘Hustlers,'” she said. “Just because I thought, you know, I want to focus on the present and not be self-critical and think too much, dwell too much on the past.”
Last May, Wu faced criticism for her reaction over the renewal of “Fresh Off the Boat” for a sixth season. “So upset right now that I’m literally crying,” she tweeted at the time.
Amid the backlash, the actor clarified that she was only “temporarily upset” as the renewal would force her to give up another project that she was “really passionate about.”