Constance Wu’s method work for Hustlers appears to have paid off, and I absolutely mean literally: The actor recently disclosed that she made $600 in a single night spent researching at a strip club. As Hustlers reminds us, stripping can be an extremely lucrative craft one day — particularly for young dancers who have a seasoned J-Lo to guide them, and who are willing to bend some laws to up their tips — and a bust the next, so I am impressed. Wu’s would be a sizable take even for someone who wasn’t making her first (and possibly also only? unclear) public appearance onstage.
Speaking to Kelly Clarkson on her eponymous talk show on Monday, Wu admitted that she did “study,” to borrow Clarkson’s phrasing, for her role as a dancer in Hustlers. “I did work at a strip club,” she said. “I went undercover.”
“What did you have to do?” an aghast Clarkson cut in.
“Stripped,” Wu replied. “I gave lap dances to strangers. I made 600 bucks my first night.”
The experience was crucial, she said, because it introduced her to “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.”
Wu said she installed a stripper pole in her living room to practice for the movie, in addition to working with a private coach, so she didn’t walk into her big debut totally green. Having castmate Cardi B as a personal lap dance instructor probably didn’t hurt, either.