These 'XXL' Stars Have A Long Bromantic History

by Anna Klassen

"I've known Matt [Bomer] since he was 18," says Magic Mike XXL star Joe Manganiello. "We did come up through drama school together. Chekhov, and Shakespeare, and Ibsen and all of that. Now, at this moment in our careers where Scene 1, Take 1, Joe, you're going to get naked and cannonball Channing [Tatum] into a pool. That education really paid off." The two stars of the seductive stripper sequel received classical theater training at Carnegie Mellon University, in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania — the same town Manganiello grew up in. The University boasts a handful of familiar faces, including Josh Gad, Holly Hunter, and Zachary Quinto.

“I’ve done Shakespeare, and I’ve done Shaw, and now I’ve done Magic Mike, ” jokes Bomer. "Seeing the mini-mart scene with Joe, seeing the culmination of all those years just come to fruition in that moment, to me, was so mind-blowing and epic," the White Collar actor says. "I literally just stood behind the camera, just wanting popcorn, with my jaw on the ground, just thanking God."

And while the sequel exposes Manganiello's incredible dance abilities, it also showcases something Magic Mike fans previously hadn't seen from Bomer: his killer pipes. "I feel like sometimes I'm Matt's agent, or I'm Matt's color man, letting people know that Matt can sing. You've got to hear Matt sing!" Manganiello says proudly.

"There was a lot of camaraderie while making both films," Bomer says. “It had kind of a locker room vibe. There was something about doing something so risky that we all really had each other’s backs.” By risky, does he mean dancing in a minuscule thong? Singing in front of an audience of a thousand screaming extras? Or when his long-time buddy Joe catapulted himself onto a sex swing? I'm going to guess all of the above.

But the "risky" factor didn't stop the boys from playing a few on-set shenanigans. The two Shakespeare experts teamed up to pull a prank on newcomer Jada Pinkett Smith. The actress had heard tales of Bomer's great singing voice and asked to hang out on set to watch his singing swcenes. "I just wanted to see his rehearsal, because I heard how well he sings," Smith says. But as she sat innocently watching, Bomer gave her an unexpected lap dance. “It was a setup,” giggles Manganiello.

"He starts his routine, he came over to me and we had a little special moment," Smith says.

"That's awesome..." Tatum, who can't hold back his laughter, interjects. "I blacked most of that out."

See Magic Mike XXL in theaters July 1.

Images: Warner Bros.