Jada Pinkett Smith on being the feminist force of 'Magic Mike XXL'

Thu Jul 2, 2015 5:25pm EDT
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By Kara Warner

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - From playing the villainous, manipulative Fish Mooney on Fox's Batman origins TV series "Gotham" to an empowering erotic club owner in "Magic Mike XXL," Jada Pinkett Smith is no stranger to taking on strong female characters on screen.

Smith, 43, told Reuters how she helped carve her role in "XXL" - one originally intended for actor Jamie Foxx - as the film's feminist force, and whether her husband, actor Will Smith, will see the film as it comes out in theaters this week.

Below are excerpts.

Q: How do you think "XXL" reinvents male entertainment?

A: Somebody brought up a really good point that usually male strippers would be dressed up as police officers, firemen, so [male entertainment] has this very authoritative feel, instead of getting to understand what are those desires and fantasies that women want to explore with their imagination? So you would hope that maybe strip clubs would get more on that page.

Q: How was your experience collaborating with "XXL" director Greg Jacobs and screenwriter Reid Carolin as they developed your character?

A: They were so open, that was the biggest gift. Reid and Greg, I worried them to death about all kinds of stuff.   Continued...

Cast member Jada Pinkett Smith poses at the premiere of "Magic Mike XXL" in Hollywood, California, June 25, 2015. REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni