What It's Like To Spray Tan The Cast Of Magic Mike XXL

Photo: Courtesy of Warner Bros. Pictures.
Yes, spray tanning Channing Tatum, Matt Bomer, and Adam Rodriguez — the oft-half-naked and ridiculously ripped stars of the upcoming Magic Mike XXL — is an actual job, and a full-time “Seven Days A Week,” one at that. But, before you start giggling like a schoolgirl, and making double entendres, know that Felicia Linsky, the woman behind those bronzed, rock hard abs and glistening gluteal muscles, takes her job very seriously.

The veteran makeup, hair, and spray tan artist, who counts Brothers & Sisters and Parenthood on her résumé, understands the gravity of her responsibility to the film, and the importance of creating an environment of artistic trust. “It was my job to establish relationships with each of the men, so that they would be confident that I had their best interest at hand,” Linsky explains. (Yes, I may have giggled at that point, but, then I felt like a jerk because she’s just so sincere.)
As you can probably tell from those drool-inducing trailers for Magic Mike XXL, a simulated suntan was of the utmost importance to enhance the plot — and to highlight the physical commitment the hunky thespians put into their Adonis-like bodies. “My goal was to show off all their hard work, and take it to a whole other level,” she says.

But, no matter how dedicated an actor is to his craft, getting a full-body spray tan can be similar to the makeup application version of a gyno exam. “It’s a very vulnerable thing to get down to whatever you choose to get down to, and be standing in front of somebody who’s now going to apply an organic sugar with a bronzer onto your body,” Linsky adds.

So, to answer everyone’s burning question: The actors “wore socks” to cover the one body part, which would never make it past censors. “They were very exposed,” Linsky confirms. And since the actors' signature look often consists of barely-there G-strings, paper underwear tan lines weren’t exactly an option — if only for the sake of continuity.

Although, Joe Manganiello (sorry, Big Dick Richie fans), opted out of the bronzing process. He will “possibly look fairer in comparison to the rest of the guys,” while all oiled up and gyrating on stage amid a blizzard of dollar bills. (Just checked the trailer for the 5,000th time — in the name of research! — and, yes, he is a tad paler, but just as hot as the rest of the crew.)
As for Linsky’s bronzing process, it's nothing like the spray tan booth debacle Ross had on Friends. (“One Mississippi, two… ”) “I personally don’t have a ‘ding’ time turn,” she laughed. Linsky starts by spraying the actor’s backside, as he faces away from her, with South Seas Tahitian Tan Solution. “So by the time I’m on their front, they’re comfortable with me.” But, it’s not just about creating a healthy glow, either. Linsky also contours while spray tanning, which enhanced Tatum and company’s impeccably sculpted musculature.

Linsky would spritz the guys at least once a week, and while on staff throughout the movie’s shoot, she could carefully monitor her work, and apply necessary touch-ups. (Cue, sighs of jealousy.) She also encouraged the actors to prep their skin by exfoliating with South Seas Black Pearl Sand Scrub, and gently cleanse between tan sessions with Bikini Island Body Wash. In case you’re wondering, Matt Bomer was the most “conscientious” about his spray tan regimen.

With a busy shoot in both Savannah and Myrtle Beach, the cast had to work in Linsky’s tan sessions whenever and wherever they could. “A lot of times, we were spray tanning them at the end of a shoot day, where they’d have to shower in a trailer or in their hotel room,” Linsky said. For Tatum (or “Chan,” as she calls him), Linsky would head to the home he rented with his family during the shoot. “It was always a very private quiet situation, and somewhat reflective,” she said. “We had some nice deep conversations.”

Tatum and Co. also loved hanging out with each other — apparently it was “bro time” when it wasn’t “showtime” (love that line in the latest trailer). “It’s a real, real fraternity of men,” Linsky said. “And it comes off that way, in a good way, in a very positive way.”

She also appreciated being included in a “locker room moment,” that might induce severe feelings of FOMO. In one instance, Adam “Tito” Rodriguez, and Kevin "Tarzan" Nash, decided to enjoy a joint spray tan sesh with Linsky. “CNN was in the background, we were talking finances, and I was doing the spray tans,” she says. “We were having these deep conversations, and they’re standing around as their spray tans are going, and talking. The truth of the matter is, those are funny, fun, and honorable moments, simply because they trust you enough to have you hanging out, in those circumstances.”

The on-screen Kings of Tampa appreciated all her hard work, too. Or so Linsky heard. “They were quite excited from what I was told,” she said. “Because they all supposedly got together at one of their places, that night after I [first] spray tanned [them]. They were in the bathroom, and all really excited because [the tan] really showed off all their hard work.” (Ahhh, the imagery.)

Recently, Linsky drove by that Magic Mike XXL billboard of a gloriously shirtless Tatum, with finger guns pointing at his crotch, (you know, that one), and couldn’t help but feel warm and fuzzy. “His face is tipped down with his baseball cap, and he’s in his jeans,” she said. “But, the rest of it is just his body, and I know that I have something to do with that. I mean, he obviously did all the hard work, but hopefully, I just added the frosting to the cake.”
Photo: Courtesy of Warner Bros. Pictures.

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Photo: Courtesy of Warner Bros. Pictures.

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