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Adam Rodriguez’s role as detective Eric Delko from the recently canceled TV series CSI: Miami may soon be a thing of the past, but female fans will gain new appreciation of his steamy, R-rated stripping moves in Steven Soderbergh’s Magic Mike. I caught up with the Puerto Rican-Cuban actor to talk about his new career path and the many Soderbergh lessons he learned while shooting in a thong.
Movies.com: Are your fans loving your performance in Magic Mike?
Adam Rodriguez: So far all that have seen it have had complimentary things to say. I love hearing it.
Movies.com: You’re so loved as Eric Delko, having brought the character to life for 11 seasons. Where are you at now in terms of your career?
Rodriguez: I love Eric Delko, will always love Eric. I had a great experience working on the show for as many years as we did and getting to see the same people every day, you really do become a family.
As far as works go, I like the idea of playing different characters. Being able to immerse myself in a character for a period of time and being able to let it go and take on a new character as opposed to playing the same character for years and years. That’s the direction I would like go in.
Movies.com: You have some loyal fans. How thankful are you for all of their support?
Rodriguez: I have to thank my fans for riding with me for as long as they have. Their feedback and love is what really drives me to work harder and get better and continue to tell great stories. The goal is to deliver happiness and entertainment all at the same time.
Movies.com: Was it fear or excitement that struck you first on the set of Magic Mike?
Rodriguez: It was the hardest I had ever worked at anything in my life, without a doubt. It was also the most fearful I had ever been. Oh my god, to know that I was going to work with Steven Soderbergh, Matthew McConaughey , Channing Tatum, and be in a film that I knew was going to have a chance of having a huge audience– that fear really drove me to work the hardest.
It also taught me that I love the way it feels. To be completely honest when you do a TV show for a long time you forget what it is to have to rise to an occasion. You do get a bit complacent because you become so familiar with the character that it doesn’t require the kind of intense focus and work then it does when you have a movie that is going to shoot in a short period of time.
Movies.com: What lessons did you learn from Steven Soderbergh?
Rodriguez: What I really learned was to be prepared, have a vision for what you want to do and don’t be so completely married [to it] that you don’t leave room to find little treasures along the way. Steven knew exactly what he was doing every step of the way, yet he didn’t have blinders on so he was still open to receiving new ideas and seeing things that maybe he didn’t see beforehand and letting those things happen.
I learned that there is a reason why his crew has been with him for almost 20 years and it’s because of the way he treats people. It was a great set to be on, it was calm and comfortable, everyone knew exactly what they were doing at every moment and that allows you to have a sense of relaxation and freedom to make really great art.
Movies.com: Will fans get to see you in dramas or more comedic roles?
Rodriguez: I love comedy, I love the relaxed environment that you feel when you’re doing comedy. To be funny there needs to be a sense of looseness but what I really want to do is be part of projects that push me like this film did. Magic Mike really pushed me so whatever the next role is I hope it challenges me.
Movies.com: On that note, what’s next for you?
Rodriguez: I don’t know and that feels great. I have no idea what’s next and I’m really excited about it. I feel really good. Working on CSI for as long as I did afforded me to not know what’s next and be ok with it. It’s weird to be unemployed all of a sudden but that’s the exciting part of the process, it’s what made me want to be an actor–that feeling of the unknown. It’s like freefalling and you’re enjoying the fall and you know you’re going to catch yourself somewhere along the way, wherever that ends up being it will be a nice surprise.
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Check out our exclusive video interview with the boys of Magic Mike.