If you’ve seen the video of Jennifer Lopez learning to pole dance for her role in Hustlers, you’ll know that she calls it “one of the hardest things I’ve ever done physically.” Keke Palmer mimicked her sentiments in an EXCLUSIVE interview with HollywoodLife.com at the MTV VMAs, saying, “They didn’t even have me do too much pole dancing because I was like, ‘It’s not that easy!'” She laughed and continued, “Jennifer, I don’t know how she did it. It took a lot of athleticism.”
Keke is joined by J.Lo, Constance Wu, Lili Reinhart, Cardi B, Lizzo, Julia Styles and Madeline Brewer to round out the star-studded Hustlers cast. At a special LA screening of the film, the group seemed tight-knit and fun as they posed on the carpet together. “These ladies really taught me how to hold it all together. How to keep each other up. It’s a lot of late nights,” the new Strahan, Sarah & Keke host explained. “You try to make sure it’s fun, and just be a team player.” In the true story film, Keke plays Mercedes, a stripper who joins forces with Lopez’s Ramona and Wu’s Destiny, to scam wealthy businessmen in the midst of the 2000 financial crisis.
Performer Johanna Sapakie was enlisted to coach J.Lo how to work the pole for the role, and ended up helping out the other women in the film, too. “There’s the kind of pole dancing you’ll see in clubs, which is the kind of stuff we did in the Hustlers movie, but then sometimes you’ll see the stuff they do in Cirque Du Soleil which is highly acrobatic pole dancing, and then you’ll see contemporary pole dancing, which has a very modern feel to it,” Johanna explained to HL in an EXCLUSIVE interview, while teaching a Hustlers-inspired pole dancing class at Body & Pole in NYC. “It goes from one end to another to everything in between, which is what I love about it. People are now using this tool, the pole, to create art.”
Hustlers hits theaters on Friday, September 13 and premiers at Toronto Film Festival this Saturday, September 7.