Launching an exotic male revue might seem like a strange next step for a Hollywood actress, but Vivica A. Fox — who’s doing just that in the new Lifetime reality series “Vivica’s Black Magic” — is certainly qualified. In addition to playing a stripper in the 1996 blockbuster “Independence Day,” she’s been known to do a little research of her own into the world of exotic dance.
“Oh, yes, honey, I’m a connoisseur of male strippers,” Fox, 52, tells The Post. “Back in the day I used to go to this [strip club] called Tigers, by La Brea [in] Crenshaw,” she says of the Los Angeles spot. “It was in the ’hood. We used to have a blast.”
Fox got the idea for the new business venture — into which she’s invested $300,000 — thanks to two experiences. One was watching the 2012 movie “Magic Mike.” The other was seeing her “Sharknado 2” co-star Ian Ziering as a “guest host” at the Las Vegas Chippendales and noticing a lack of diversity among the dancers.
Shortly after, she was cast in the movie “Chocolate City,” basically the African-American version of “Magic Mike,” and she and director Jean-Claude La Marre decided to turn the idea into a reality show, which premiered Wednesday.
“The goal of ‘Vivica’s Black Magic’ is to create the ultimate girls’ night out that’s full of diversity,” she says.
“I’ve got [dancers] from white chocolate to caramel to butterscotch to dark chocolate, whatever might tickle your fancy that night.”
Oh, yes, honey, I’m a connoisseur of male strippers.
In choosing eight men from about 100 who came from around the country to audition, Fox didn’t want every chiseled guy to look alike. Steven “Charm” Beck is a trainer with a great body, but he’s only a decent dancer. Michael “Bolo” Bolwaire, who starred in “Chocolate City,” is the most experienced of the bunch. Alvester Martin has the presence of a skilled dancer, having toured with Beyoncé and Mariah Carey, but is a newbie to exotic dance. The show’s New York cast member, Jonathan “Heat” Martinez, is a former pro boxer.
Over eight episodes, “Vivica’s Black Magic” follows Fox and the male dancers for three months as they work with choreographer Darrin Henson to land the act a spot on the Las Vegas Strip.
“The big challenge was, we weren’t all professional dancers and we had to get the choreography down pat,” Martinez, 27, says. “Each episode we had to get a new dance together. That was a headache; I’m no Chris Brown or anything. I know how to grind, wind, smile and wink. I never took a dance class before. All I know how to dance is salsa, bachata and merengue because I’m Spanish.”
While watching a group of men with six-packs take off their shirts all day might sound like a vacation, Fox assures that keeping eight alpha males in line was much harder than one might expect.
“I take what I do extremely seriously,” she says. “People know I put on the best parties. I’ve got a reputation. When [the men] were missing in action, lagging around, playing, I would go off. There were times that I would have to yell at them, and then I’d get all sensitive as a female, and then I’d have to man up myself.
“I almost had a nervous breakdown behind this show,” she adds.