There was no way there could be quiet on this set.
The cast of “Welcome to Chippendales” — the limited series which fictionalizes the tragic history of the pioneering all-male strip club — could barely curb their enthusiasm during stripping scenes.
“We would have to be silent for some of the takes,” said Annaleigh Ashford, who played Irene, the wife of club owner Somen “Steve” Banerjee.
“So when the boys would go to rip off their pants during the silent takes … all of us would still just scream.”
“Not on purpose,” added leading man Kumail Nanjiani, who portrayed the doomed Banerjee in the show, which premieres on Hulu on Nov. 22.
To prepare to play his character, Nanjiani, 44, spent time asking himself, “How do you make sense of a guy who does things that inherently don’t make sense?”
Banerjee, an immigrant from India, founded Chippendales in Los Angeles in 1979 and opened a second location in Midtown in 1983.
His business partner, famed choreographer Nick De Noia, played by Emmy Award-winner Murray Bartlett of “The White Lotus,” ran their New York venue and Banerjee had him murdered while sitting in his West 40th Street office.
Hours before his sentencing, Banerjee hanged himself in his federal prison cell, preventing the government from seizing his assets. His fortune went to Irene, who had two children with him, including a son Christian, who started his own company “Strippendales” in 2020.
Although the real-life story is grim, the set was “super joyful,” according to Ashford, who won a Tony Award for her work in “You Can’t Take It with You” on Broadway.
Nanjiani found joy in the fact that he didn’t have to take off his shirt, unlike his costars, who stripped down to their G-strings.
“Thankful every single day eating pies and cheesecake and chicken sandwiches,” said the native of Pakistan who was nominated for an Oscar for Best Original Screenplay for “The Big Sick.”
“I ate a lot of ice cream. I ate like four meals a day. It was fantastic,” said Nanjiani, who prior to the shoot, which wrapped in July, had transformed his body for the 2021 Marvel movie “Eternals,” and debuted his toned abs on Instagram.
Actor Quentin Plair, on the other hand, did remove his clothing — and was “really nervous.”
“I’m not an exhibitionist. I am not a stripper. I’m not a dancer, even,” explained Plair, 34, who played Otis. “And you know, we’re in there, hundreds of women there waiting for me.”
All ended on a high note, however.
“We literally had to stop the scene because the background was so loud that we couldn’t hear anything,” said Plair.
“There was like a very palpable energy in the club … it was like, ‘Oh, this is why this became as big as it was.’”
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