Since his days as a child growing up in Montgomery, Alabama, Stephen Boss was always on the move, which is how he earned the nickname “tWitch.” After studying dance at Southern Union State Community, he made his Hollywood debut in Season 3 of the reality TV series “So You Think You Can Dance” and was runner-up in the Finals in Season 4.
He’s successfully parlayed his television success into a film career, appearing in Hairspray, Blades of Glory, Stomp the Yard 2 and, most notably, several installments of the Step Up franchise: Step Up Revolution, Step Up: All in, and Step Up 3D. And since April of 2014, he has been featured on “The Ellen Degeneres Show” as a guest DJ.
tWitch is married to his “So You Think You Can Dance” co-star, Allison Holker.
He sat down with the L.A. Sentinel to talk about his starring opposite Channing Tatum and Jada Pinkett Smith in his latest project, Magic Mike XXL.
KW: So, what interested you in Magic Mike XXL?
StB: I had never worked with anybody in the film before, which was great. And then when I heard that they were doing a sequel, I just put it out there that I was going to be a part of it. And I was excited.
KW: Many of your roles have been dance-related, but how do you prepare to play a stripper??
StB: Well, a lot of it has to do with the choreography. Once you’re on set with extras who are ready to throw dollars and excited that you’re actually taking your shirt off it’s pretty easy to get into character. Our choreographer, Alison Faulk, helped tremendously to make sure we were still bringing it.
KW: When you’re cast alongside so many other great dancers, what do you have to do to stand out and put your personal mark on a movie?
StB: Honestly, by just getting down the only way that I can, which I think I did with my first solo team. That was basically me free-styling. And when I free-style, that’s just the way that I dance. Nobody else dances like that. So, I thank that’s enough, doing me to the fullest.
KW: What message do you think people will take away from the film?
StB: [Laughs] It depends on what message you are open to taking. There’s the underlying buddy theme to this film about taking a road trip with your boys for your last hurrah, and having a good time and being open for anything. There are a lot of unexpected twists and turns and relationships formed due to unforeseen circumstances that actually work out for the better.
KW: How have you enjoyed being a guest DJ on Ellen? Do you really pick the music, or just play it?
StB: It’s so much fun. I pick the music but, of course, Ellen has her say in terms of what she wants to hear. We have an incredible time. If you come to a taping of the show, you’ll see how much fun it is.
KW: The Mike Pittman question: What was your best career decision?
StB: To never stop.
KW: Was there a meaningful spiritual component to your childhood?
StB: Yes there was, for sure. I was raised religious, for the most part, which came with a spiritual component that has continued. So, I’ve always had spirituality around me.
KW: The Anthony Mackie question: Is there anything that you promised yourself you’d do if you became famous, that you still haven’t done yet?
StB: Yes, to build a community center in my hometown, Montgomery, Alabama.
KW: What’s it like to be from Montgomery, a city with so much history in terms of the Civil Rights movement?
StB: Its history is very deep, and I’m so grateful to be from there. It really helps me in my day-to-day life. It helped me establish my vales, my base of who I am and how I feel about things..
KW: Thanks again for the time, tWitch, and best of luck with Magic Mike XXL.
StB: Thanks so much, Kam.
To see a trailer for Magic Mike XXL, visit: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oLoyU3xYwbs