May 30, 2017

“Playboy Club” Stars Talk About Their Sexy Costumes

HollywoodNews.com: NBC’s new show The Playboy Club is not what you think. Set in a 1961 Chicago Playboy Club, the show aims to illuminate how empowered the bunnies were. Of course, they’re still sexy in their costumes. The cast and producers presented the show to the Television Critics Association today.

“It’s fun,” star Amber Heard said. “You can’t be in the suit for more than a few seconds without feeling like you’re part of the show. You’re transported back to this time, this very specific moment in history. These clubs no longer exist the way they existed then. You put on this suit and you’re instantly transported back to this time, cigar smoke filled rooms, music, glitter, heels.”

Jenna Dewan Tatum plays one of the bunnies, Janie. A modern girl, she also felt transported by the wardrobe. “It was definitely like playing dress up the first time I put it on,” Dewan Tatum said. “We did so much research on the bunnies, how they were, the camaraderie. You felt like you were in this other era, the ‘60s, an amazing time. It’s like when you were a little kid playing dress up, but every single day and with an amazing script.”

The show features an African-American bunny, Brenda, played by Naturi Naughton. She actually played a bunny in an episode of Mad Men set in a Playboy Club, coincidentally. “There are so many people in research I’ve done that show this is not an easy position to step into at this time,” Naughton said.. “Trying to be equal in a world where you know that the color of your skin is how you’re judged. One of the fun things that I say as bunny Brenda in the pilot is, ‘At the end of the day, you can’t discriminate against these babies.’ She feels the world is an open place where she can go and show she’s just as good as everyone else, every other bunny. Being the chocolate bunny, she wants to step into this world and say being the color I am, I want to step into this world.”

The name Playboy may suggest something sexual, but the bunnies were simply waitresses and dancers. They even operated conservatively, despite their provocative costumes. “It was the way they served their drinks,” Leah Renee said. “We had to learn the bunny dip and it was the purpose of not having their breasts spill onto the table. The girls weren’t sitting on laps getting slapped on their bottoms. There were rules about the girls not being touched. They were walked to their cars after shifts.”

In the early years of the ‘60s, The Playboy Club was on the forefront of social issues. Civil Rights and Women’s Lib were just developing, and these women were already independent breadwinners. “Once we started doing the research on these women, we realized how truly independent they were,” DeWan Tatum said. “They were financially independent. These women had a big choice doing what they wanted to do. I feel like that freedom is what you will feel from us bunnies in the show.”

On the show, the men include a bookkeeper, security, bartender and subtle appearances of Hef himself. However, the women are the heart of The Playboy Club. “There is no Playboy Club without these women,” Naughton said. “At the end of the day, of course men hold the key, but this is a world you come to enjoy the music, you walk in and enjoy the fantasy. It’s DisneyWorld for adults. There is no DisneyWorld without the characters and roller coasters. Without these women there is no club.”

The Playboy Club premieres this fall on NBC.

Photo by NBC

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About Fred Topel

Fred Topel has been an entertainment journalist in Los Angeles since 1999, for websites like Daily Radar, About.com, Crave Online and Sci Fi Wire. Follow his celebrity encounters on Twitter @FredTopel.

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