Constance Wu Went Undercover to Prepare for ‘Hustlers’ and Made $600

Hustlers was released in September 2019 and has been making waves for its intriguing story line about a group of strippers who worked together to steal money from their wealthy clients. The movie also attracted a lot of attention for its star-studded cast, including Jennifer Lopez, Constance Wu, Lili Reinhart, and Cardi B.

These stars are known for their dedication to their craft, and one actress in particular – Constance Wu – was determined to understand as much about her role as possible. Fans will be shocked to learn that Wu actually went undercover during preparations for the film. Read on below to learn about all the things that Wu did before she began filming Hustlers.

Constance Wu played Destiny in ‘Hustlers’

Constance Wu on the red carpet
Constance Wu | Leon Bennett/FilmMagic

Wu’s character is known as Destiny, a single mom who started stripping in order to support her struggling family. In Hustlers, Destiny ended up forming a friendship with veteran stripper Ramona Vega (Jennifer Lopez), and the two of them later got together with Ramona’s protegees to scam wealthy businessmen.

The character of Destiny is based on real-life stripper Roselyn Keo, who is the daughter of Cambodian immigrants. Keo grew up in Queens, New York, and started stripping at the age of 16.

She started taking on the scheme to take money from wealthy clients in 2013, though after being caught by officials a year later, Keo decided to cooperate with the authorities. She ended up only getting five years of probation. Keo currently has plans to release a memoir to tell her own story.

Constance Wu did a lot to prepare for her role in ‘Hustlers’

Playing a scheming stripper in Hustlers was definitely a new territory for Wu, who is best known for her role as the immigrant mother Jessica Huang in Fresh Off the Boat as well as the rom-com female lead Rachel Chu in Crazy Rich Asians. Thus, Wu had to learn a lot in order to prepare for her role as Destiny.

Back in September 2019, she shared with Vulture: “I installed a pole in my living room. I took pole classes; I took private coaching sessions. And this was all stuff I paid for by myself before we even started the movie.”

Additionally, she had to visit strip clubs as well to understand the environment that her character found herself in.

“I went to a lot of strip clubs in San Francisco — that’s what I spent my Christmas Eve doing,” Wu said. “I went with two of my guy friends, and we went to five different clubs. It was so fucking fun. And nobody knew who I was. I’m not really that famous. Also nobody expects this sitcom mother of three boys to be in a strip club.”

Constance Wu also worked as an undercover stripper for a bit

While observing strippers would be enough for some people, Wu even took her research further by trying out stripping for herself. On a recent visit to The Kelly Clarkson Show, Wu revealed that she ditched her actress persona for one night to become an undercover stripper at a club.

“I did work at a strip club to get ready for Hustlers. I went undercover. I gave lap dances to strangers,” Wu said before revealing how much she managed to earn. “I’m not lying! I made $600 my friend. I am not being funny, and it was not funny. I put fake tattoos on my neck, changed my hair. You can’t duplicate the first time you walk into a club and say, ‘Hey, I’d like to have a job here,’ and then you go work that night.”