After a breakout role last year with "Crazy Rich Asians," Constance Wu was ready to tackle something completely different.
In the film "Hustlers," she plays Destiny, a stripper who joins a girl gang headed by Jennifer Lopez’s Ramona to fleece Wall Street big shots out of their cash.
Yes, there’s pole dancing and partying, but the movie -- which co-stars Keke Palmer, Lili Reinhart and Cardi B -- is also about the power of friendship. And it's based on a true story.
“Deep down, [Destiny is] somebody who's really lonely who just wants a friend and she finds this group of friends who are all different,” Wu told ABC News.
In researching the film, Wu also became friends with a group of women who worked at strip clubs.
“[We] went out to dinner, hung out, and less in like interview format but more just as friends, just to get to know them as people instead of like, ‘Ooh, what's it like to do this thing?’” Wu explained. “Because just like anything, it's a job. You know, it's like when people ask, ‘What's it like being an actor?’ I'm like, ‘Love it, it's great.’ But it's not the idea of what you think it is.”
With an all-female core cast and mostly women behind the scenes as well, including writer/director Lorene Scafaria, Wu said being on the "Hustlers" set was an empowering experience. Instead of fighting for a seat at the table, everyone was “sorta making our own table.”
“And it wasn't competitive,” she added. “It just felt like a sisterhood and felt like a project where we could all be ourselves.”
"Hustlers" hits theaters Friday.