Chris Messina made the Internet explode when the actor put on a strip show for Mindy Kaling on "The Mindy Project" this season -- and while fans clearly loved it, the shoot was one of the most embarrassing days of work he's ever had.
The 40-year-old sat down with toofab's Brian Particelli to talk about his first directing gig on "Alex of Venice" (in theaters and VOD April 17), his "Magic Mike" moment and the 10-year anniversary of his "Six Feet Under" debut.
"It was very embarrassing, very vulnerable," Messina says of his strip tease in the Season 3 premiere of "The Mindy Project." "Someone was asking me about the anal sex episode, but that really wasn't so embarrassing. You're sitting there and we do so much coverage on the show. Take 1, 2, 3, 4, and the poor guy with the boom mic's like 'Can't this guy stop taking off his clothes? I just want to go to my kids.'"
As for how he looked so suave pulling off those moves: "They always make me look better in editing!"
The show itself is still on the bubble, and not even Messina knows if it'll return for Season 4.
"I have no idea. I wish I did. I think you'll know faster than I will, I'm the last person to find out these things," he says. "I'm sure Mindy and her writing staff have a lot of interesting things up their sleeves that they want to do with these characters. We'll probably know sometime in May."
Check out the video above to see what he remembers most about his days working on "Six Feet Under" and why it was a "blessing and a curse" for his career. In case you forgot, Messina played Lauren Ambrose's boyfriend on the show.
These days, Chris is extremely excited about his directorial debut.
"Alex of Venice" tells the tale of one woman (the excellent Mary Elizabeth Winstead) whose life becomes complicated after her husband (Messina) abandons both her and their son.
Thanks to his extensive work in front of the camera, Messina knew what he wanted to do once he got behind it.
"I like having a voice [as an actor] and if I don't have a voice I get very uncomfortable," he tells toofab. "I don't like being told 'Stand here, say this, more funny, faster' and all that stuff. I wanted to create a space where there would be no 'No,' and we would just keeping saying 'Yes, let's try this,' 'Yes, that's a great idea."
"I've worked with great directors where they've gave me wings, but often I've worked with s**t directors where they've clipped my wings and I don't like when directors start directing before anyone's done anything," he adds.
Despite making "a lot of mistakes" on this go around, he's definitely caught the directing bug -- telling us "I've learned a lot and I'm excited to put those experiences to the test in the next movie."