The 32-year-old actor tells us about his new stripper movie and how he keeps his marriage romantic.A hunk named Channing Tatum says that there are times in life and movies when special effects are not required. "All the dances in Magic Mike end the same way with pelvic gyrations," he promises. "The dances start clothed and end naked. There is not cool editing happening."
In Magic Mike, Tatum plays a character that's true to life. In real life, he worked as a male dancer for a brief time before he became an actor. In the film, he plays Mike, a guy trying to make a buck by working construction and other odd jobs - one of them as a male stripper at a Tampa club owned by a man named Dallas (played by Matthew Mcconaughey). Read More: 5 Reasons We Love Channing Tatum
Over breakfast at the Four Seasons Hotel on a warm summer morning, Tatum appears in jeans and a T-shirt that molds over his massive shoulders. The 32-year-old has a warm smile and a sweet disposition. Even when you ask him about tougher times in his life, he just smiles. "Look, I respect these guys who dance. I respect them for jumping into the thong with both feet," Tatum says. "I've done it before, so I can imagine what it's like for these guys now."
See what else Channing had to tell us about his stripping past and present life in our interview:
Why would a guy ever want to work as an exotic dancer?
I think everybody knows somebody or can look in the mirror and say, "OK, what do I do now after high school or college?" You have your dreams, but sometimes you have to do other jobs to get to the dream. So, you fall into other things. For some guys who choose dancing, years can tick on while the party is happening. If you're a dancer you could wake up ten years later and say, "I don't have much to show for my life. I'm not closer to my dream. I got sidetracked." Getting sidetrack happens to a lot of people.
Does your wife make you do some of those dances at home?
That's funny. My wife married a stripper, so she knew what she was getting into. She made this a pre-requisite for the marriage!
Were you nervous during your dance scenes for the movie?
I just committed and so did everyone else in this cast. We just went for it during the dance scenes. I wish we had enough time in the movie to show everyone's entire dance scene. Everyone worked so hard on their dances. It's a humiliating thing to be left with very little to the imagination in front of 300 people watching them dance.
What led you to working as a male dancer?
Look, I was 18 years old and I was working three jobs. That was just one of them. I really enjoyed performing - it was actually my first performance job and I really like to dance. I didn't really love taking the clothes off. I found this was a very dark world. In the film, we didn't scratch the surface of how dark it can get - it's a slippery slope. This movie was the most palpable version of this world. We didn't want it to feel dirty. For me, I got out and kept working in clubs. I just put on shows at one nightclub, but I didn't get naked. Read More: See Channing Tatum Strip To "It's Raining Men"
Is it hard to learn these kinds of dance routines?
For the movie, the routines were fun and hilarious. You wanted to get it right. I remember the first day we learned the routines, then someone said, "OK, now it's time to get naked!" Everyone just went out and did it. Everyone just went nuts.
You've had an amazing year with hits like The Vow and 21 Jump Street. What does it feel like to be on the A-List now?
It's just amazing! It's been a year of a lot of hard work and I can't wait to see what's next. I love doing movies and I want to do all kinds of films from serious dramas to comedies. Read More: Channing Tatum Leaves Love Letters For Wife Jenna Dewan
How do you stay so busy and make it work with your wife, Jenna Dewan?
You just have to be together. Long distance is hard, but we make sure that we don't spend more than a week or two apart. I think guys make the effort when they're truly in love, which is what I am. It's not corny to leave a love note. It's something you want to do. It's not corny to cook that romantic dinner. You can't wait to do it for her.
Tell us: Are you going to see Magic Mike this weekend?
Written by Cindy Pearlman for YourTango.com.
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