Channing Tatum Interview for Magic Mike
Magical Moves...
July 2, 2012
Interview by: Dan Deevy

Written by: Rocco Passafuime

Channing Tatum has carved out a niche, mostly as a favorite with women in romantic films like Step Up, Dear John and The Vow. Then, he began to show surprising new dimensions, with his first crack at comedy in the hit 21 Jump Street.

Now the 32 year-old former stripper and model parlays his physique and his past as “Magic” Mike Martingano in the film Magic Mike. Tatum talks about what he hoped to accomplish tackling a film dealing with the mostly untapped world of male stripping.

“I just think we’re trying to do our part to objectify men for the first time in movies,” Channing says.

Channing was asked if any of the ladies who were hired as extras as club patrons ever took their roles too seriously.

“You’ve got to commit,” Tatum notes, “Actually, they were there for a while with us and they became sort of our friends. You’d get off stage and they’d go, ‘Yo, that was a really good one. Really, that part where you did the thing, that was great.’”

Tatum claims the film’s screenwriter Reid Carolin was a little too intrigued by the world of male strip clubs in his doing research for the film.

“Reid was in male strip clubs,” Channing says, “I couldn’t even get him out. I was like, ‘Man, you don’t have to go to every one. They’re all pretty much the same.’”

Channing talks about how the film, in which he plays a male stripper showing a young novice, played by Alex Pettyfer, the ropes while the latter seeks a life beyond the world of thongs and grinding how the film deals with becoming a man.

“I think everybody either knows somebody or has experienced it themselves, whether they did or didn’t graduate college, afterwards you’re like, ‘Okay, what do I do now?’” he says, “You have the dreams that you want to do and then you have to do other jobs until you can get to that dream.”

“Mike, and I think a lot of these guys, just sort of fell into this thing and it was fun and years just sort of ticked on as the party was happening,” Tatum adds, “Then all of a sudden you’re like, “Wow, it’s seven years later and I don’t really have very much to show for it. I’m not any closer to my dream.” At some point the party had just gotten away and it became your life. I think that’s happened to a lot of people. They just get sidetracked.”

Tatum was asked if he had any reservations about performing with a lack of clothes.

“My wife married a stripper, so she pretty much knew what she was getting herself into as a prerequisite,” he says, “I just respect these guys for jumping into the thong with both feet and out onto the stage because I’ve done it before and it was still nerve racking for me. I can’t imagine what these guys had to go through.”

[Matt] Bomer had to go first,” Channing continues, “I felt so bad for that. I was like, ‘Maybe I should go first.’ Everybody just committed. Every single person up here just went for it, and I wish we had time in the movie to show everybody’s dance because everyone worked so hard on them. It’s a humbling thing to get up there and you’re left with very little to the imagination in front of almost three hundred people. It’s very, very nerve racking.”

Channing was asked if there was any competition going on with the dancing going on.

“[Director]Steven [Soderburgh] was very competitive, yeah,” Tatum claims, “Steven got up there and he gave it all, he gave it all up.

Tatum talked about the hours he spent getting fit and working on the choreography.

“It really was like that thing where, I’ve said this before, but I’ll say it again, most movies, when you’re done with your scene you go home,” Channing says, “You go home, you’re like, ‘That’s it. I’m good. I’m going to go home for the day.’ That’s not what happened with everybody.”

“You wanted to see them do their routine and do it well and kill it,” he continues, “Every time that Bomer or anybody came off stage you went back and high fived them and told them what really worked, and you’re just like, ‘You murdered that.’ It really became a weird team, in a way, like a very weird, strange team. ‘I want to do strip competitions, guys. Can we do that? Can we enter some competitions, strip-offs?’”

Channing was asked if the greater challenge was the character, the clothing, or the dance moves.

“I’d say they’re all pretty equal,” Tatum replies, “I don’t know. It wasn’t hard. It wasn’t so much hard. The routines, you wanted to stick them and do well and perform them well, but it wasn’t hard. They were all fun and hilarious.”

“Like I remember the first day that they were like, ‘Alright, guys, we’ve learned these routines and now it’s time to get naked now, boys. It’s got to happen sooner or later,’ he adds, “And everyone was like, ‘Woo!’ and just went out and did it. You were just like, ‘Okay, never mind. This isn’t going to be as hard as I thought it was going to be. This is going to be pretty.”

Tatum was asked if he loved all the costumes he got to wear.

“I loved all my costumes,” Channing replies, “I have all mine.”

Channing also revealed why he stopped stripping.

“I was undervalued so I stopped stripping,” he replies, “No. Look, I was eighteen years old and I worked three jobs. This was just one of them, and I really enjoyed performing. It was probably my first performing job ever. I really like to dance, obviously, but then I didn’t really love taking the clothes off at the end, but the world in itself was just a very dark world in a way.”

“I don’t think we even scratch the surface of really how dark that place can get and how slippery of a slope it can actually be,” Tatum adds, “This was probably the most palatable version of this movie. Otherwise, you wouldn’t want to see it twice, you’d just be like, ‘Okay, I feel dirty now.’ I think we blade ran that topic, but just really got out and then I basically kept working in the clubs, but I just went with some of boys that danced as well and we’d just put on shows at this one nightclub, it’s actually in the movie, Amphitheater. We put on these crazy shows on in the back that we didn’t get naked in.”

Tatum was asked if there would be more dance montages as special features on the home video release.

“I don’t think that people get that they all end the exact same way, all devolve into pelvic gyration,” Channing answers, “They all start clothed and end naked, and there’s no really cool editing happening to miss the really gory parts. Not that there’s anything wrong with that.”



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"I don't compromise my values and I don't compromise my work. I won't give in." -Michael Moore

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