Channing Tatum
Credit: Albert L. Ortega / PR Photos

I’ve heard about some serious but ultimately nonfatal movie injuries in my day, including Sylvester Stallone having to spend nine days in a hospital after filming his Rocky IV fight with Dolph Lundgren because the pericardial sac around his heart was swelling. This one tops that.

While shooting the epic battle film The Eagle of the Ninth in the Scottish Highlands last October, Channing Tatum burnt his penis. Why is this making news now? Because he recounts his ordeal in a current Details cover story titled Channing Tatum is Proud of His Package. Playing a soldier of Rome’s Ninth Legion, he had to wade in freezing water in a wetsuit. “The only way to keep warm was by pouring a mix of boiling water and river water down your suit,” he says. “We were finally done shooting for the day, and one of the crew guys asks if I want to warm up before I go. I’m like, Nah, I’m good. And then I thought, Why not? Thing is, he’d forgotten to dilute the kettle water. So he poured scalding water down my suit. And I was trying to pull the suit away from my body to somehow get away from the boiling water, and the more I pulled the suit away, the lower the water went. It just went straight down and pretty much burned the skin off the head of my d—.”

The closest hospital was an hour away. During the trip, the pain was unbearable. “I said to the driver, who was ex-special-forces Marines, ‘You might have to knock me out, because I don’t know if I can take the pain. Just grab something and hit me on the back of my head,'” he recalls. Morphine was administered at the hospital. “I had five guys looking at my shriveled, burned penis,” Tatum tells Details proudly. He also takes out his iPhone and shows the magazine’s writer pictures of his wounded member — which is now fully recovered.

Truth: I enjoyed Chan (as his friends call him) in Step Up and She’s the Man, but I wasn’t officially a fan until reading this profile. In addition to the penis peril story (and sharing that he’s a Meerkat Manor fan), he also admits that he never wanted to hide his self-described “hil-larious” stripper past, which surfaced in video form last September. In fact, he hopes to do a movie about the world of the all-male revue whether or not his people advise it. “I don’t care what they think,” he says. “I’m happy I did it. I’m not proud, because it’s not something to be proud of, but I had an experience that only one out of a thousand — a million — people can say they’ve ever had. I’ve been through this crazy sort of life, and I came out the other side fairly unscathed.”

Are you a (bigger) Chan fan now? What do you think about his Boogie Nights-vibed stripper movie? I’m always up for an entry in that genre (A Night in Heaven, For Ladies Only), but striking that tone will be a challenge.

Photo credit: Albert L. Ortega / PR Photos