The former stripper talks modeling, Tarzan costumes, and more

By Adam Markovitz
April 13, 2012 at 04:00 AM EDT
  • Movie

EW In Magic Mike, you play a male stripper and spend a good part of the movie in a thong. Were you nervous about that at all?
Tatum Not really. In modeling, you’re always naked. And I grew up in Florida, where you’re always sort of in a swimsuit or basically naked. I’m not really shy.

EW You used your real-life experience as a stripper to help teach your costars some of their dance moves, right? Is there any kind of technical jargon you used?
Tatum You just say, ”Grab her face and put it in your junk.”

EW Was it tough to get the energy of a real club into a movie?
Tatum Not at all. But I think [the extras] felt sometimes like they weren’t allowed to get as crazy as they wanted to. I was like, ”Who’s been to a strip club here? Are y’all sitting down during those things? Get up!” When you lock those doors in a real male revue, the women lose their minds. They turn into feral animals. Their nails get longer; their hair gets coarser. All their inhibitions go out the window.

EW You guys wear some hilarious costumes in the movie: Tarzan, cowboy, a Ken doll. What was your best one back in the day?
Tatum The first one that I actually did was a Boy Scout routine. Like, with a tent next to me.

EW Did that get you a lot of good tips?
Tatum It doesn’t matter what you do up there as long as you’re having fun. All the girls want to do is watch their girlfriends get embarrassed by a guy grinding on them. They’re not like, ”Oh my God, that sailor routine was so good!”

  • Movie
  • R
release date
  • 06/29/12
  • 112 minutes
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