By Adam Markovitz
Updated December 05, 2012 at 03:00 PM EST
Channing Tatum 02
Credit: Valerie Macon/AFP/Getty Images

After a racking up three hit movies — The Vow, 21 Jump Street, and Magic Mike — in under six months, it’s no wonder Channing Tatum is still trying to wrap his head around 2012. “It’s just more insane than I can ever try to explain,” says the actor, 32, who earned his place among EW’s Entertainers of the Year for proving that he can pull off comedy, action, and his pants with equal aplomb. “So many times I’ll be at the end of a movie and think, ‘Okay, maybe I’ll take vacation.’ But there’s always that thing in the back of my head bugging me. You feel like a shark: If you stop swimming you’ll die — especially in this business. And I just like working.”

He won’t have trouble landing a job any time soon. Since his arrival on the A-list, Tatum has lined up parts in Steven Soderbergh’s Side Effects (out Feb. 7), Roland Emmerich’s presidential thriller White House Down (June 28) and Bennet Miller’s drama Foxcatcher (release date TBD). “The movie I’m doing with Bennett Miller will probably push me harder than I’ve ever been pushed, acting-wise,” says Tatum, who will play the brother of real-life Olympic wrestler Dave Schultz (Mark Ruffalo), who was murdered by an heir to the DuPont fortune (Steve Carell). “I’m excited about that.” We are too.

Pick up a copy of this week’s EW to see the full list of our Entertainers of the Year.