Magic Mike, the buzzed about male stripping flick poised to be a summer blockbuster is loosely based on several months (Channing’s former co-worker says it was four, but Channing says it was nine) of star Channing Tatum’s time on the pole.
He told MTV News how his experience turned into a movie concept:
“I was having a beer with [director Steven] Soderbergh, we were making a movie together. I did this for like eight months of my life when I was like 18 or 19 years of age. He was like ‘We gotta make a movie of this.’”
Once the Soderbergh had the concept fleshed out, he pitched it to Matthew McConaughey, who told the LA Times:
“I got the call and talked to Steven [Soderbergh, director], and within 10 minutes when he pitched it to me, I was on my knees in my kitchen, banging the floor, laughing. I love the idea of these corny little subcultures and worlds, and Steven’s great at it.”
The movie’s cast and Soderbergh financed the film themselves, so it’s essentially and indie flick, but it’s now looking like they didn’t risk much in this investment. Women (and gay men) everywhere are dying to see this film when it releases this week. The movie also promises to have humor that will give straight guys a chance to forget that they’re watching men strip.
Ever since the public found out that chiseled Channing used to be a stripper, women everywhere have been swooning in packs, but his stripper pals are a little miffed over the flick. Thomas “Awesome” Austin and London Steele claim that Channing, who only danced for four months in Florida, was an “amateur” who stole their moves (Channing denies that he stole anyone’s moves.) They also say he took the name Magic Mike from “Awesome,” who made it up for one of his coworkers. Awesome and London Steel are also upset that they’re not in the film themselves. From TMZ:
“They claim they took Tatum under their wings when he was a nobody and taught him all their special stripper-moves like “The Hot Seat” — which is featured in the film and Austin says he invented it.”
The guys tell us, after seeing parts of the final product they feel slighted … claiming Tatum failed to consult them for accuracy and insist that, without them, he wouldn’t have any material.”
Even though his stripper pals are not impressed, Channing’s wife Jenna Dewan is impressed by her husbands moves in the film. She told E! Online: “There were moments in that movie where I was like, ‘I gotta give it to you — I could not have done that. That was amazing.’”
Channing on his four-month stripping career: “You get in at 18, and halfway through 19 you look around and you’re like, ‘Man, I don’t want to do this.’ I never really enjoyed taking my clothes off. That was a weird thing. I really enjoyed the dancing, the performance of it all, the craziness of the life. But I would always take my pants off and run off stage.”
Despite the fact that Channing and the movie’s creators are milking his brief stint as a stripper for all it’s worth, it’s still a brilliant concept, and no doubt the film will be a staple for bachelorette parties everywhere for years to come. Magic Mike also features True Blood hottie Joe Manganiello.
Here’s footage of Channing stripping way back when: