In what seems like a brilliant marketing campaign straight from the Kardashians, the new film Magic Mike (premiering nationwide on Friday) is making headlines for behind-the-scenes drama surrounding its true origins. Magic Mike is marketed as being based on the true stripper past of actor Channing Tatum, but ten days ago two of Tatum’s old stripper pals, Thomas “Awesome” Austin and London Steele, spoke with TMZ and told the site much of the movie was taken directly from their own stories – including the name Magic Mike!
Austin says he coined the nickname for another stripper, who can be seen in the photo above in the back on the right (Austin is in the center and Channing Tatum is in the front to the right of center). It has since been revealed that the actual Magic Mike is allegedly named Michael Sorrentino (yes, just like The Situation. The Stripuation?), who is now 41 and serving a five-year sentence for trafficking heroine. Here’s his mug shot photo:
And here is a terrible quality video shot in 1993 of Mike in action reenacting Michael Jackson’s famous “Smooth Criminal” music video courtesy of Austin, who can be heard emceeing the routine and calling Sorrentino “Michael Angelo.” You can also hear reference to the now-infamous “Hot Seat” in the video. (WARNING – There is a bit of profanity in the clip, as well as some blurry dong thong action)
Channing Tatum recently addressed Austin and Steele’s allegations, including that he stole Austin’s “Hot Seat” dance move for the movie. “Those guys have been trying to make money off of me since I got into this business.”
He goes on to say, “Look, there’s nothing that’s factual in this whole movie other than that I was an 18-year-old kid and went into this world and I dropped out of college from playing football and was living on my sister’s couch. There’s not one character that I took from my real life; this is just a world that I went into, and I had a perspective on. And we created everything from a fictional place.”
He added, “I don’t want to say anything bad about them because they’re part of the reason why I think this world is so interesting. They’re very interesting, intriguing and bizarre characters, and I’m thankful for weird people out there. They’re some of the most creative people.”
Hmmmm… That sounds kind of like a Bill Clintonesque denial to me!
I think we’ll let Thomas “Awesome” Austin bask in his 15 minutes a little by wrapping this up with a series of video clips of TAA talking about the whole situation, as well as just how awesome Thomas “Awesome” Austin really is!
At one point Austin challenges Channing Tatum to some sort of strip off or something, but eventually realizes that probably isn’t going to happen. So, in this next clip, he resorts to straight-up trash talking, including calling Tatum a “shrimp d*ck b!tch.”
I never realized just how similar male strippers are to professional wrestlers! Forget male burlesque dancing, Thomas “Awesome” Austin needs to step into the wrestling ring!