Channing Tatum returns to the stripper poles – MAGIC MIKE XXL

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As he returns to the world of male striptease on-screen in the deliciously named Magic Mike XXL, Channing Tatum tells Vanity Fair contributing editor Rich Cohen not to count out an off screen return to the stripper pole, where his career began. ‘Well, we’re going to start a [Magic Mike] show in Vegas, and I’ll never say never,’ he says. In fact, it may be just a thin strip of fabric that stands in the way: ‘I wouldn’t mind going out there and doing it one more time. Or maybe twice. But, you know, every time I’ve put on a thong and am getting ready to walk onstage again, I’m like, ‘Why do I want to do this? ‘It’s very uncomfortable to be in a thong in front of a thousand people.’

In fact, this quandary was nearly a plot point in Magic Mike XXL: to thong or not to thong? ‘But my wife was like, ‘You cannot have a movie without these guys getting in thongs,’ Tatum says.

Cohen accompanies Tatum on a surreal hike through L.A.’s abandoned Griffith Park Zoo and crowns him ‘the biggest male star since Pitt or Clooney.’ Tatum is riding high off his performance in last year’s Foxcatcher as he prepares to star in films from Quentin Tarantino and the Coen brothers. But Tatum bristles when Cohen suggests he is among the last of the great movie idols, presenting a theory on the nature of modern movie stardom: ?The Brad Pitts, the Leos, the Downeys: Why aren’t there new versions of those guys? I think people just know too much about actors, about everything. Behind the scenes. It’s almost like the world is so with you all the time, people on the phones and blah blah blah, that to go into a movie theater for three hours and lose that time is harder and harder. People watch TV at home and they?re still on their phone, wired. They?re even wired to the actors. Twitter, Facebook, Instagram. You feel connected. So that [actor] doesn’t feel as mythic anymore. I used to go see movies to watch people because I didn?t know anything about them. The only time I got access was in a movie. I wanted to go see the movie because I hadn’t seen my guy in a while.

Later, while absentmindedly sketching a clown on a picnic table with a crayon, Tatum divulges that he and wife Jenna Dewan Tatum recently viewed a snippet of Step Up, the guilty-pleasure dance film that brought the Hollywood power couple together. ?Me and Jenna just saw Step Up on TV, and we watched it for two seconds,’ he says. ‘We made that 10 years ago or something. It was hard because you’re like, ‘Wow, I remember it being so much better.’ Then other times you’re like, ‘I remember it being worse.’ Things happen that change your perspective. Not just your opinion but your windshield, your lens. Like you put on a 50-mm. [lens], then take that 50 off and put on a 16. Now you can see so much more, but you?re missing the little things. I think for a while I?m going to try to make movies that, even if they don?t make a dollar, I?ll still be so proud to be a part of them that it won?t matter.?

Tatum also talks about fatherhood, he and Dewan Tatum have a two-year-old daughter, Everly, including what it will be like for her to grow up in the Hollywood spotlight; getting in peak physical condition for Magic Mike XXL; and working with Tarantino and the Coen brothers.

Read the full story at the VANITY FAIR link below:

VF August Cover

On the set of his photo shoot with contributing photographer Annie Leibovitz, Tatum sat down for a video interview to discuss shedding the discomfort of wearing a thong around his Magic Mike XXL cast mates and what dance moves he breaks out in the film. ?There might be some twerking! he says. ‘I call it man-twerking. Or merking. Or man-erking.’

Watch the video here:

Photo by Annie Leibovitz

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