Channing Tatum hopes to see Magic Mike reach the broadest audience possible — heterosexual men included.
The film, loosely based on his own experiences as an exotic dancer, features Tatum, 32, Matthew McConaughey, 42, Alex Pettyfer, 22, Matt Bomer, 34, Joe Manganiello, 35, and Adam Rodriguez, 27, in various states of undress.
“With Joe Manganiello naked in a movie, I think even straight guys are going to be, ‘Sh-t, I need to see that,” Tatum tells OUT’s June/July issue. “That man is a specimen.’”
But Tatum knows that getting straight male moviegoers to see Magic Mike is likely a long shot. “It’s risky. People say that women and the gay community will go see it — knock on wood — but I know straight guys won’t be like, ‘Yo, what’s up man? You wanna go see the stripping movie after the game tonight?’ I doubt they’ll have the balls to see it.”
Adds Tatum: “What’s funny is that the girls don’t ask me questions about my stripping days, but straight guys want to know everything. It’s that fantasy element. It’s probably why a lot of females on Halloween are the whorey version of a ketchup bottle, or slutty nurse, which I love and respect — it’s liberating.”
When asked about his days as a stripper in Tampa, Florida, Tatum — who wed Jenna Dewan in 2009 — admits that he “never enjoyed the taking-the-clothes-off part.”
“You are on a stage with people yelling at you, and you feel you’re a rock star, but you’re nothing — you’re just a guy taking off his clothes, looking like a fool in a stupid outfit.”
For Tatum, Magic Mike not only gave him the chance to revisit his past: It also provided the opportunity to move away from tearjerkers like Dear John and The Vow.
“I was definitely looking for something to take me into the dark side,” he tells OUT. “You learn something about yourself, you learn about men, women, you see a lot of depressing sh-t, people that are lost. But at the same time, the dark side can be exciting. It can feel like you’re cheating death every night.”
Magic Mike arrives in theaters June 29. The new issue of OUT hits stands May 22.