5 Things We Bet You Didn’t Know About Channing Tatum

When we think of actors who’ve played strippers in movies, some immediate names come to mind: Demi Moore, Elizabeth Berkley, Heather Graham, Jessica Biel, Kristen Stewart, Halle Berry, Natalie Portman… the list goes on. Up until now, male actors have been noticeably absent from the list. Channing Tatum changes all that with his latest role in Magic Mike, and he’s bringing along Matthew McConaughey, Alex Pettyfer and Joe Manganiello for the ride. The film, directed by Steven Soderbergh, tells the tale of a male stripper who teaches a novice stripper the ropes of the business, and it’s inspired by Channing’s early life as a teenage male stripper. Before he made it big in Hollywood with headlining roles in Dear John, The Vow and 21 Jump Street, Channing got his first break in “show” business by baring his goods and showing off his dance moves at a strip club in Florida. Here are five other things you didn’t know about the Magic Mike star.

Channing Tatum got his big break dancing in Ricky Martin’s “She Bangs”

In 2000, Channing went to an open audition in Orlando, Florida for Ricky Martin’s “She Bangs” music video. He landed a role as a dancer and got a $400 pay cheque out of the gig. Before he could translate his music video work into a successful acting career, Channing became a model, appearing in national ad campaigns for Mountain Dew, Pepsi, Abercrombie & Fitch, Nautica, and Dolce & Gabbana, among others. “So many funny things will happen when you’re at a photo shoot,” he once confessed to Teen People. “The photographer will [say], ‘Be a horse, frolic in the hay!’…You’re like, ‘What the hell?’ But I guess it’s good training for acting.”

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Channing Tatum once stripped while dressed as a clown

“It was the worst idea that I had heard,” he recently told Access Hollywood about his clown routine, “and I had heard some bad ideas and seen some bad skits! I was like, ‘Clowns aren’t sexy – if anything they’re scary. Why is this gonna work?’ And they were just like, ‘Nah, nah — it kills, bro. It kills, bro. They’re gonna love it.’… I danced to like, ’99 Red Balloons’ or something. I come out and — crickets. Crickets!”

Channing Tatum met his wife Jenna Dewan on the set of Step Up

In 2006, Channing got his big Hollywood break starring in the dance rom-com Step Up. Another perk? He met his now wife, Jenna Dewan, on set. Channing proposed to Jenna in Maui in 2008. The Magic Mike actor recently joked to Celebuzz that he gives his wife private dances at home. “My wife married a stripper,” saidTatum. “She knew what she was getting into, and she made that a prerequisite for the marriage.”

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Channing Tatum stripped in front of his sister

The first night Channing took the stage to make his debut as a stripper, he was mortified to discover that his sister was in the audience with six of her friends. Although his sister was kind of enough to overt her eyes, her friends still watched from the front row as Tatum started reluctantly removing his clothes while singing the literally campy song, “Camp Granada.” Did we mention he was dressed as a boy scout?

Magic Mike isn’t as autobiographical as people think

Although Tatum became a stripper at the tender age of 18 in Tampa, Florida after dropping out of university, those are pretty much the only elements of Magic Mike that directly relate to his life. “There’s not one character I took from my real-life experiences,” said Tatum at a press conference for the film in Los Angeles, putting to bed accusations from his former “co-workers” that he stole parts of their lives for the movie. “I don’t want to say anything bad about them because they are part of the reason why I think this world is so interesting. They are intriguing and bizarre people.”

[Photo courtesy Startraks]

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