TA­TUM LAYS IT BARE

De­spite the strip­ping role he has in Magic Mike XXL, and a past as a strip­per, this Hol­ly­wood star is just an or­di­nary fam­ily man at heart

The Gold Coast Bulletin - Play Magazine - - PLAY MOVIES - MICHELE MANELIS

I CAN’T CHANGE THE FACT THAT I WAS IN THE WORLD OF STRIP­PING AT 19 AND THAT’S PAR­TIALLY WHY I MADE THE MOVIE

De­spite the ev­er­in­creas­ing num­ber of con­scious un­cou­plings in Hol­ly­wood, Magic Mike XXL star Chan­ning Ta­tum, 35, and his wife of six years, Jenna De­wan, 34, re­main solid.

“It’s not hard for me to stay loyal to Jenna. She’s un­be­liev­ably beau­ti­ful; she’s ev­ery­thing I need,” Ta­tum says. “It’s re­ally about keep­ing it taut. I think you only stray when you’re not hav­ing that con­nec­tion but we don’t go more than two weeks with­out see­ing each other. I’m con­stantly around my wife.”

The sex sym­bol who regularly graces the cover of men’s fit­ness mag­a­zines as well as be­ing a for­mer Sex­i­est Man Alive, says, “I wish I could tell you that I have to fight women off with a stick but that’s not the truth.”

It prob­a­bly helps a mar­riage hav­ing a hubby who can bust some se­ri­ously sexy moves in the pri­vacy of one’s home. Is Jenna awarded with a fron­trow seat very of­ten?

He laughs. “Yeah, I have danced for her but that was more in the be­gin­ning of our re­la­tion­ship when she found out I had been a strip­per. She said to me, ‘You’re go­ing to have to ex­plain that to me and do a demon­stra­tion’.”

The cou­ple met in 2006 on the set of Step Up (in which they co-starred).

“But these days that’s not the norm in our re­la­tion­ship.”

Magic Mike XXL, Ta­tum’s se­quel to the 2012 hit that grossed US$113.7 mil­lion, reprises his semi­au­to­bi­o­graph­i­cal role as the epony­mous Mike. In the sec­ond in­stal­ment Mike re­luc­tantly comes out of re­tire­ment to lead his fel­low beef­cakes, played by Matt Bomer, Joe Man­ganiello, Kevin Nash and Adam Ro­driguez, on a road trip.

Each role called for a dif­fer­ent phys­i­cal­ity. “If you’re play­ing a wrestler, like I did in Fox­catcher, that kind of body takes a toll on you to achieve, and then be­ing a strip­per and hav­ing to be in butt naked shape is dif­fer­ent again. It wasn’t very much fun work­ing out for that. I ac­tu­ally like be­ing a lit­tle softer. My wife calls it ‘cud­dly’,” he smiles. “I like food, I like life, and I like my cook­ies and cake.”

Un­like many lead­ing men whose van­ity will of­ten get the bet­ter of them, Ta­tum doesn’t try to main­tain an im­pos­si­ble im­age of per­fec­tion. He has a healthy at­ti­tude.

“I work hard and I play re­ally hard. Some­times you’ll see pic­tures online where they’ll catch you at the wrong mo­ment and I give them the wrong mo­ment all the time,” he laughs. “So I don’t worry if they’re catch­ing me with a dou­ble chin and a weird face. I do it all the time nowa­days.”

He’s of­ten seen with his wife and daugh­ter, Everly, 2 walk­ing in the Hol­ly­wood Hills. Does Everly have a case of the Ter­ri­ble Twos?

He chuck­les. “Some­times she’s like a wild woman; it’s man­age­able and it’s not. This is a great stage and it’s so fas­ci­nat­ing to watch her. I love to do things with her like paint­ing or just go­ing on walks, all that nor­mal stuff. We also have a lit­tle place out of LA with a barn and we have chick­ens, horses and goats,” he says.

“Ev­ery day she’s be­com­ing a lit­tle per­son, a lit­tle woman. I love it. It def­i­nitely makes you put ev­ery­thing else in per­spec­tive.”

Of course, one day his bun­dle of joy will see her dad bump­ing and grind­ing in the Magic Mike fran­chise. “I can’t change the fact that I was in the world of strip­ping at 19 and that’s par­tially why I made the movie. And if things don’t go ac­cord­ing to the way I’d like for her to un­der­stand it, I’ve put aside a col­lege fund and a ther­apy fund for her,” he jokes.

For now, things couldn’t be bet­ter and he’s thor­oughly en­joy­ing his role as fam­ily man. “Jenna and I are think­ing about hav­ing another one but we’re re­ally just en­joy­ing Everly and that’s enough for now.”

Magic Mike XXL opens to­day

Pic­ture: WARNER BROS

Chan­ning Ta­tum grinds it in

Magic Mike XXL.

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