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
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
Channing Tatum grinds it in
Magic Mike XXL.