But this is the second movie this year — alongside the weepy romance "The Vow" — where Tatum's naked posterior plays a vital role. All butts aside, it's been a big year for the beefcake actor, scoring a big opening with "The Vow" and raking in more box office dollars with the R-rated comedy "21 Jump Street." Tatum was also slated to briefly appear in "G.I. Joe: Retaliation," the sequel to the 2009 actioner, but the movie was pushed to 2013, reportedly to add more scenes of Tatum. (Tatum denies knowledge of what's going on, claiming that "G.I. Joe" producers haven't reached out to him, despite reshoot reports. "I have no clue why they pushed," he said.)
Just because Tatum's butt will not prominently play a role in Tatum's next outings doesn't mean he doesn't mind being a sex object. "Magic Mike" features a bevy of Hollywood hunks — "True Blood's" Joe Manganiello, "White Collar's" Matt Bomer and Matthew McConaughey (looking as if he's having way too much fun) — acting as the objectified party. It's not often that men are the meat in movies. Could "Magic Mike" be a feminist film, with its B-love story featuring a strong woman who doesn't initially fall for Tatum's physical charms? Tatum wouldn't go that far, but he's seen firsthand from his wife (and "Step Up" co-star Jenna Dewan) how women are treated in the industry. "I think it's about time. I think the girls deserve something like this," he said.
As an expert on the subject of male stripping, Tatum called out Manganiello, who plays the aptly named Big D--- Richie, as the one who could make it as a male stripper if the whole acting thing doesn't work out. Tatum called him a "perfect human specimen" and lamented a Manganiello scene left on the cutting-room floor.
Alas, only a few of the dances are shown in full. For good reason, said Tatum.
"Showing everyone's full dance sequence, it would make the movie about 2 1/2 hours long," he said.
"What no one knows is that all the dances end the same. They all start with clothes on and end with clothes off. To keep that interesting is tough. By the fifth guy, you're like OK, I get it."
Contact Molly Eichel at 215-854-5909 or firstname.lastname@example.org, or follow on Twitter @mollyeichel. Read her blog posts at www.philly.com/entertainment.