Channing Tatum is reacting to a group of male dancers who allege that the actor quite literally stole their moves for his new movie, “Magic Mike,” which takes place in the shirtless world of male strippers.
Two male dancers, Thomas “Awesome” Austin and London Steele, who danced with Tatum while he was a stripper in Florida, told TMZ last week that the experiences in the film, and even Tatum’s character’s name (Magic Mike), are all their own. Austin told the website, “He only danced for four months. How many events could have happened to him?” He added that even Tatum’s move in the film, the Hot Seat, is all his own.
Director Steven Soderbergh has said that the film is loosely based on Tatum’s experiences as a male dancer. And in a new interview, Tatum is opening up about the claims against him.
“Those guys have been trying to make money off of me since I got into this business,” Tatum told reporters, according to The Hollywood Reporter. “Look, there’s nothing that’s factual in this whole movie other than that I was an 18-year-old kid and went into this world and I dropped out of college from playing football and was living on my sister’s couch. There’s not one character that I took from my real life; this is just a world that I went into, and I had a perspective on. And we created everything from a fictional place.”
“Magic Mike” opens Friday, and Tatum is going into opening week with no ill will for his former co-workers. “I don’t want to say anything bad about them because they’re part of the reason why I think this world is so interesting,” he said. “They’re very interesting, intriguing and bizarre characters, and I’m thankful for weird people out there. They’re some of the most creative people.”
The June 29 film release also stars “True Blood” actor Joe Manganiello, “White Collar” star Matt Bomer and Matthew McConaughey.
In an interview with MTV News, Tatum recalled how the film came out of a conversation he had with Soderbergh. “I was having a beer with Soderbergh — we were doing a movie together — and I told him about [my past stripping],” he said. “I’d been doing it for eight months of my life when I was, like, 18 or 19, and he said, ‘We gotta make a movie out of that.’ And I was like, ‘Why? Why do we need to do that?’ And he said, ‘I’ve never seen that world on film before.’ And then we really started talking about that, and we thought it would be really hilarious but still grounded in reality.”