The Evolution Of Channing Tatum: A Look Back At The ‘Magic Mike’ Star’s Career In Photos

We did it guys! “Magic Mike” premiere day is finally here, and we didn’t once anxiety-eat an entire pint of Phish Food in anticipation of this titillater. (Yeah, we’re just that self-actualized.) Don’t get us wrong, though, we’ve been totes sweating this blockbuster of booty-shaking proportions for months. I mean, Channing Tatum in a thong? This is Hollywood Crush’s Christmas! And birthday! And Arbor Day! All wrapped into one giant package…if you know what we mean.

As the Chan Man takes center stage at the cinema this weekend, let’s look back at his increasingly impressive career through photos.

Born April 26, 1980, in Cullman, Alabama, Channing moved with his family to rural Mississippi at the age of six, later attending high school in Florida. It was while living in the Sunshine State that Channing picked up his now signature dance moves.

“When you grow up in Florida, there’s a lot of beautiful Spanish women out there, and they have this amazing thing called QuinceaƱeras,” Channing recalled during MTV’s Movie Awards Sneak Peek Week. “After about a year of that, I just got really tired of being the the tall, skinny white kid who couldn’t dance and couldn’t get any of the beautiful girls to dance with me, so you just grab an abuela and get her to show you what’s going on.”

Those early lessons would come in handy for Channing, when in his late teens, he embarked on a short-lived career as a male stripper. (And, if you’re wondering, his routine to Usher’s “You Make Me Wanna” earned him the most $1 bills.) In addition to stripping, the star also made a meager living modeling for Abercrombie & Fitch.

The soon-to-be star landed his first feature film role in 2005, playing Jason Lyle in the basketball drama “Coach Carter.” Parts in “Supercross,” “Havoc” and “A Guide to Recognizing Your Saints” followed, but it was a pair of 2006 teen movies that launched Tatum into pop-culture consciousness. In “She’s the Man,” the actor played a soccer-star stud opposite Amanda Byne’s cross-dressing Viola, while “Step Up” landed Channing and his smooth stylings on stage opposite Jenna Dewan. We weren’t the only ones who got hot and bothered by his turn as a down-on-his-luck dancer: Channing and co-star Jenna began dating shortly after filming wrapped, marrying in 2009. They continue to be one of our fave Hollywood couples.

Channing shed a bit of his teen dream image in the late aughts by tackling a number of action roles in films like “Battle Seattle,” “Fighting” and “G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra.” But, he’ll always know what women want, as he tapped into his softer side for the Nicholas Sparks’ adaptation “Dear John,” and more recently, “The Vow.”

And if it feels like you’ve seen Channing everywhere over the past two years, it’s probably because you have. The hottie starred in no fewer than five movies in 2011, and has a full 2012 line-up. He started off the year making us swoon with the aforementioned “The Vow,” co-starring cutie Rachel McAdams. He made us pee our pants with laughter alongside Jonah Hill in “21 Jump Street,” continueing to put his comedic chops to good use with a hosting gig on “Saturday Night Live.” And—praise be to the inventor of Spandex—Channing returns this week, shimmying into theaters with “Magic Mike,” which is loosely based on his time as an exotic dancer.

With upcoming projects like “G.I. Joe: Retaliation” and the latest Wachowskis film, “Jupiter Ascending” lined up, you’ll be seeing a lot of Channing in the coming years. Even if he doesn’t don a thong.

Click on any of the images above to peruse our entire Channing Tatum Evolution of gallery!

Will you be seeing “Magic Mike” this weekend? What’s your favorite Channing Tatum film? Sound off in the comments and on Twitter!