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Channing Tatum Says He Practically Starved Himself For Magic Mike

One of actor Channing Tatum's most notable roles is as the stripper Mike Lane in the "Magic Mike" movies, which are loosely based on Tatum's own experiences as a stripper. The first film, 2012's "Magic Mike," follows Mike as he becomes a mentor to a young new dancer, Adam (Alex Pettyfer). The film's sequel, 2015's "Magic Mike XXL," sees a retired Mike return to stripping for a male stripper convention alongside his friends — with an ensemble cast that also includes the likes of Matt Bomer and Joe Manganiello.

In November 2021, Deadline reported that Tatum would be reprising his role as Mike one last time with a third film, "Magic Mike's Last Dance," with the first film's director, Steven Soderbergh, returning (the sequel was directed by Gregory Jacobs). With the return to another "Magic Mike" film, Tatum had to prepare to portray an exotic dancer once more — and he had several interesting things to say about the grueling process.

Tatum opened up about getting in shape for Magic Mike

Channing Tatum appeared on "The Kelly Clarkson Show" in early 2022 and, during the conversation, they discussed the upcoming third "Magic Mike" film. After a still from one of the films in which Tatum is shirtless appeared on the screen behind them, Tatum jokingly said not to keep the photo up. Clarkson responded, "If I worked out and looked like that, I would put it up everywhere."

Clarkson's comment led Tatum to explain that the grueling workout process — and pressure to look a certain way when you're playing a stripper — is part of the reason he was hesitant to do a third film. He continued, "Even if you do work out, to be that kind of in shape, it's not natural." When Clarkson asked how well he has to eat, Tatum responded, "'Well' is not even — that's not even healthy. You have to starve yourself."

Tatum then went into further detail about his workout regime, stating that it becomes like a full-time job to stay in shape. The actor then lightheartedly lamented how easy it is to gain the weight back, saying, "Why, when it takes, I don't know, two months, to get really lean but in three days you can lose it ... I was like, what happened? It was just the weekend?"

If you need help with an eating disorder, or know someone who is, help is available. Visit the National Eating Disorders Association website or contact NEDA's Live Helpline at 1-800-931-2237. You can also receive 24/7 Crisis Support via text (send NEDA to 741-741).