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Things About the Magic Mike XXL Set That Surprised the Female Cast Members

Early in his career, Channing Tatum excelled at playing handsome characters in comedies such as the 2006 film “She’s the Man” alongside Amanda Bynes. Tatum proved he had much more to offer than just a pretty face, showing off his dancing prowess in “Step Up” and its sequel “Step Up 2: The Streets.” After co-starring in “21 Jump Street” in 2012, the actor showed a more mature side to his dance moves in “Magic Mike,” via IMDb

Steven Soderbergh’s film about male strippers became an instant classic and featured big names like Matthew McConaughey and Joe Manganiello. Tatum was so convincing as a stripper because in real life he was one for about eight months when he was about 18 or 19 years old. For many, the twists and turns immortalized Ginuwine’s on-screen song “Pony” and the formula was such a hit with audiences that Tatum reprized his role in the sequel “Magic Mike XXL”.

In addition to the movies, Tatum created an entire Magic Mike universe. He opened strip clubs — with performances like “Magic Mike Live” — in Las Vegas and another version across the pond in London. The shows went on tour and even became a reality show on HBO called Max “Finding Magic Mike.” Even with men as the main attraction, women played a unique role in the movies, learning what’s really going on.

The truth about dancing in production

The supporting female actors in “Magic Mike XXL” shared their wild behind-the-scenes stories. Amber Heard recalled getting a call from Channing Tatum asking if she would be comfortable in a lap dance scene, per Vanity Fair† Heard changed the stereotypical roles and was surprised to learn that she would be the one to be fully clothed while Tatum danced suggestively with her.

Prior to filming the scene, Heard only received a lighter version of the final dance. So when the cameras started rolling and she got the full effect of Tatum’s movements, her reactions to the screen were truly shocking. “I couldn’t stop laughing the whole time. It was fun,” Heard told Vanity Fair. Jada Pinkett Smith was lucky enough to get a close-up and personal experience on set with Matt Bomer, even though the script didn’t call for it. “I need to get a special lap dance,” Pinkett Smith revealed.

While working on the script, Tatum largely left the female roles open to interpretation and gave the actors creative control in developing their characters. This included major changes, such as when Pinkett Smith took on the role of strip club owner Rome, which was originally a male role. “It was amazing and very intelligent for them to do that,” Pinkett Smith said.

In 2022, Tatum worked on the last film of the “Magic Mike” trilogy. He revealed on “The Ellen Show,” that, in order to prepare, he followed a strict diet and exercise routine in addition to dance rehearsals.


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