No need to sweat the small stuff, "Magic Mike" fans. Channing Tatum says the male stripper film sequel is bringing out the big guns.
"The movie's fun!" the star dished to Access Hollywood on Thursday. "The second movie is way more what I think people thought the first movie was going to be. We just really got to take the gloves off on this one and just go a little crazy."
"Magic Mike XXL" picks up three years from where its predecessor left off, as Channing's character, Mike, returns to the dancing scene for one last blowout performance with the Kings of Tampa. Reuniting with returning cast members Matt Bomer (Ken), Adam Rodriguez (Tito) and Joe Manganiello (Richie) made for an easy return to the set, Channing said. And newcomers Stephen " tWitch" Boss and Donald Glover fit right in the, ahem, grind.
"We were really blessed to just all really like each other," Channing gushed. "I know everybody says that on a big cast movie. Everyone's like, 'Oh, yeah! We're all the best of friends!'" but we really do just act up and be stupid the whole time."
Channing was known for his smooth moves long before he became Magic Mike, thanks to his breakout role in the 2006 street romance "Step Up." Although his career as a credible actor has taken off exponentially since, his stage roots remain on full display. Access Hollywood's Liz Hernandez couldn't help but ask the dance stud if he ever catches his work on screen and thinks, "I am really awesome at this!"
Laughing, Channing admitted he's never considered giving himself a personal shout-out. Rather, he credits the choreographers and teachers who have helped him hone his natural talent along the way.
"Look, it's a movie. We get to prepare this stuff. We get to work with some of the best creators in the business," he explained. "It's not like I popped out of the womb being able to do this stuff."
Besides the brotherhood he's formed with his co-stars, Channing also mentioned another important relationship in his life that helped provide insight on taking "Magic Mike" to the next level. Wife and fellow dancer Jenna Dewan-Tatum, whom Channing met while filming "Step Up," also contributed significant technical input to the movie's pivotal scene.
"All of it," he said, when asked which steps Jenna contributed to most in the production process. "I mean that, sincerely. Especially the finale."
"It was pretty much a family effort," he continued with a chuckle. "A family affair."
He wasn't kidding. Besides Jenna, Channing revealed he often had another special guest on set – their 2-year-old daughter, Everly.
"Everly was there the whole time, for the most part," he said, clarifying that some parts were, understandably, still kept a mystery for the toddler. "She didn't come to the finale. She didn't come to Jay's club or anything like that, but she's seen the dancing."
When asked if Everly will ever be allowed to see "Magic Mike" or its follow-ups, Channing told Access that he already understands what little control he has in that regard.
"I can't stop her from seeing it. By the time she gets old enough, it'll just be projected in holograms everywhere," he joked. "I have a college fund, and I have a therapy fund. It'll be fine. I'm just raising her inside of the strip club, basically."
If Everly needs a break, plenty of fans probably wouldn’t mind taking her place.
"Magic Mike XXL" hits theaters July 1.
-- Erin Biglow