Channing Tatum is anything but shy.
A complete unknown In 1999, the model-turned-actor danced and stripped at a Chippendales-style revue called Male Encounter — and Us Weekly has the exclusive footage! To celebrate the upcoming Magic Mike sequel, Magic Mike XXL, re-watch the star perform under the alias “Chan Crawford.”
At 18 years old, the future superstar approached the dance troupe’s owner, London Steele, about a job at the now-defunct Florida nightclub. (He grew up in the Tampa area.) “He was shy at first, but he really knew how to work the stage,” Steele told Us in 2009, adding that Tatum lip-synched and earned $50 a night (plus tips!) during his yearlong stint. “The women went crazy for him!” Steele raved of Tatum, now 34.
Unfortunately for the Male Encounter patrons, the revue had a strict no-nudity policy — though Tatum did show off his bare booty in a neon thong!
The actor, who married his Step Up costar Jenna Dewan in July 2009, was so impressive he caught the eye of a female casting agent who put him in Ricky Martin’s “She Bangs” music video. The rest, as they say, is history.
Directed by Steven Soderbergh, Magic Mike premiered in June 2012 and left quite an impression on audiences. So much so, that the hunk is currently filming its sequel in New Orleans. (In 2012, Tatum also had a breakout year with other films like 21 Jump Street and The Vow.)
Back in 2012, Dewan Tatum, now 33, told Us that she supports her husband’s “amazing” stripper moves. “I didn’t show him any routines, but I would definitely watch his and give my critiques and suggestions,” she told Us at the Haywire premiere in L.A. that January. “He’s a great stripper! I should ask for more [private dances].” (In the meantime, the couple has fun doing more PG dance parties with their 16-month-old daughter Everly!)
Tatum is proud of his stripper past, recently noting that struggling with poverty forced him to be creative. “Personally, I like being pushed into corners,” he told The New York Times’ T Magazine this month. “Being a stripper exposed me to a lot of people I might never have met, and that has turned out to be a gift. There are lots of characters I feel I can play as a result.”
Magic Mike being one of them. “I had wanted to tell people. I’m not ashamed of it,” he said in the February 2011 issue of GQ. “I don’t regret one thing. I’m not a person who hides s–t.”
Magic Mike XXL hits theaters on July 1, 2015.
Watch Tatum’s sexy flashback stripper video now!
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