Five fun facts to celebrate Channing Tatum’s 36th birthday…
1. He Was A Dress-Up Doll
When he was a kid, Channing’s older sister Paige was his stylist. “I was her dress-up doll, but she made me look cool,” he says. “She took me to a hair stylist, who gave me a spiky part I rocked for a long time. But I was definitely more concerned with playing football, so usually I wore whatever I could mess up without getting into trouble with my mum.
2. He Was A Very Dressed-Down Dude
The Magic Mike flicks were inspired by his own experiences as a 19-year-old stripper working under the name “Chan Crawford” in Los Angeles. “It was one complete year of down-the-rabbit-hole crazy,” he said in Sydney last year at the premiere of Magic Mike XXL. “I am glad I moved on—it definitely has some seedy, darker sides.” When it came to making the first Magic Mike, C-Tates wasn’t completely comfortable with returning to his stripper roots. “The first time we had to all rip our clothes off and be standing in a thong, everybody ran to get their clothes pretty quick afterwards,” he says. “But by take six, we’re all just saying, ‘When’s the next take?’ It got progressively more comfortable.”
3. Moved On To Modelling
After appearing in the Ricky Martin music video “She Bangs” in 2000, C-Tates moved on to modeling. By the time he was 21, Tatum was an in-demand model, working for the likes of Dolce & Gabbana, Armani, Nautica and Abercrombie & Fitch. You can see him strutting his stuff here:
In March 2002, Tim Blanks, former host of Canadian show Fashion File, interviewed the young Channing, then making his Milan debut. “I don’t know if I’m a long-term model,” Tatum told Blanks. “I don’t really think I’ve got what it takes to make a million dollars but I would love to go into acting.”
Tatum during his modelling days.
4. Thrift Shop To High Couture
These days C-Tates has made that movie stardom dream come true, having made a mint in the blockbuster Magic Mike, G.I. Joe, Step Up, X-Men and Jump Street franchises, as well as doing great work in critically acclaimed gems such as The Hateful Eight and Hail Caesar! That makes Channing a red-carpet favourite and he favours D&G, Armani and Gucci for these A-list appearances. But he wasn’t always found flaunting designer fashion. “I never used to shop anywhere but thrift stores because the clothes felt lived in,” he admits. “It’s a little creepy to wear someone else’s stuff, but I enjoy that.”
5. It’s No Abs Accident
“It’s not fun working out,” Channing says. “I like being a little softer and, as my wife calls it, ‘cuddly.’ I like food— cookies, cakes and everything. I work really hard.” C-Tates ain’t kidding. If you wanna get a bod like he rocks in Magic Mike XXL, be prepared to workout like a superhero. To get in shape, he spent 10 weeks with a trainer, daily riding about 40km each morning, then doing 100 laps of the pool interspersed with push-ups and abdominal crunches, spending the afternoon doing weights and ending the day with a run of up to 10km. Oh, yeah, and he ate not much other than protein heavy meals and veggie smoothies.
See lots more of Channing in the Winter issue of Men’s Style, on sale Monday, May 9.