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Showing off a spare tire might be an acceptable creative decision for a Judd Apatow comedy, but this was the “Magic Mike” sequel — second in a franchise built on rock-hard abs, body lube and banana hammocks. “It was a resounding ‘no’ all across the creative board,” Tatum says of the idea. (He’s been a dad since 2013, when he and his wife, Jenna Dewan, became parents of a daughter.). Reid Carolin, who wrote the screenplays for both “Magic Mike” films says, “Everyone was like, ‘You don’t think he’s serious, right? We want him to do the movie, but somebody convince him to work out.’ This is one of those movies where you cannot step on set unless everybody is in that type of shape, or you’re (in trouble).”.
Begrudgingly, Tatum acquiesced, He started to bike 20 miles every morning and drink two green smoothies a day, You can see the results in “Magic Mike XXL”, starring Tatum, 35, and co-stars Joe Manganiello, Matt Bomer, Kevin Nash and Adam Rodriguez, The movie follows a group of buddies who take a road trip to Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, to perform at a stripper convention, Yes, that’s a real thing, according to Tatum, who danced for thousands of women in a “corrugated metal warehouse” during his pre-movie days ballet shoes with ribbons attached as a male entertainer..
Physiques were on display in 2012’s “Magic Mike,” of course — and were likely the main reason that the modest $7 million production grossed $113 million domestically. But the original film was also directed by Steven Soderbergh, the indie-film pioneer who gave it his auteur’s touch — pairing, in Tatum’s words, a “lowbrow subject with a highbrow creative team.”. There were plenty of revealing strip shows, but Mike, the Tatum character, was also struggling to move away from a seedy, drug-filled party world and start his own furniture business.
In the second film, the guys are fretting over how they’ll make a living after presenting their final show at the convention, where sexual innuendo abounds, “I don’t think there were any limits,” says Tatum, who seems equally proud of his beginnings in the “Step Up” dance franchise ballet shoes with ribbons attached as of his recent dramatic role playing a troubled wrestler in “Foxcatcher.” “I really didn’t plan to do (‘Magic Mike’) again, so I was like, ‘We’re going to find the ceiling on this one and go past it.’ “..
During the interview, Tatum is sitting next to “XXL” director Gregory Jacobs and Carolin, who has been Tatum’s business partner for several years. The actor met Carolin, a Harvard grad, on the set of 2008’s “Stop-Loss.” At 33, the screenwriter is far less bulky than Tatum, but five inches taller. Together, through their production company Free Association, they had to find someone to direct “XXL” after Soderbergh declined. Fortunately Jacobs, 45, who was the first assistant director on “Magic Mike,” had a vision for the sequel.
Though he never had directed a studio film before, he has served as Soderbergh’s right-hand man since 1993, and the two had worked on more than two dozen films together, Once Jacobs was on board, Soderbergh agreed to take over some supporting roles, serving as the film’s director of photography, editor and executive producer, “Greg got that the first movie was about leaving the world of stripping and looking at its dark underbelly,” ballet shoes with ribbons attached says Carolin, “and that the second was really a celebration of these guys and the thing they bring to women.”..
Indeed, the men of “XXL” see themselves as healers of sorts. They don’t just walk off the stage and grind on women sitting in their audience. They sing for them and throw out elaborate compliments. Their costumes aren’t cheesy. Tatum loathed the costumes he had to wear when he was a real-life stripper — in particular a Boy Scout uniform he donned for a routine to the song “Hello Muddah, Hello Faddah.” “I’m playing a child, and a lot of these women have children in the audience,” he says. “It’s weird, and it disturbs me.
“All those tropes — the fireman, the cop, the doctor — they’re all characters of authority,” says the actor, “And women’s characters, when they dress up for Halloween or whatever, it’s like the maid, the nurse, It’s very fascinating to me.”, In his own experience, Tatum says, his stripper colleagues weren’t interested in finding out what women wanted, They saw themselves as gods and thought their audience was there “to be fed ’cause they’re hungry,” he says, He adds that ballet shoes with ribbons attached men and women look for different things from strippers..