Channing Tatum Reveals His Most Awkward Stripper Story

by Antoinette Bueno 6:16 PM PST, November 05, 2014
Playing Channing Tatum Reveals His Most Awkward Stripper Story

Though Channing Tatum's stripper past is well-known at this point, we can bet this tale of a particularly cringe-worthy incident in his past is not.

In a new interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Channing talks about the highly anticipated Magic Mike XXL, which sees his character Mike going on road trip through the South towards a stripper convention.

And of course, Channing can relate, as he participated in a real-life stripper convention.

"I have no idea why it's called a convention," he says. "The 'convention' was not strippers peddling stripper technology or anything like that. It was just a big show with 50 to 70 strippers and 2,000 to 3,000 women. It was crazy. They attacked me every night."

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But there's one particular incident from his stripper days in the late 1990s that he can't quite forget.

"[One time, while giving a woman a lap dance] the lady goes, 'Oh my God! Look at you! You remind me of my nephew!' -- and then grabs me," he recalls. "It hit me like a hand grenade. It was like tick, tick, tick, boom: She's grabbing my butt and saying, 'You remind me of my nephew.'"

Photo: Hollywood Reporter

Awkward -- and slightly disturbing -- stories aside, Channing reveals he actually didn't make that much money stripping, despite his obvious good looks.

"On a good night, 150 bucks ... Not as much as you think," he says. "On a bad night, 70 bucks — even 50 at times."

In the candid new interview, the 34-year-old actor, who was 19 years old when he started stripping, also admits to experimenting in drugs.

"I wouldn't say I was losing myself in drugs because I wasn't doing anything habitually," he says. "Just experimenting. Experimenting, I would say. Never the big ones -- crack or heroin. I never OD'd or anything. Never."

Though he did try cocaine.

"Maybe a couple times, but that was later," he admits. "Drinking was probably the biggest [thing]. I didn't look at drinking as a problem. It wasn't at that point, and I still don't think it's a problem. But at that time in my life, it was, 'Let's go out and have a great time.'"

But stripping wasn't all fun and games. The Foxcatcher star says his father was actually disappointed in his choice to strip for money -- a decision he only found out about by watching his appearance on The Ellen DeGeneres Show in 2010.

"We were walking together, and my dad said: 'Why? You didn't need the money. We always provided,'" he shares. "[It] broke my heart. I told him it had nothing to do with him. 'That was my road. That was the road I had to take.'"

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But whatever his father's feelings about his past, clearly, that road has more than paid off. Magic Mike was a huge hit in 2012, and the sequel -- which welcomes new faces like Michael Strahan and Jada Pinkett-Smith -- is only set to get bigger.

Check out Channing revealing to ET that there will be "a lot more skin" in Magic Mike XXL, out July 2015, in the video below.