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Channing Tatum had to ‘starve’ himself for ‘Magic Mike 3,’ almost rejected role

Channing Tatum almost stripped his resume of a third “Magic Mike” credit. While the 41-year-old is known for his kick-butt frame and for taking on physically demanding films such as “Step Up” and the “Magic Mike” series, he recently revealed that he had to undergo a very long and hard fitness regimen for the third and final film of the stripper trilogy. Tatum appeared on the Kelly Clarkson Show and explained how he was initially hesitant to play the role of male stripper Mike Lane for “Magic Mike’s Last Dance” given his prep diet for the film. The “Dear John” actor explained to Clarkson, 39, that he didn’t want to do a third film at first because he felt that his body wasn’t quite right. “It’s hard even if you do work out to be in that kind of shape,” he said. “You have to starve yourself,” he continued. “I don’t think when you’re that lean, it’s actually healthy for you,” he said. Tatum admitted that training for the role took up a lot of his time and mentioned that it’s harder for him to lose weight now than when he was younger. However, Tatum would be down to do another “Magic Mike” film when he hits old age. He spoke to IndieWire about how director Steven Soderbergh persuaded him to do a third feature and his future plans for the series. “The only one I said I’d actually do — before we decided on this version — was the ‘Grumpy Old Men’ version when we’re like 70,” Tatum said, jokingly. “When we’re 70, I want to get the team back together, for sure.” “Grumpy Old Men” was a 1993 comedy film that starred screen legends Jack Lemmon and Walter Matthau as two feuding elderly men who become pals. Tatum also divulged that he thought his “Magic Mike” series was done with after the very first movie premiered in 2012. “In my opinion, we had chewed up all the meat on the bone, story-wise. Pun intended, I guess. They’re essentially movies about guys made for women. We didn’t plan on making a second one,” the former model said. The sequel, “Magic Mike XXL,” came out in 2015. “Then all of our ancillary characters were so good and fun that we felt like, ‘Let’s do another movie and give those characters more real estate that we didn’t have before,’” he continued. Tatum added, “Once we did that, we felt like there was no other story. Let’s just like get out of jail. I actually like the second movie more than the first one. It’s more fun and I think more of what people expected the first film to be.”

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