Things On The Magic Mike XXL Set That Surprised Its Female Cast Members

Early in his career, Channing Tatum excelled at playing hunky characters in comedies such as the 2006 film "She's the Man" alongside Amanda Bynes. Proving he had much more to offer than a pretty face, Tatum showed his dance skills in "Step Up" and its sequel "Step Up 2: The Streets." Following his co-leading role in "21 Jump Street" in 2012, the actor showed a more adult side of his dance moves in "Magic Mike," via IMDb

Steven Soderbergh's film about male strippers became an instant classic and featured big names like Matthew McConaughey and Joe Manganiello. Tatum was so convincing as a stripper because he used to be one in real life for about eight months when he was around 18 or 19 years old. For many, the gyrations immortalized Ginuwine's song "Pony" on screen and the formula was such a hit with audiences that Tatum reprised his role in the sequel "Magic Mike XXL."

Beyond just the movies, Tatum created an entire Magic Mike universe. He opened strip clubs — with performance like "Magic Mike Live" — in Las Vegas and another version across the pond in London. The shows went on tour and even turned into a reality show on HBO Max called "Finding Magic Mike." Even with guys as the main attraction, women played a unique part in the films and learned what really goes on.

The truth about dancing during production

The supporting female actors in "Magic Mike XXL" shared their wild stories behind the scenes. Amber Heard remembered getting a call from Channing Tatum asking if she would be comfortable in a lap dance scene, per Vanity Fair. Switching the stereotypical roles, Heard was surprised to hear that she would be the one fully clothed while Tatum suggestively danced with her. 

Prior to filming the scene, Heard only received a lighter version of the final dance. So, when the cameras started rolling and she received the full effect of Tatum's moves, her reactions on screen were of genuine shock. "I couldn't stop laughing the entire time. It was fun," Heard told Vanity Fair. Jada Pinkett Smith was lucky enough to get an up-close and personal experience on set with Matt Bomer, even though the script didn't call for it. "I got to get a special lap dance," Pinkett Smith revealed.

While working on the script, Tatum mostly left the female roles open to interpretation and gave the actors creative control in developing their characters. This included major changes, like when Pinkett Smith took the role of the strip club owner Rome, which was originally a male part. "It was awesome and deeply intelligent for them to do that," Pinkett Smith said.

In 2022, Tatum was working on the final movie of the "Magic Mike" trilogy. He revealed on "The Ellen Show," that to prepare, he was following a strict diet and exercise routine in addition to dance rehearsals.