Two of Channing Tatum‘s former co-workers have accused him of stealing their stripper moves for his new movie Magic Mike, in which he plays, well, a stripper. Tatum may be a lot of things – actor, model, producer, former stripper – but according to him, he’s no thief. In a recent interview he shot down the rumors, saying, “Those guys have been trying to make money off me since I got into the business.”
Two male dancers by the names of Thomas “Awesome” Austin and London Steele (seriously?), who danced with Tatum while he was a stripper in Florida, recently told TMZ that the experiences in the film, and even Tatum’s character’s name are all their own. Austin said:
“He only danced for four months. How many events could have happened to him?”
He specified that Tatum’s signature move in the film “the Hot Seat” is actually his.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, Tatum took the time to address the accusations and said that those guys have been trying to smooch off of him since he became an actor. He also said that while some of the story is related to his own, most of it is fictional.
“Look, there’s nothing that’s factual in this whole movie other than I was an 18-year-old kid and went into this world and I dropped out of college from playing football and was living on my sister’s couch. There’s not one character that I took from my real like; this is just a world that I went into, and I had a perspective on. And we created everything from a fictional place.”
Tatum also said that he didn’t want to say anything bad about “those guys” because they are part of the reason why he thinks that world is so interesting.
“They’re very interesting, intriguing and bizarre characters, and I’m thankful for weird people out there. They’re some of the most creative people.”
The idea of a stripper movie first came into being during a conversation Tatum was having with director Steven Soderbergh while filming a movie (presumably Haywire). Tatum opened up about his stripping past and Soderbergh became intrigued saying, “We gotta make a movie out of that.”
It seems like someone is trying to get some recognition and perhaps easy money. Perhaps Tatum took a few moves, but ultimately it was he who did all the work in the movie.
Magic Mike premiered at the Los Angeles Film Festival on Sunday, but officially opens in theaters on Friday.
Check out Channing Tatum’s moves in this clip of Magic Mike:
What do you think? Are his former co-workers lying?