Channing Tatum: Getting Naked Is Part of the Job

Wednesday May 5, 2021

Actor Channing Tatum admitted that he keeps in shape because he has to. "As someone who works out for a job, I promise you I would not look like this unless I had to be naked in most of my movies mostly," he said May 4 on "The Kelly Clarkson Show," Yahoo! Entertainment reported.

"At some point I have to get better at acting so I don't have to be naked in all of them," he added. "I literally get to work out as a job, and it's still hard."

Tatum visited Clarkson to promote the children's book "The One and Only Sparkella," which he wrote, with illustrations by Kim Barnes. The book is "inspired by the actor's experiences as a father. The book tells the story of Ella, a little girl who finds her self-esteem and confidence waning when she starts at a new school. Thankfully, Ella's dad comes to the rescue in a fun, moving tale that's all about not giving up glitter if it makes you happy," reported Film Daily.

Tatum became a superstar in roles that displayed his buff physique, along with his physical prowess, in such films as the 2006 dance drama "Step Up," the 2009 action flick "G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra," and two films in the "Magic Mike" franchise, which were based on his own experiences as a male stripper before he broke into acting.

"I can't imagine people who have a 9-5 job, who have kids at home, and where do they get the energy and the time to actually focus on themselves?"

Little wonder he finds it hard. On his current shoot for the upcoming film "Dog," which he also directed, Tatum and his trainer, close personal friend Arin Babaian, had to readjust the training regimen they developed for the pandemic. Before shooting, the pair retired to Tatum's California ranch for training that began with bike rides, runs, and developed to cycling 10 miles up a side of a mountain, Babaien told Esquire in February.

"Channing is a full-on athlete," says Babaian. "I have a lot of friends who are stunt performers, and they have all said that he could definitely be a stuntman if that had been the profession he chose. He'll always attempt his stunts if he's allowed to."

Babaian also takes a more holistic approach to grooming the actor for each role. "Unusually for a Hollywood PT, Babaian is less concerned with when exactly his client has to flex his muscles on camera, and more concerned with what character his client is portraying," Esquire reported. "What is the character's lifestyle like? How often does he work out? Does he even have time to train?"

For "Dog," the challenge was "transforming his client into a former soldier who needs to be physical, but is also healing from battle injuries. A story, it turns out, not too dissimilar to Tatum's own."

For his latest movie, the emphasis was on being able to lift a moderately heavy weight for several repetitions instead of maxing out.

"We like to do circuit workouts with either three or five exercises were we'll always have someone doing cardio," Babaian explains. "We'll have someone doing a run on the treadmill or skipping rope and they're not allowed to stop until you've done your reps. You're constantly like, 'Hurry up!'. If you're taking it easy you're hurting your friend."

In an interview with IndieWire, Tatum touched on the game-changing experience he had while making the first "Magic Mike," where he addressed how hard it was for him to act sexy. "When you walk out and you take it all off, you want to get a good reaction. It's really hard to be sexy when you're a guy; girls can just walk and be hot. So it was a very eye-opening experience."