Channing Tatum Photo by Debbie Wong/Shutterstock

Channing Tatum Wants to Know What Women Want

The actor on developing his Las Vegas show, taking on a superhero role and how Magic Mike would stack up in a dance contest

You are directing Magic Mike Live Las Vegas, which is coming to the Hard Rock in spring 2017. What is your vision for the show?

The first movie is really just about Mike and these guys living this life, and him figuring out that he wants more. The second movie is about them realizing that this life is over and what do they do now. We’re not going to do a third movie, so the Las Vegas show should feel like the next iteration.

The relationships between men and women have changed. We want to create a show that is a little more modern. The shows I’ve seen, and have done movies about, are the same as when they started from 40 or 50 years ago. Now, it’s what do women want, and do they want more. We want to make it for women, by women in a way.

And the dancing is going to be top level. These guys are unreal.

The Magic Mike Live Las Vegas website features a quiz that’s providing research for the show’s development. So, what do women want?

I have no idea [laughs], and that’s exactly why I have a lot of women in my life. Everyone is so different. We sent out this questionnaire to every girl I know, and their moms. There are a lot of tropes, but a lot them don’t know what they want. They know what they want out of their lives, but not what they want out of a show.

Men and women go to these types of shows for different reasons. I’m sure some women come for a sexual thing, but it’s more for them to just let go. This is an environment where they can be free.

What else have you learned from the survey?

What they want is so simple. They want to come home and have their men cook dinner for them and tell them they’re beautiful, or write a small note and leave it in their purse. Just these tiny, tiny things, and not as much of the “I have a fantasy of having sex with a fireman.” With men, that would be fine. We’re pretty basic. So I don’t think I can answer your question, but we’re doing a lot of research.

You’ll be in Las Vegas planning for the show. Any things you want to check off your Vegas bucket list?

We’ve watched Absinthe twice now. I love that show. It’s one of my favorite things. I haven’t seen a lot of the other shows. We went to Zumanity. We went to the avant-garde, sexually charged shows. I haven’t done any of the family stuff. So I’m interested in exploring Vegas that way.

You’re producing and starring in the Marvel movie Gambit. What’s it like getting into the superhero movie craze?

I wouldn’t say I’m a comic book guy, but Gambit was what I read, because I grew up in Mississippi. My dad is from New Orleans. So to me, Gambit was the coolest superhero I could be.

It’s really intense. Those movies are really tough to make. There’s so much material from all the years they’ve been writing comics, so you have make sure you’ve read them all. We’re in no hurry to make it. The studio is always going to try to beat the drum, but I want to make it right.

If there was a dance off between Magic Mike and Kevin Bacon from Footloose, who would win?

A lot of people’s favorite movie is Dirty Dancing, but my favorite dance movie is Footloose. That’s hard. Those are movies I’ve grown up with. They’re icons in my mind. I think Mike would have them if they were to battle now.

What about Magic Mike versus Tyler, your role from Step Up?

That would be a tough one because I think Tyler would have more energy. Tyler is a little younger, and I’m kind of banged up now. I think Mike would still have him.

What about if Magic Mike went up against Chris Farley from the Chippendales Saturday Night Live sketch?

Oh man, you can’t ask me anything about Farley. He’s one of my favorites of all time. He just filled up a room. He filled up 10 rooms. Hands down he would win, without any question.

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