Channing Tatum Says His ‘Magic Mike’ Body Isn’t Healthy

Today in Very Important Conversations, Channing Tatum is opening up about the reality of his iconic Magic Mike abs.

In a new interview on The Kelly Clarkson Show, the actor revealed that he almost passed on coming back for Magic Mike 3 because of the physical demands that come with playing the world’s most well-known fictional male stripper. While he and Kelly Clarkson were talking about the upcoming movie, a picture of Channing shirtless and in-character in Magic Mike XXL was projected on a giant screen behind them.

This picture, to be exact:

Warner Bros.

“That might be the reason why I didn’t want to do a third one, because I have to look like that,” he said of the picture.

Channing then proceeded to speak some very important truths about male body image and what goes into creating the very (very) unrealistic depictions of the male form we see in movies like the Magic Mike franchise.

“It’s hard to look like that. Even if you do work out, to be that kind of in shape is not natural,” he explained. “That’s not even healthy. You have to starve yourself. I don’t think when you’re that lean, it’s actually healthy.”

The actor—who is 41-years-old and has spent most of his career in what mainstream culture would consider peak physical condition—admitted that getting into that kind of shape is nearly impossible even when it’s literally your full-time job to do it.

“I don’t know how people who work a 9 to 5 actually stay in shape because it’s my full-time job, and I can barely do it,” he added.

Treating getting in not-at-all-natural and very-possibly-not-at-all-healthy shape like his full-time job meant Channing had to work out twice a day and eat “completely right” (which, spoiler alert, translates to “completely without flavor,” apparently).

“The thing I miss most probably is like, salt,” he said, explaining that cutting out sodium is key to the Magic Mike ~lewk~. “Just everything tastes like, I don’t know, tastes like water. It’s nothing.”

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Oh, and for a final bit of real talk, Channing also revealed that it takes him about two months of this grueling work out/diet regimen to get his Magic Mike six-pack, but mere days for that bod to disappear once he goes back to a more normal routine (which definitely seems to support his “this is not natural/healthy” statement).

“Why—when it takes like, I don’t know, two months to get really lean—in three days, you can lose it?” he asked at one point during the interview. “It’s gone. I was like, ‘What happened?'”

Maybe we can petition for a Magic Mike 4: Retired and Happy in which Channing & co. lounge around with dad bods and are *still* celebrated as the sexy humans they are?

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