Local stripper turned movie star Channing Tatum is shrugging off claims by two former male strippers that he stole stories from their lives to make his new movie Magic Mike. Because when you make bucks like he's getting now, who cares what retired strippers think?
Thomas "Awesome" Austin and London Steele told TMZ last week Tatum stole anecdotes and dance moves from them while they all worked together in a male revue in the Tampa Bay area. They said they taught an "amateur" Channing all their moves -- like the film-featured "Hot Seat" -- and told him lots of stories. Even the name Magic Mike was the name of a fellow dancer coined by Austin, they said.
"He only danced for 4 months," Austin told the site. "How many events could have happened to him?" Tatum fired back Saturday with a lit match for his bridge to the revue, called Male Encounter.
"Those guys have been trying to make money off of me since I got into this business," he told the Hollywood Reporter at a press junket Saturday. Tatum, who also is a producer for the Steven Soderbergh-directed movie, denied all his former dancemates' allegations.
"Look, there's nothing that's factual in this whole movie other than that 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 life; this is just a world that I went into, and I had a perspective on. And we created everything from a fictional place."
Sure, a fictional place that a couple of former coworkers seem to know a lot about, that's all.
[Photo: Tatum with his wife, Jenna. Getty Images]