Channing Tatum has it all: a gorgeous wife, a healthy daughter, rock hard abs, and no end in sight for his movie career. The best is that he seems like he genuinely never expected to be the mega star he is today. Maybe that’s because this Southern gentleman worked hard to achieve his fame and keeps a good head on his shoulders. While we can’t wait another minute to run to the theaters and see Channing in Magic Mike XXL, we loved finding out these little known (and oftentimes hilarious) facts about Channing’s childhood, his stripper name, and what he likes to call his, um, you know.
1. Channing is of Native American, Irish, and French descent.
2. His mom was an airline employee and his father worked in construction.
3. Tatum battled ADHD and dyslexia while growing up. He spoke to Vanity Fair about his learning disability, saying the medication he took as a kid to help him in school made him feel “soulless,” adding he would “never do it to” his child.
4. Tatum has practiced the art of kung fu, Wuzuquan kung fu, more specifically. As a child, he trained under 10th dan Grandmaster, Chee Kim Thong.
5. Most people know that Channing worked as a Chippendale-style stripper, but did you know that was when he was only 19 years old?
6. His stage name? “Chan Crawford.”
7. Before he started stripping, Tatum did a semester at the University of South Florida where he had a panic attack in the middle of a history class and dropped out.
8. He was sent to a military school in ninth grade, where he joined the football team and intended to get a scholarship to play after graduation.
9. Channing received a full athletic football scholarship at Glenville State College in West Virginia, but he dropped out of college.
10. Before getting big in the movies, Channing was a model for major brands Abercrombie & Fitch, Emporio Armani, and Dolce & Gabbana.
11. Channing and his wife Jenna Dewan Tatum share a love for mythical creatures, so they decided to have a fairy themed wedding. Their cake topper was the two of them as fairies.
12. He and Jenna also have matching tattoos that say “side by side” in Balinese.
13. Apparently, Tatum is quite the romantic – he sometimes leaves his wife love notes in unexpected places around the house, like under the toilet seat.
14. Tatum worked in the Steven Spielberg movie War of the Worlds in 2005, but the scene where he played a church boy ended up getting cut.
15. Channing Tatum appeared in Ricky Martin’s music video for “She Bangs.” And he only got $400 for it…
16. Don’t expect him in a musical any time soon – Tatum is afraid of singing in a role.
17. Channing says that Clint Eastwood is his idol and that he would love to write to him for advice.
18. He apparently burnt his groin area while filming the movie The Eagle in Scotland.
19. Channing pranked an audience at an early screening of Magic Mike XXL by dressing like a creepy old man.
20. Check him out in his Mountain Dew commercial from 2002.
21. When he lost his backpack in a New York City taxi, Channing turned to Twitter for help.
22. In the late 1990s, Tatum actually traveled to a stripper convention like the one that will be portrayed in Magic Mike XXL.
23. Tatum and his wife opened up a restaurant and bar, Saints & Sinners, in November 2012. Maybe you’ll stop into the NOLA hotspot on a night Channing swings by.
24. Channing was the voice of Superman in The Lego Movie.
25. To promote White House Down, Jimmy Kimmel came up with the hilarious music video “I Wanna Channing All Over Your Tatum,” featuring Tatum and Jamie Foxx.
26. His favorite place in the house to read over scripts of movies he’s working on is in a warm, bubbly bathtub. (Can we help you go over lines, Channing?)
27. About his movie G. I. Joe, Channing confessed “I f—ing hate that movie” and said “I was pushed into doing [it].”
28. His net worth? A cool $50 million.
29. Channing told Ellen DeGeneres that he’s terrified of porcelain dolls.
30. So, of course Ellen made him face his fear.