TIME movies

Channing Tatum on Magic Mike XXL: ‘We Got Joe Manganiello Naked as Much as Possible”

Tatum, photographed in Los Angeles
Tatum, photographed in Los Angeles. Carlos Serrao for TIME

The Foxcatcher star is aiming to please

The dark drama Foxcatcher (out Nov. 14) features Channing Tatum showing his acting chops with a muted performance as the wrestler Mark Schultz. In this week’s issue of TIME, Tatum sat down to discuss the making of the film and the shape of his increasingly ambitious career.

Next up? Magic Mike XXL — the sequel to the 2012 male stripper pic Magic Mike — which just wrapped production in Georgia. While Matthew McConaughey won’t be returning for the second installment, stars Joe Manganiello, Alex Pettyfer and Matt Bomer are all reprising their roles. And with Tatum co-writing and producing XXL in addition to starring in the film, he’s giving viewers more of exactly what they want, as he explained:

Channing Tatum: It sucks that we do these movies for such efficient means and time. The first movie took 22 or 23 days, and this movie took 29 days. Those guys are so much fun — they’re the whole reason why I wanted to make a second one. They were a discovery for me. They just filled this world out — that I think you feel in [Magic Mike], but you don’t get to be with them and hang out in the movie like you want to. I was like, ‘If we get to make a second one, that’s what it will be. It will just be a guy’s story, but made for women.’

TIME: And gay men, surely.

Tatum: True. It’s for all! You’ll see — we serviced that as well, in a way. [pauses] I’m choosing my words very stupidly. [laughs] One of our first stops is at a drag club on our odyssey. We call it a stripper odyssey because it’s a traveling band of strippers. This movie is a lot more fun. In the first movie, we were obligated to show the underbelly — the pitfalls and dangers of being in that world. In this one, we kicked off a lot of the darkness. We’re going to have a lot of fun on the road together. Hopefully you’re going to care about these guys, and then get to see a lot of ridiculous nakedness and stupidity.

TIME: That’s what America wants.

Tatum: We got Joe Manganiello naked as much as possible. Everyone in the world: you’re welcome.

Read the full interview this week in TIME.

TIME Music

Review: 1989 Marks a Paradigm Swift

2014 iHeartRadio Music Festival - Night 1 - Show
Denise Truscello—WireImage/Getty Images

On her new album, Taylor Swift goes full-throttle pop

“Took our broken hearts and put them in a drawer,” Taylor Swift sings on “Welcome to New York,” the opening track on her fifth and sharpest album, 1989. Coming from Swift, a superstar who built a global empire penning hits about matters of the heart, this sounds like a threat–stowing her sorrow away after it brought so much success seems borderline irresponsible.

But Swift has gambled before and won. After writing every song solo on her blockbuster 2010 country-crossover album, Speak Now, she teamed up with a varied roster of top-shelf tunesmiths for 2012’s sprawling, genre-spanning opus, Red. That album went quadruple platinum, earned rapt critical acclaim and four Grammy nods and made her an icon.

On 1989, out Oct. 27, she sounds like one. Leaner and keener than those on Red, her new songs fizz and crackle with electricity and self-aware wit. Driven by synths and drums in lieu of guitars, all trace of country abandoned, 1989 holds together sonically as a tribute to the electro-pop that dominated radio 25 years ago. Swift executive-produced the album alongside Swedish hit machine Max Martin, who lends pop shellack to her nimble lyrics. Winding choruses have been whittled down to their stickiest essence.

Thematically, too, Swift breaks with the past, skirting victimhood and takedowns of maddening exes, critics and romantic competitors. Instead, there’s a newfound levity. Not only is Swift in on the joke; she also relishes it. The bouncy “Blank Space” hyperbolizes her portrayal in the media as an overly attached man-eater who dates for songwriting material: “Got a long list of ex-lovers, they’ll tell you I’m insane/ But I’ve got a blank space,” she coos before, incredibly, a clicking sound like that of a pen, “and I’ll write your name.” The skronky, horn-driven lead single “Shake It Off” communicates a cheerful disinterest in being critiqued, and a panicked, operatic vocal sample of Swift singing the word “Stay!” gives the swerving “All You Had to Do Was Stay” an oddball kick. The angriest song here is “Bad Blood,” a chanting call to arms over a dispute with a frenemy, and even it feels tongue-in-cheek.

Instead of pain, the songs about romance vibrate with fluttering lust or wistful nostalgia. The winking disco anthem “Style” packs a nasty ’70s groove, while strings and a lush refrain lend “Wildest Dreams” a cinematic grandeur: “He’s so tall, and handsome as hell,” she exhales. Surging drums and a jagged bassline, courtesy of fun. rocker Jack Antonoff, mitigate the longing of “I Wish You Would.” Even the atmospheric electro-ballad “This Love” is more hopeful than anguished, enlivened by a catchy chorus and Swift’s breathless delivery.

Though Swift is skilled with melody, her deadliest weapon is a superhuman knack for tight, evocative images–a skill she employs sparingly here. On the tense “Out of the Woods,” she ruefully recounts deciding “to move the furniture so we could dance,” while the feathery “Clean,” a collaboration with English composer Imogen Heap, sees her comparing a relationship to “a wine-stained dress I can’t wear anymore.” But the most potent statements are sonic, like “I Know Places,” a thrillingly paranoid cut with a drum-and-bass-like intensity. It’s the album’s darkest moment, until the chorus fills the song with light.

As long as Swift writes autobiographically, her romantic affairs will be the subject of speculation, but it’s the expertly crafted sound of 1989 that marks her most impressive sleight of hand yet–shifting the focus away from her past and onto her music, which is as smart and confident as it’s ever been. Who are these songs about? When they sound this good, who cares?

TIME Music

Listen to Taylor Swift’s Hypnotic New Song ‘Out of the Woods’

Singer Taylor Swift performs during the 2014 iHeartRadio Music Festival in Las Vegas
Singer Taylor Swift performs during the 2014 iHeartRadio Music Festival in Las Vegas, Nevada Sept. 19, 2014. Steve Marcus—Reuters

It's out with the guitars and in with the drums on the singer's new 1989 track

Taylor Swift rang in her most recent album era with “Shake It Off,” a cheerfully flip pop confection that reads as an act of defiance to everyone from the haters to country-radio programmers. For “Out of the Woods,” the second offering from her upcoming LP 1989 (out Oct. 27), Swift’s rebellion takes a slyer shape, and a darker one.

Swift wrote the song with fun.’s Jack Antonoff, and the sounds of his ’80s-inspired solo project Bleachers reverberate here: a distorted vocal sample, crunchy drums, echoing harmonies. Lyrically, though, it’s still classic Swift, capturing the anxiety of a volatile romance with poignant little details — there are paper airplanes flying, and Swift and her would-be-beau have to move the furniture so they can dance; and, of course, there’s that much-discussed bridge about an accident that landed the unlucky couple in the hospital.

But it’s the furious chant of that anthemic chorus, all breathless urgency, and the left-of-center production that help Swift perform the niftiest sleight of hand: Even with lyrics that include some of her most headline-grabbing autobiographical admissions to date, the most interesting thing here isn’t who it’s about, but rather, how different it sounds.

Listen here.

Read next: Taylor Swift Finally Explains Why She’s a Feminist and How Lena Dunham Helped

TIME Music

Review: Tove Lo Is Far From Sunny on Queen of the Clouds

Island Records

Sharp lyrics and finely tooled production power one of the year's strongest pop releases

You many not know 26-year-old Tove Lo by name, but you’ve probably heard her voice: “Habits (Stay High),” the debut single from the Swedish singer-songwriter, is currently climbing the upper reaches of the Billboard Hot 100, nearly 18 months after its initial release back in March 2013. If “Habits” has had a slow burn, it’s nonetheless earned its spot on radio: the song is a hazy paean to post-breakup debauchery that sounds like nothing else in the mainstream. (Except maybe her fellow Scandic siren Robyn — if Robyn were addicted to cough syrup.) “Habits” sets the tone for Lo’s timely first album Queen of the Clouds (out Sept. 30 on Island Records), which announces her arrival as pop’s messiest, most winsomely addled diva. Assisted by throbbing, gloomy production, Lo uses her little-girl voice to wonderfully discordant effect on electropop anthems about heartbreak and headaches — the kind that follow a night of reckless partying.

But make no mistake: there’s a razorlike precision to these songs that belies her rough-around-the-edges persona. Lo (real name: Tove Nilsson) is an acolyte of super-producers Max Martin and Shellback, who have helped helm singles for superstars like Britney Spears, Katy Perry and Taylor Swift, and it shows in her songcraft. Clouds is roughly divided into three parts — The Sex, The Love and The Pain — although that conceit doesn’t totally stand up, as most of the songs touch all three. The tracks all have a satisfying stomp and crash, but it’s her lyrics that shine brightest, trading in pop clichés but flipping them in the same breath.

Lo can be vulgar, as on the lusty “Talking Body,” which sets a scabrous singalong hook against some of Shellback’s irresistibly catchy production, but that sexiness is shot through with frustration; she owns her desire, full-throttle. “Moments,” meanwhile, is ostensibly a love song, though it works on tongue-in-cheek self-deprecation: “I might get a little drunk… but on good days I am charming as f–k,” she sings. And for all her self-medicating tendencies, she easily turns plaintive: “I’m not on drugs, I’m just in love,” she insists on “Not On Drugs.” Best of all is the madcap stampede “Timebomb,” with talky lyrics and a chorus that explodes like a confetti cannon. (No surprise that it claims Klas Ahlund as a co-writer, since he had a hand in Robyn’s heartbreaking “Be Mine!”, a song with similar happy-sad tones.)

In a year where pop has been pretty toothless, Lo has a sharp bite — and the hooks are commercial enough to give her a fighting chance at stateside stardom. Taken all at once, Queen of the Clouds packs an unusually heady buzz.

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