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.