But in his latest film, Magic Mike, Matthew, 43, tries a different part as strip club boss Dallas. Here, he talks about toning up for the movie and why he was dying to get his kit off on screen.
Why do you think the film has been a success?
It’s two hours of good fun, it’s a lark. There can be intellectual discussions about the film, but the basis of the male revue and why women go – or why men go to female strip shows – is not an above the shoulders thing. It’s from the knees to the gut. If you get turned on there you’re getting your money’s worth. That’s not banal, that’s human.
Can you understand why people strip for a living?
I’d met a few guys who do it and have regular jobs during the day. There was a lawyer, a father of four, and a guy who was on military leave. You could see that they got two hours out of their regular daily life and got to come in there and rule the roost. They got to have the adulation, and have women scream and laugh and embarrass each other and embarrass these women – and for two hours that guy was a rock star.
How did you and the others feel getting up on stage?
We said, ‘Let’s just go for it, don’t hold back because it’s going to be immortalised on screen so the guys who go up there don’t want to give just 80%’. You could fall down, miss the move, fall off stage – whatever. But go for it and embarrass yourself because guess what, maybe you get take two. Or maybe it turns into something great. It was nerve wracking going out there but after the first time I was like, ‘Ooh, let’s do it again!’
What do you put your well-honed physique down to?
I got good genes from my Dad and then I work my ass off if the role needs it. Tell six men they’re gonna be stripping and their asses are going to be 40 foot on screen – that’ll get you in shape!
Your character Dallas wasn’t originally meant to strip in the film…