Channing Tatum's Stripping Nightmare: I Wore 'A Clown Outfit'

It's common knowledge that Channing Tatum used to be a stripper prior to making it big in Los Angeles, with his days of exotic dancing inspiring the upcoming Steven Soderbergh movie, "Magic Mike."

While the 32-year-old hunk isn't ashamed of his days of dollars and G-strings, the star admits there was one particular costume that still makes him cringe.

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"A clown outfit, true story -- not making it up," Channing told Access Hollywood's Shaun Robinson at the "Magic Mike" junket in Los Angeles on Saturday. "It was the worst idea that I had heard -- and I had heard some bad ideas and seen some bad skits!"

Channing fought the sexy Bozo idea tooth and nail with his strip club bosses, but lost.

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"I was like, 'Clowns aren't sexy -- if anything they're scary. Why is this gonna work? '" he told Shaun of his argument at the time. "And they were just like, 'Nah, nah -- it kills, bro. It kills, bro. They're gonna love it.'

"I danced to like, '99 Red Balloons' or something, I come out and... crickets. Crickets!" he said, laughing. "People didn't know if it was a joke [or] if it was supposed to be for real. No one cheered, no nothing. That was the last night I did that. I was like, 'What did I tell you?!"

Also in Channing's stripper costume closet of shame? A Boy Scout uniform, which he wore on his first night of stripping while singing "Camp Granada" with members of his family in the audience.

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"[It was] my first night of stripping and my sister and six of her friends came my first night up, which was horribly mortifying," he said. "My sister didn't watch, but all her friends watched, all in the front row, and I'm just like, 'This [Boy Scout routine] is the worst idea ever!' But the clown was the worst of all."

While the meant-to-be-sexy clown and misguided Boy Scout dances are a thing of the past, Channing kept it real for "Magic Mike," refusing to use a body double for any of his booty-shaking scenes.

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"There wasn't one stunt butt or stunt dancer for any of the dancers," he said, adding that having his backside appear "40 feet tall" on movies screens is "completely" terrifying.

Catch Channing, along with Joe Manganiello, Matt Bomer, Matthew McConaughey and Alex Pettyfer, in "Magic Mike" - in theaters on Friday.

--Erin O'Sullivan

Copyright 2012 by NBC Universal, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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