American actor Channing Tatum admits he did spend some time as a male stripper when he was 18 or 19.

When he took that story to Steven Soderbergh, the Traffic director urged him to write a script based on that idea. Tatum took him up on the offer, contributing to a script by Reid Carolin.

But he says the film, Magic Mike, in which he plays the hottest act in an all-male revue, is nothing like his own experience.

As Mike, Tatum plays mentor to a youngster just starting in the business, played by Alex Pettyfer, while falling for his sister, who disapproves of the stripping lifestyle.

He spoke to CBC's Laura Thompson about getting the world of male revues right for the screen and the nerves every actor feels when he has to take his clothes off for the camera.