Channing Tatum Raves About His Relationship with 'Magic Mike 3' Costar Salma Hayek: 'We Are Besties'

"Salma and I talk about everything," the actor told PEOPLE Wednesday night at the premiere of Magic Mike's Last Dance in Miami

Salma Hayek and Channing Tatum attend the "Magic Mike's Last Dance" World Premiere on January 25, 2023 in Miami Beach, Florida.
Salma Hayek and Channing Tatum. Photo: Alexander Tamargo/Getty

Channing Tatum and Salma Hayek are two peas in a pod.

Tatum, 42, returns as a stripper in Magic Mike's Last Dance, the upcoming highly anticipated third installment of the Magic Mike franchise costarring Academy Award nominee Hayek, 56.

And the two certainly hit it off, both onscreen and off.

"I have emotions in the film, and Salma and I talk about everything," Tatum, in an all-black suit and matching T-shirt, tells PEOPLE of his relationship with Hayek while on the jam-packed red carpet before the movie's premiere at the Regal South Beach in Miami on Wednesday.

"We are besties," he adds.

Never miss a story — sign up for PEOPLE's free daily newsletter to stay up-to-date on the best of what PEOPLE has to offer, from juicy celebrity news to compelling human-interest stories.

The actor says Magic Mike's Last Dance — a musical comedy filmed in Miami and London, on which he is a producer — is different from his first two movies in the franchise, Magic Mike (2012) and Magic Mike XXL (2015), which inspired a global stage show, Magic Mike Live, as well as an HBO Max competition series, Finding Magic Mike.

The third movie was designed to hire the best dancers in the world and have a strong female lead, who is pivotal to the story and as important as Tatum's character Mike Lane in the plot.

"Among other things, this movie is about what a woman wants," says Tatum. "Salma and I have a dialogue with each other. We both ask, 'Who do I want to be now?' and 'What do I do now?' You'll see in this film that Salma and I have beautiful moments."

Returning after an eight-year hiatus, Tatum's character, originally based loosely on his own experiences as an 18-year-old bartender and stripper in Tampa, Florida, really heats up the screen with Hayek as his sexy romantic interest Maxandra Mendoza.

Salma Hayek Feels Channing Tatum's Abs in Magic Mike's Last Dance First Look
Channing Tatum and Salma Hayek in Magic Mike's Last Dance (2023). Warner Bros. Pictures.

The actress plays a mysterious wealthy socialite who, like Tatum's character, is at a crossroads in her life, and convinces him to work with her on a tantalizing stage show in London.

As a down-on-his luck bartender who closed his furniture business, Mike decides after a night of getting to know Max to go for the gold — which includes training a hot new group of talented international dancers.

"We wanted this movie to be the Super Bowl of stripping," he told PEOPLE previously.

As for seeing Tatum in action, Hayek — looking stunning in a long black see-through fishnet gown with bold floral appliqués over black undergarments — raves to PEOPLE on the red carpet that he "is an extraordinary dancer."

"I was surprised at how good he was, yet I expected it," she adds. "He is very disciplined and took a lot of time to work rigorously on what he needed to do to perfect this role."

Since Hayek's character has suffered through a divorce and is feeling loss, she easily relates to Mike's issues. The pair are like lost souls who find each other and indulge in a surprising and romantic relationship filled with mutual love, companionship and respect.

"The steamy scenes were challenging, fun and technical," says Hayek. "It scared me at first, but Channing is great to work with. He is patient and has a great sense of humor."

The film's director Steven Soderbergh has said in press materials that the chemistry between them is palpable on camera. There is an early scene "when Mike and Max first meet, and still have their clothes on, but Channing and Salma made it very sensual."

He added, "In American cinema, it's not exactly typical to find that level of sensuality and eroticism in a film without being explicit, but they really conveyed it beautifully."

Magic Mike's Last Dance opens in theaters Feb.10.

Related Articles