With a 2-year-daughter and a sizzling career, Channing Tatum is getting accustomed to a life of blissful chaos.
"None of this is easy but at the same time it's everything I would have ever wanted," says the star and producer of this summer's steamy stripper sequel Magic Mike XXL, in theaters July 1.
The balancing act of juggling his career with his most prized roles to date – husband and father – keeps the sexy star on his toes. "Having a family and a little girl, it really makes things super clear," he tells PEOPLE in this week's cover story.
Now, when the star thinks about a project, the first question he asks himself is always the same: "Is this worth taking time away from them?" And for a former PEOPLE Sexiest Man Alive – who before the arrival of his daughter, Everly, admitted that he wasn't exactly a morning person – priorities have indeed changed. "The first thing I do when I wake up in the morning? I check to see if my daughter is still sleeping," he says with a sweet laugh.
Check out Chatter with Channing Tatum
He's become one of Hollywood's most in-demand actors, but credits much of his success and happiness to his wife of six years, Jenna Dewan-Tatum.
"We're a good support system for each other," says the actor, 35. "We keep pushing each other to grow and be better. I don't think I could do it any other way [than with her]."
Tatum talks about his Magic Mike body, his proudest moment (watching Jenna give birth!) and yes, even his real-life past as a stripper. But most of all, he looks back in wonder at his crazy road to stardom – and happiness. "I've had way more luck than most people deserve," he says. "I'm just the luckiest guy.”
For much more from Channing Tatum's exclusive interview – and an exclusive shoot with the cast of Magic Mike XXL – pick up the latest issue of PEOPLE, on newsstands Friday