05/17/2012 at 05:40 PM EDT
and Joe Manganiello joke around
about what went into preparing for their roles as strippers in Magic Mike
– but Channing Tatum
, who actually worked as one in real life, says there really wasn't anything fun about it.
"You're just a guy taking off his clothes, looking like a fool in a stupid outfit," Tatum, 32, tells Out
magazine in its June/July cover story.
The toughest part for the actor was the actual removing of the clothing.
"I never enjoyed the taking-the-clothes-off part," he says. "You are on a stage with people yelling at you and you feel like you're a rock star, but you're nothing."
And as for his role in Hollywood, "I've been acting for eight years now, and I feel I'm just starting to understand things," says Tatum. "I want to keep finding people I can learn from."