updated 06/28/2012 AT 11:30 AM ET
•originally published 06/29/2012 AT 7:30 AM ET
Channing Tatum is taking more than one for the team.
Playing a male stripper in his new film Magic Mike, the actor, 32, embraced all that was necessary to prepare for the role – from working out three hours a day and sticking to strict dairy- and gluten-free diet, to rubbing on self-tanner every morning and waxing his legs.
“It was the most painful thing I’ll ever do,” he tells PEOPLE in this week’s issue. “And it’s something I’ll never do again.”
“I enjoyed the performing part of dancing but I didn’t really love taking my clothes off,” he says. “It was fun while it lasted.”