ORLANDO, Fla. - One of the biggest movies at the box office this weekend, grossing $70 million, has a link to Central Florida.
Channing Tatum, who stars in "Magic Mike," says much of the movie is based on his real-life experience as a stripper in Central Florida. But a group of male entertainers who danced with Tatum told Local 6 they were the real inspiration for movie, including the real "Magic Mike", who's currently in prison in Brevard County.
The group leader, "London Steele," told Local 6 he enjoyed the movie, saying it reminded him of the days he performed at nightclubs in downtown Orlando. But he said the movie is really based on him and another stripper.
"I think a lot of things were accurate, I think a lot of things were not accurate," Steele said. Steele claims he was the inspiration for actor Matthew McConaughey's character.
Mike Sorrentino, who's serving a five year prison sentence for trafficking heroin, told Inside Edition he taught Tatum everything there was to know about being a stripper.
The group broke up 12 years ago. Tatum is now a Hollywood actor and producer. Steele is now working in the Tampa area detailing cars. Steele said he doesn't hold a grudge against his former fellow stripper.
"I'd like to say, in all honesty, thank you. You put me and Mike in a good light," he said.
Steele, who visited Sorrentino in prison last week, told Local 6 as he watched the movie, he felt like watching the old gang back together again.
As far as any lawsuits goes, Steele said there's just enough differences the producers could argue "creative licensing.
Copyright 2012 by ClickOrlando.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.