Jess Cagle
May 18, 2012 AT 04:00 AM EDT

This week EW’s Adam Markovitz asks Channing Tatum and his costars why they signed on to play a bunch of hard-partying male strippers in Magic Mike. The answer: director Steven Soderbergh, who’s known for assembling all-star casts who will do anything for him. He’s also a key reason Magic Mike ended up on the cover.

With a body of work including sex, lies, and videotape, Traffic, Erin Brockovich, Ocean’s Eleven, Contagion, Haywire, and the upcoming Liberace biopic for HBO, Soderbergh has become the most consistently surprising director in Hollywood, alternating between studio movies and indies, and always chasing cool ideas rather than easy sells. Also this week, Sara Vilkomerson takes a look at the career of another great artist, Oscar-winning costume designer Colleen Atwood, who’s dressed everyone from Hannibal Lecter to the Mad Hatter. In fact, keep an eye out for more design stories in the magazine and on; our new style editor Bronwyn Barnes and our staff will be frequently taking you behind the scenes to see Hollywood’s most influential costume, makeup, and production designers at work. In the meantime, enjoy our cover on Magic Mike, a film where the costumes are, quite literally, disposable.

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