-- The boys are back and on full display.
"We wrote these thin characters into the first movie, and I really think that these amazing actors came in with these unbelievably fleshed-out characters and fell in love on the movie and just enjoyed being together," Tatum told ABC News' "Nightline."
To prep for their big return, the actors stuck to their now well-publicized diet and workout regimen.
"I've walked out in front of 85,000 people to wrestle," Nash, 55, told "Nightline." "And to walk out in front of 900 women knowing I'm going to end up in a thong is way more challenging."
Bomer told "Nightline" he was glad the cast had each other to lean on because having to stick to the diet alone was "not fun at all."
"When we hadn't had any carbohydrates in a couple of months, and we were starting to fall out in a take we could at least find solace in each other," Bomer, 37, said.
"You train like a professional athlete. You have to eat like one," Manganiello, 38, told "Nightline." "I ran around naked in the woods for five years on ‘True Blood,' so at this point it's just another day of work."
But the men didn't just have to worry about body-building. They also had the requisite man-scaping. And when it came to waxing, the actors suffered for their art.
"It is not fun. … This part's been with me since I was born," Tatum said while pointing to a section on his shin. "And I ripped it out of its home. And it is not happy."
Despite the pain and hard work they endured to get in shape for the sequel, their camaraderie, they say, is why they all came back.
"Our director, Greg, said very early on, ‘We're going to get to the final scene, and if we've done it right, people are going to be a little choked up saying goodbye to these guys.' And I thought, ‘You're crazy.' You know, we're making a male stripper movie here," Manganiello said. "But sure enough, when we got to that last day and that last scene, man, we all felt that way."
The male bonding was no ordinary bromance: they dubbed it a "man-nance."
"As fun and as funny as this world is, at its core it's really about these friends, and it's about brotherhood. And it's about a family," Manganiello said.
Rodriguez, 40, told "Nightline, "It's a non-stop party. The whole thing is a celebration. We just really had this kind of a good time.”
Said Tatum: "It was the heart and soul of the reason we wanted to make the second one, truly.”
"Magic Mike XXL" hits theaters July 1.