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Channing's year

2009-09-07 16:04

This is Channing Tatum’s year. The ex-construction worker/male model from Alabama married his Step Up co-star Jenna Dewan on 11 July and he stars in two of 2009’s biggest movies, G.I. Joe and Public Enemies (which costars Johnny Depp and Christian Bale). And things are only getting hotter for the 29-year-old hottie. He’s working on seven new films for 2010 and 2011 – war movies, spy dramas, romantic dramas, martial arts and action films, and a new dance movie with Columbus Short, his other Step Up buddy. Everybody wants a piece of Channing Tatum these days (especially us – mmmm!).

Channing heads up a varied cast in G.I. Joe, the action movie based on the toy figurines and kiddies’ cartoon show. The story involves a specialised group of soldiers who use next generation spy and military equipment to fight a corrupt arms dealer and the mysterious Cobra organisation. Sienna Miller, Marlon Wayans, Arnold Vosloo and Joseph Gordon-Levitt co-star. We pressed Channing for details.

Q: Did you grow up with G.I. Joe?
A: I did. I would steal my mom’s black stockings and put them on my head and be Snake Eyes (a member of the G.I. Joe team), running around the back yard with a stick and my dog.

Q: Tell us about playing a soldier.
A: When they first talked to me about doing G.I. Joe, I was not keen on it. It didn’t seem the right thing to do right now, in a time of war, to go do a fantasy war film. It’s not that I’m anti-war. I’m not. I had just done a pro-soldier movie (Stop-Loss) and I was nervous. When you take on these roles, these questions are going to be asked. You never want to do something just for the sake of doing it; you have to give it some thought. Then they sent me the script and it had nothing to do with politics or war or anything. It’s a kids’ fantasy. Yeah we have guns, but they’re not going to make kids go, “I want to grow up and go and shoot and kill.” Me and Marlon were laughing all the way through it. It’s just pure, unadulterated fun. That’s why I wanted to do it.

Q: You’re playing an action hero on screen. Who are your heroes?
A: When you’re a kid you play violent games and don’t have a real sense of mortality. We don’t really know what it is to die when we’re that young. Once you grow up you start to pick different heroes. My mom is one of my biggest heroes. I hope that doesn’t sound cheesy. She is the strongest woman I know. When I was younger I didn’t see that. It was always my dad – the strong guy. Looking back, you see who really was the strength in the family. Hollywood gets a lot wrong.

Q: There is often a physicality to your roles...
A: That’s probably how I got my first couple of jobs. I was an okay enough actor but I could do whatever the physical task was that was needed – soccer or basketball or dancing. I’m running out of physical things to do in movies. What’s next? Bull-riding? (laughs). Skydiving? Physicality adds another layer to a character. How you walk, talk; do you sit up or slump? I pay attention to the way people move almost as much as I listen to them. That’s really specific to me. I love motion. That’s why I’ve gravitated towards physical roles, but I’ve just done a movie that had no physicality, called Dear John (romantic drama with Amanda Seyfried out next year), which was nothing but sitting on the beach and falling in love and talking. It was a great change. I learnt stillness (laughs), which is another motion.

Q: Where did you learn to dance?
A: I grew up in Florida. There’s a huge Spanish community there and every weekend when you’re around 15, 16, there’s a birthday party, and they’re hugely dance-oriented.

Q: Can you tell us about your wedding?
A: It was the best day of my life. I can’t take a lot of credit. Jenna planned everything. I did my job with the proposal. We had the best time ever. It was nothing but dancing and food and family. It was incredible. Marlon was at my wedding and he got to meet all my country family. I told him wait till you meet my uncles! One of them does this thing called buck dancing, and he was trying to teach Marlon. I was in stitches. I don’t think I sat down the entire night. I wish I could go back and just be a fly on the wall at my own wedding. Hopefully I’ll get the video and enjoy it a little more. It was crazy.

Q: How did you propose?
A: It was in Hawaii. I did it at a waterfall. We tried to go and find a waterfall on our first vacation together and we never found it. We tried to find three in total. After the first one we looked for two other waterfalls and never found them either. We found a third one but couldn’t get to it. It was just this thing. Finally I went and found this waterfall and made sure I could get to it, and made sure it was actually there (laughs), so we did it at the fourth waterfall.

Q: Did you fall in love instantly when you met Jenna in Step Up?
A: We tried to keep it very professional and denied we were together, but when no one was looking we held hands and were stealing kisses. We haven’t left each other’s side since that movie, almost four years ago, and I’ve just kind of been in love with her ever since. We never even had a real fight where we’ve talked about breaking up. She’s such a sweetheart. We’re both communicative. We talk all the time. Even about things we don’t agree on. I’ve never met anybody that I would like to grow old with except her.

Q: What did you fall in love with?
A: The first thing I noticed about her was that she takes care of everyone around her. If there’s someone that’s not as outgoing, she wants to take care of them. If she sees something sad on TV she cries every time. She’s one of the most empathetic people I’ve ever met. She just feels so much. It’s really hard for her sometimes. She’ll come out of a movie and just need to talk about it, because she has to discuss how sad it was or whatever it was. It’s cute, you know. It’s really cute. There’s not a bad, vindictive, bone in her body. Unless someone is being mean to someone else - then you have a pit-bull on a leash, and I’ll be sitting there going, “Oh, here we go...” But she’s just the sweetest person I’ve ever met. She rivals my mother, that’s probably why (laughs).

Q: Are you planning a real honeymoon?
A: We did a mini-moon (laughs). We had four days in Bali and I got food poisoning on the first day and then she got sick on the third day, so we’re not even going to count it as a honeymoon. We’re going to ball it up and throw it away and act like it didn’t happen. We’re going to do the full “moon” another time.

Q: You’ve been quoted as saying you think travel is important.
A: It made me understand America is not the centre of the world. I think Americans don’t know that sometimes. They think everything revolves around America and don’t get to see other countries that are amazingly culture filled and just interesting - some with beautiful people and some poverty-stricken, but also some more advanced than we are. It’s sad that more Americans don’t get to see it.

Q: You have one of the funniest and biggest hits with the Dirty Dancing spoof video on the internet. Why did you do it?
A: I had a blast doing that, man. I don’t fancy myself funny even in the slightest, but I love Charlyne Yi from the film Paper Heart. She’s wickedly smart and her own person. She contacted me about doing a little skit, a little viral thing, and then she called me and said she had an idea about playing Baby and I just busted out laughing. We had the best time doing it.

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Channing Tatum talks about playing soldier, how he proposed to Jenna Dewan - and why they need a do-over for their honeymoon.

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