The key to Channing Tatum’s ongoing success is that he is dedicated to his roles. In an exclusive interview on his official website, Channing Tatum Unwrapped, this multi-award winning actor of 35 has been described as down-to-earth and well-loved by many. Academics may not have been his strong suit, but he has made a solid place for himself in the movie industry.
Many of his roles depict some insight into his life. The son of a contractor, Tatum worked as a roofer and seems to be quite adept with a hammer as well as nails. This can be seen first hand in his role in Magic Mike XXL, as well as his “bad boy” character. He learned to dance by going to nightclubs and grinding with the women. He is a student of martial arts and learned to wrestle for his role in Foxcatcher. Once he has a goal in mind, he never gives up and never retreats. During his Esquire magazine interview, he claimed, “It wasn’t complicated. I learned to appreciate repetition. That’s why I can dance. It’s how I learned to act. I have a high tolerance for repetition.”
The star proves he is dedicated to his roles in Foxcatcher and Magic Mike XXL via following a very strict diet of chicken and vegetables. According to Esquire magazine, Tatum loves to eat and giving up his favorite foods was not easy. To him, acting is more than fame and recognition, it is the epitome of dedication; of fitting into a role and becoming someone who he is not. While having dinner with some friends, he explains, “I would like a beer. I would like to have some crab. I love eating. But, this is what I’m doing right now.”
Tatum is a busy man who wears many hats, such as star, co-writer, part-time choreographer, producer, father, and husband. Esquire magazine reported that when asked if the actor was a bad kid, his mother’s response was, “He was never bad, just…busy.” The actor always struggled with school and was diagnosed with ADHD, which explains his need always to stay engaged. When asked how he does it, he claimed that for the first time in his life, he was busy enough that he could not quit until it was done right; something that never happened for him in school.
For the most part, Tatum is self-taught and has never taken formal acting lessons, he told Esquire magazine. He learns by observation and repetitious practice. Having a healthy respect for anyone who can beat him, he learns everything possible about that person; finding what he likes and trying his best to duplicate it.
As reported on his official website, he shows the same enthusiasm for his wife, Jenna Dewan, and baby girl, Everly. He is a devoted father and loving husband. The actor and Jenna met on set during the filming of Step Up. They married three years later.
For his role in Foxcatcher, Tatum had to learn the art of wrestling from pro wrestler David Schultz. Not only did he train with the best, but he started emulating the pro. According to Tatum, Schultz was intense and scary on the mats. The actor claimed that by his third or fourth time wrestling with Schultz, who could bend him in half, he learned there was no retreat. “In wrestling,” he explained, “you advance and advance, and being tired is just a lie to make the other guy think he can relax. It’s so hard, harder than anything I’ve ever done.”
Channing Tatum began working as a roofer, then as a model for Abercrombie & Fitch. He progressed to acting, writing, and producing movies. The key to his success? He is dedicated to his roles.
By Rowena Portch
Edited by Cathy Milne
Channing Tatum’s Official Website: Channing Tatum Unwrapped: Exclusive Interview
IMDB: Channing Tatum Bio
New York Times: Magic Mike by Steven Soderbergh
Esquire: Channing Tatum Interview
Image Courtesy of Gabby’s Flickr Page – Creative Commons License