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Herald Sun Form Guide : August 6th 2009
+ 46 Herald Sun, Thursday, August 6, 2009 Herald Sun extra 8 heraldsu C M Y K no ordinary C Channing Tatum is looking for a new kind of action, writes Neala Johnson .» cover story HANNINGTatum is an arthouse actor trapped in a model’s body. The classic case of a guywho tripped into modelling and fell even further into acting, Alabama boy Tatum cut his teeth—and gathered an army of teenage-girl fans—on fare such as dance flick StepUp and teen comedy She’s the Man. But it wasn’t until he took on a role in Dito Montiel’s raw coming-of-age indie AGuide to Recognizing Your Saints in 2006 that he felt like a real actor. (Thosewhohave only seen Shia LaBeouf in Transformers should also check out this underrated drama for proof positive he can actually act, too.) ‘‘I felt like Saints wasmyfirst acting job,’’ Tatum says. ‘‘I had done other parts, I was an actor, but I wasn’t a real actor, I hadn’t done a real acting part.’’ Since then, Tatum has fallen further downthe rabbit hole of filmmaking, to the point he’s starting to write and planning to produce hisownprojects. Heswears he was never casual about his career in acting, butnowhe’s all about the craft, and he’s in it for life. ‘‘I count myself as havingwonthe lottery. But better than money, I’vewon a career that I can utterly say that I love, andaminfatuated with,’’ he says. ‘‘I don’t do anything but watch movies all day, or read scripts or read novels that I want to makeinto a movie. I’m obsessed with character. AndnowI’m starting to learn more about story. ‘‘That’s all life is, just a big learning session, and at the end of it you can look back and be like ‘What have I done? What did you do with your time, man?’ ’’ Itmaynot look like it from the outside, but Tatum considers hisnew film another step on that learning curve. Where his old co-star LaBeouf has Transformers, Tatumnowhas hisown movie franchise based on toys, G.I. Joe. The brainless sci-fi action blockbuster —about a secret US military unit doing battle with an evil dude armed with metal-eating nanomites—doesn’t have a great deal to do with acting. But Tatum saw G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra as a test of his ability to carry and sell a film, and of his ability to get the job done on a different kind of movie. ‘‘It’s a little outer-body experience,’’ Work in progress: (far right) Channing Tatum’s G.I.Joe role sees him venture into the world of the toy/ film franchise. Sight unseen: (top right) Tatum and his co-stars only saw the film’s stunning special effects for the first time during their promotional visit to Sydney last month. + Newlyweds: (right) Tatum and his Step Up co-star, andnow wife, Jenna Dewan. the 29-year-old says. ‘‘I’ve done commercial films, but I haven’t done a commercial film like this, that has this muchbehind it and thismuchexpectation. It’s a little nerveracking, but it’s really, really exciting.’’ Should the film do well enough, he’s signed on for more. Helikes the idea of having a franchise, even if it’s mostly because henowconsiders the cast, especially his comic partner in crime Marlon Wayans, ‘‘family’’. Tatum and his castmates saw the film for the first time during a whirlwind promotional visit to Sydney last month. ‘‘We were like ‘OhmyGod, that’s what wedid?’ ’Cos doing one of these big special-effects movies, you never know what it looks like until you see it. You just feel so floor-less, and the director’s always asking you to go bigger.’’ he had been to Australia. His first Aussie adventurecameat the > tour of duty with a few perks C HANNINGTatum’s hit ’n’ run movie junket last month wasn’t the first time turn of the century—‘‘I was baby me,’’ he says with a laugh. ‘‘I went from Sydney to the middle of Australia and I worked on a cattle ranch for a week and a half. Then I went up to Cairns. That was like eight years ago. I was living off $200 tomyname, just banging around all the hostels with enough money for drinking beer and puttin’ a roof overmy head and that’s about it.’’ Tatum admits that director Stephen Sommers was often pulling teeth to get that requisite ‘‘big’’ performance out of the leading man,when all he had to yell at was a green screen with nothing on it. To illustrate, he bellows a line from his character Duke, the straight-downthe-line army hero he plays in the film: ‘‘Ripcord! Noooooo!’’ Battle lines: Channing Tatum and Marlon Wayans prepare to suit-up in a scene from G.I. Joe. > tatum happy as universal soldier C HANNINGTatum gets offered the same kind of roles a lot. But he’s determined not to let the movie studios paint him into a corner. ‘‘I’m trying hard. I’m trying really hard not too,’’ he says. Then he laughs and admits that his next, post-G.I.Joe job will see him playing a soldieragain. Healso played an army guy in last year’s Stop-Loss. But this is a RomanEmpire soldier in a movie by Kevin Macdonald, theman whomadeLastKingofScotland and StateofPlay —‘‘A brilliant, brilliant man,’’ Tatum says. The film,TheEagleoftheNinth, will co-star Jamie Bell and Mark Strong. ‘‘Let’s see, I’ve played a soldiernow three times, I probably know more about being a soldier than any civilian should,’’ Tatum says. ‘‘But I love it and I respect them, so I want to do them well.NowI’m going to play a different soldier, aRomanEmpire soldier, so it will be interesting to see if I can keep pushing it and changing it. ‘‘It’ll really have to do withme—it’s really someone’s choice, if they just wanna do the same thing. You really gotta fight though, sometimes. They’re like, ‘Yeah,wejust don’t really see him the face of am a budget aroun ‘‘Most actor T as that’. And you’re like, ‘Right, just let mecomein and audition then’. They’re like ‘Yeah, nah, OK, fine’. So then you go in and whether you get the job or not, you hopefully have opened their eyes to something else you can do.’’ Hesays he’s been learning about comedy from his G.I.Joe co-star Marlon Wayans. Is he ready to push it and change it enough to have a crack at a comedy? ‘‘Yeeeeeeeah, not yet, I don’t think. I might take a stab, little parts here and there or something. G.I.Joe was about as close to comedy as I’ll get . . . for a little while, at least.’’ ‘‘You’re like, ‘I feel like the biggest fool right now’,’’ Tatum says with a laugh. ‘‘You’re afraid the entire time, you’re like ‘OhmyGod, people are gonna think I’m the worst actor on the planet’. ‘‘I’m used to doing smaller movies where you canmumbleand be quiet, and you only yell if you’re really p---ed off. ‘‘To do all that in a studio where you have a bunch of people looking at you, it’s really weird. You laugh at yourself later, like ‘You were such a wimp’. ‘‘In a way, it feels like when you were four years old and you have a bunch of cardboard boxes in the living room, you’ve got everything draped with sheets and you’re playing fort—you’re yelling at nobody, you’re ducking from explosions, you’re throwing chinese stars that aren’t there... ‘‘You just have to be like ‘Well I hope I don’t look like a fool’.’’ G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra capped off Washe telling every Aussie he met ‘‘I’m going to be G.I. Joe one day’’? Hebreaks into laughter. ‘‘They’re like, ‘Who’s G.I. Joe?’ ’’ Nodoubt, his tripDownUnder for G.I. Joe duties was a little more cushy. Tatum was even allowed to bring along his wife, JennaDewan—after all, the promotional tourcame barely a week after their wedding. ‘‘It was a little inconvenient, the timing of it all, but we’ll find time for our nice honeymoon,’’ Tatum says. ‘‘We’re trying to spend a little time together.’’ a stellar year of movies for Tatum. He re-teamed with Dito Montiel on Fighting, which Tatum calls ‘‘a mix between an art film and a commercial film’’ (it opens here August 27). He then popped up briefly in Michael Mann’s Public Enemies with Johnny Depp and Christian Bale. ‘‘It’s a really teeny part,’’ he says. ‘‘I kinda introduce Purvis, which is Bale’s character, and yes I was a sponge! He remindedmehow seriousweneed to take this as actors—people pay money to see our films, their good, hardearned money, especially in a hard time like this. That’s not a light thing.’’ Lastly, he played the romantic lead in Dear John (due next February). ‘‘Going from a movie like G.I. Joe where you’re screaming at nothing and talking about nanomites,downto South Carolina to fall in love on the beach in a Lasse Hallstrom movie... I just loved it.’’ that are really do, would love act without ha other stuff,’’ he ‘‘But it’s fine I’ve hammered before, and I d been to Florida are worse jobs ‘‘To take a p book, fromwh time he sees a as Jack Sparro Caribbean), he performs for ’e ‘‘We do this hopefully for p people to watc don’t care. If th in a magazine buying, look, it . . . I just wish p nicer to each o ‘‘Look, I’m no movies all the cheeseburgers mylife, I don’t everydamnda like ‘Oh he let h You’re just like somebody a br Tatum marr JennaDewano Though he d ceremony was circus, he felt t keenly on his b ‘‘When we’re a helicopter ab to say our vow heartbreaking you,’’ he says. ‘‘I’ll never un those magazin don’t allow the they’re ruining because them somebody,wh are in real life, believe them i ‘‘Instead of s legged hooker did you see Ch albino hooker? roles anymore business now, gotta deal with And deal wit himself that at hammering na ‘‘Yeah, I’md with a laugh. ‘‘ ownhouse, I’m Building a ho the cards? ‘‘I hope so. It goals, I’d like t see > G.I.Jo opens today. In fact, Tatu couldn’t have b ‘‘It really cou had the really, and rare oppo lot of things I’v Since StepU offered his fill plans to produ steer himself d ‘‘I’m obsesse every person I just infatuatin roles to put all are inmyhead ‘‘I reallywan doing differen different place But there’s a wish to start p behind-the-sc escape the cel HAT’S not you’re just PAGE 46 DHS 6-AUG-2009 FIRST
August 5th 2009
August 7th 2009