Who needs acting school when you’ve got the looks, the determination and the sheer likability of Channing Tatum?
“I know I’m not the best actor. But I hope my characters are getting better,” Tatum, 31, says in the February issue of Details, explaining that he’s had to learn more from experience than instruction.
“I didn’t go to acting school,” he says, “so my knowledge of story, filmmaking and character comes from just being on set and doing it.”
Tatum has been an avid learner, and is refreshingly unpretentious when it comes to his choice of acting projects – even if it means doing romantic comedies like Dear John, with Amanda Seyfried, and The Vow, with Rachel McAdams.
“You gotta do the Dear Johns. You gotta do The Vow,” he says. “I’m conscious about why I did those parts, those movies … I wanted to learn from Rachel on The Vow. I wanted to learn from Lasse Hallström on Dear John – he did The Cider House Rules and What’s Eating Gilbert Grape.”
Tatum is fast becoming a bigger force in Hollywood, beginning to develop projects through his production company, Iron Horse Entertainment – through which he produced Magic Mike, a film about a male stripper based on his own younger days.
“To clarify,” Tatum says, “it’s not really my story. It’s really about that world: the people and the decisions you have to make. It’s not as dark as you might think. [Director Steven] Soderbergh really had a clear vision as far as not making it overly sexual, overly dark.”
Soderbergh, for one, thinks Tatum is poised to be a superstar. “He has a lot of the qualities I associate with people like George [Clooney] and Matt [Damon] and Brad [Pitt] in terms of being clear-eyed, hardworking, and masculine,” Soderbergh says. “He’s a man. I wish there was a better word, but in movie terms, he’s a man, he comes across on the screen as a man.”
A man with a bright future – acting school or not.
By Tim Nudd