From sports films to romantic dramas and even to slapstick comedy, Channing Tatum is one versatile Hollywood Hunk that men want to be like and that women want to be with. At 30 years old, Tatum has already not only starred in many different genres of film, but has also helped to produce some of them.
Born in Alabama and raised in Mississippi, Tatum was an early athlete and even began practicing Kung Fu as a young boy. When his family moved to Florida, Channing went to college in West Virginia for a while, but eventually dropped out. Tatum reported that in the late 90′s he started stripping under the stage name “Chan Crawford” at a local night night club. Luckily that career was short-lived once he was discovered on the streets of Miami by a modeling scout and quickly began a career, appearing in several commercials and print ads.
Tatum actually starred as a background dancer in Ricky Martin’s “She Bangs” video and soon earned jobs from more modeling agencies including a spread in Vogue magazine. (You can spot him in the Music Vid at 1:29-1:30 flinging a bottle of liquor behind the bar! You’re welcome.) Channing enjoyed being in the spotlight, and notes that he was very lucky to get these opportunities, bringing him to try out more acting roles instead of just posing for a camera.
Starting Out With Sports
After realizing his passion for acting, Tatum was cast in his first feature film in 2005, Coach Carter. Starring in a supporting role across one of Hollywood’s most well known actors, Samuel L. Jackson, Tatum got to show off some of his athleticism in the sport-drama flick. The film was an overall success and was nominated for several smaller awards, although not particularly memorable.
After a few other small roles in films like Supercross and Havoc, Tatum finally “scored” a more substantial role in the 2006 romantic-comedy soccer flick, She’s The Man starring alongside Amanda Bynes. The film was a modern day adaptation of Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night which is believed to have been written in the early 1600′s. Channing plays the super hot, super toned and super sensitive eventual love interest of Bynes, giving him a chance to show off his skills not only as an athlete but as an actor. The teen comedy was a typical one for Amanda Bynes but made over $50 million at the box office and is actually quite charming.
Dancing King and War Vet
Channing Tatum’s break-out role was easily his portrayal of Tyler Gage in 2006′s dance/drama flick Step Up. Tatum’s impeccable flow on the dance floor only added to Tyler’s charming and relatable persona as an often overlooked foster care child. Perhaps almost too convincing was his relationship with costar Jenna Dewan, who’s chemistry was apparent both on and off screen. In fact, Tatum and Dewan not only dated after the film wrapped but were married only 3 years after filming began in 2009. Step Up was memorable for several factors, including it’s raw depiction of lower-class high schoolers in contrast to rich art-school attendees as well as the highly popularized soundtrack featuring many dance and hip-hop tracks. Coming in at nearly $200 million worldwide, the film was certainly a successful jumping off point for Tatum’s career.
Switching gears in 2008 to a war drama, Channing starred in Stop-Loss alongside Ryan Phillipe and Joseph Gordon-Levitt. Despite a beautiful cast and favorable reviews, the film essentially bombed at the box office, grossing less than half of it’s budget. His next film in 2009, Fighting, was another flop, but it’s saving grace was Tatum’s impressive athletic talents. Channing rounded out 2009 with supporting roles in two other films, Public Enemies and G. I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra.
Switching to Comedy/ Romance
In 2010, Tatum starred in the film adaptation of the Nicholas Sparks novel, Dear John alongside Amanda Seyfried. Much like the rest of the films in the long list of other Sparks novels that have hit the big screen, there was certainly romance but the story was slow and boring. Luckily, in 2011 Tatum gained new notice when joined the hilarious comedic stylings of Vince Vaughn and Kevin James in Ron Howard’s The Dilemma. Despite it’s generally negative reviews, Tatum proved he wasn’t just a muscle bound athletic thespian destined for war movies, sports flicks and romance movies, but that he could make audiences laugh too.
From Acting to Producing
Also in 2010, Tatum began expanding his Hollywood career from acting to producing. To date, he’s been a producer on four film projects, and is currently working on three other films in post-production, including 21 Jump Street 2. His first official executive producer gig was for the 2010 documentary Earth Made of Glass. When you think of Channing Tatum, documentaries are not typically your first thought but the film tells the story of the 2008 war in the Eastern Congo. I can only assume Tatum felt compelled to work on a project of this magnitude after his involvement in war films like Stop-Loss and Dear John.
Following the documentary, Tatum produced and starred in 10 Years which was written and directed by first time film maker Jamie Linden, who also went on to write and produce Dear John. Perhaps Tatum learned the behind the scenes ropes from Linden after working with the director while he paved the way for himself making movies. The film premiered at the International Toronto Film Festival and although it wasn’t a huge hit, it certainly began a pattern for Tatum to be more than just an actor in his films.
One Busy Year…
In early 2012, Channing starred in the romance movie, The Vow, across from Rachel McAdams. Based on the true story of a real life couple Kim and Krickitt Carpenter, Tatum and McAdams star as a newlywed couple. After an accident causes wife Paige to lose her memory, it’s up to husband Leo to make her remember all the reasons she fell in love with him. While the film wasn’t a Nicholas Sparks movie, it was certainly along the same lines in many aspects. Critics found the movie to be dull and drawn out despite a natural chemistry between characters. While I’m never terribly impressed with movies of the romantic kind, this one had a little extra pull simply because it was based on a true story.
Although he has certainly continued to make films that show off his impressive muscular physique, Tatum has established himself as a versatile actor as well. In what is probably his bigget hit to date, Channing starred in and was the executive producer in the remake of comedy/action film 21 Jump Street alongside the hilarious Jonah Hill. Banking over $200 million at the box office, the film helped perpetuate Tatum into superstardom.
Channing Tatum has most recently starred in the lead role in Magic Mike, alongside equally as buff costars Matthew McConaughay, Alex Pettyfer and Joe Manganiello. Again, he not only stars in the film, but is one of it’s producers. Tatum combines his toned physique with his new found talent in comedy for one highly successful film based off some Tatum’s real experiences during his modeling (and stripping) era in Florida.
Upcoming Projects and Why We Love Him
Channing currently has several films he is starring in and producing, in post and pre-production including a sequel to 21 Jump Street and another G. I. Joe. Tatum proves that sometimes jock’s aren’t meatheads, and that you should never underestimate his abilities as an actor. It may have taken him a while to realize acting was his calling but we are sure glad he found it. Being handsome and cut is definitely a plus in Hollywood and has certainly helped Tatum gain specific roles. Luckily, he proves that he’s not going to be another type-casted actor and never fails to surprise audiences with his abilities to make us laugh, cry and relate to him. Although he has been happily married for several years now, I certainly don’t think audiences mind admiring his 6-pack on the big screen, and hey, a girl can dream!
Magic Mike Trailer:
Interview with Channing:
Channing Tatum’s Filmography:
White House Down (2013)
21 Jump Street 2 (TBD)
The Contortionist’s Handbook (TBD)
Lego: The Piece of Resistance (2014)
The Bitter Pill (2013)
G.I. Joe: Retaliation (2013)
Magic Mike (2012)
21 Jump Street (2012)
The Vow (2012)
10 Years (2011)
The Eagle (2011)
The Son of No One (2011)
The Dilema (2011)
Morgan and Destiny’s Eleventeenth Date: The Zepplin Zoo (2010)
Dear John (2010)
G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra (2009)
Public Enemies (2009)
Step Up 2: The Streets (2008)
The Trap (2007)
Battle in Seattle (2007)
Step Up (2006)
She’s the Man (2006)
A Guide to Recognizing Your Saints (2006)
War of the Worlds (2005)
Coach Carter (2005)