Channing Tatum interview

Hollywood star on staying in shape, being lucky and his love of Benedict Cumberbatch

Interview, Films, Interviews

You were on a no-junk-food diet making Magic Mike XXL. Was that tough for you?
Are you kidding? I love food and I love indulging. I grew up down South, eating Cheetos. And I was a skinny kid. Then you hit a certain age, and it’s really easy to put it on.

So you’re not in a hurry to get back into shape?
I haven’t worked out one time since Magic Mike. I know I’m going to have to do it again eventually. I’m not a good enough actor not to take my shirt off in a movie.

Mike is a bit of hustler. Is there a bit of you in him? You fought your way to getting decent roles.
Yeah, everybody’s gotta fight. You do have to hustle. I don’t think there are many people who get their dreams handed to them on a plate.

Was Foxcatcher a game-changer, in the sense that it showed people you can do serious acting?
I think the way people talk about it, for sure. And I was vying for that part really hard. I was like, ‘Look, put me in a dark room with whoever else you’re thinking about, and whoever comes out gets the part.’ I think you end up fighting for someone to like your work or respect you. You just want to have done something good enough for someone to have liked and valued it. Once.

As a kid, did you dream of being famous – practising your Oscar speech in front of the mirror?
No way. I wasn’t all that good at school, so I was always outside playing. My goal was to get a college scholarship to play football.

What happened?
I got there, and then had a cold splash of water, realising it wasn’t what I wanted to do. The next two years after that was going down the rabbit hole… just trying to find myself.

How far down the rabbit hole did you go?
Far enough. I can promise you that. I got lucky. I came out without any bad scars. When I think of the constellation of things that had to happen to get me here, it’s not enough to call it luck. I’m a super-lucky person, but nobody can be as lucky as me. Something else is going on.

You don’t seem to take yourself too seriously. Is that fair to say?
Yeah, actually I was having a conversation with Benedict Cumberbatch after the Globes, or one of those. I was like: ‘This is crazy, this is insane to me, I just can’t believe I’m here.’ I’m a wild fan of him. I’m in awe of the English actor thing. It’s super-studied. They’ll talk about a play that I’ve never even heard of. I just go: ‘I can’t believe I’m in the conversation with these people who are true artists.’ Somehow I’ve got here. It’s strange.
Jupiter Ascending is on OSN Movies from Wednesday July 15.

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