The fantastic Channing Tatum on the sweet taste of victory, his bromance with Mark Ruffalo and more
Actor Channing Tatum and his wife, Jenna Dewan-Tatum, made a memorable night out of the Golden Globes after-party at Beverly Hills last week, as they shook a leg and relived their memories as co-stars of Step Up (2006). It didn’t matter that Tatum’s film Foxcatcher, didn’t win any awards, despite three nominations. The team hopes to have a better chance at the Academy Awards, where it has five nominations. After delivering hits like The Vow, She’s The Man and The Dilemma, Tatum has entered the big league with the biographical drama. Foxcatcher sees the model and stripper playing the gold-winning Olympic wrestler, Mark Schultz, who joined Team Foxcatcher for the 1988 Games in Seoul. Tatum had to lose six kilograms in one day for the role and even came home with a cauliflower ear (an injury common with boxers). Directed by Bennett Miller, the film also stars Steve Carell and Mark Ruffalo. Tatum—who also runs a production company, with his wife—has other upcoming films, too. The 34-year-old will be seen as Gambit in the next X-Men movie spin off, and also in Magic Mike XXL, which takes off from the 2012 hit. He tells us more about Foxcatcher, wrestling and why comedy doesn’t come easy. Read on:
What was it like to bond with Mark Ruffalo through wrestling?
In wrestling, there’s a lot being said to each other without talking. You’re in a quiet gym and you just hear grunts and slams and slaps and hard breathing. The way that you hand fight, it’s a bit of a chess match. We had to go through a lot of very humbling experiences. You don’t feel like you’re doing very well at all, especially in the beginning, when you’re learning and one person is getting something better than you are. Mark and I were both just there for each other, throughout that learning process.
Wrestling is a tough sport.
How did it feel?
Wrestling, it’s an intimate thing, even though it’s super violent. You have to be comfortable being basically naked and wrestling. From an outsider’s perspective, it looks very homosexual. I’ve gotten that a lot. And I always say, ‘Come on and try it out. You’ll see how non-homosexual that is.’
Does making a film like this change the type of films you’d like to do next?
I just think they’re all different muscles. Comedy doesn’t come easy for me. I’ve only done two movies that are really comedy style films, and I had to work at them. I hate labelling these things—comedy, love story, dark drama, or whatever. I’ve only played one other person that was real, before. The stakes are very, very high.
With all the films you’ve done, what personal satisfaction do they give you?
It’s really the journey that you get to go on with the people you’re doing it with. You are playing someone else, but ultimately, it’s just a version of the person because you have to do it.
Did you take any real life references to get into the skin of this character? I like being pushed into corners. It forces you to be creative. Being a stripper exposed me to a lot of people I might never have met, and that has turned out to be a gift. There are lots of characters I feel I can play as a result. So when people tell me they want to act, I’m like, ‘Okay, if you want to act, go see America. If you can afford gas money, go talk to people and see how they really live.’
Foxcatcher is scheduled to release on January 30