He got his big break flashing his mega-watt smile and busting hip hop moves in the cheesy dance film ‘Step Up’ in 2006. But Channing Tatum has come a long way since then, making smart career moves and even managing to turn his shady past as a stripper into the blockbusting ‘Magic Mike’ franchise. Here’s how Chanimal (as he mum called him when he was little), won over Hollywood, and the rest of us.
1. He’s a dropout made good
After ditching a football scholarship at a West Virginia college, Channing became a roofer, before jumping ship for the murky world of strip clubs. ‘Magic Mike’ is loosely based on his experiences, so we can be grateful for that chapter in his life on many levels.
2. He settled down with his first leading lady. Bless
Tatum not only married co-star Jenna Dewan but started a production company with her. If you saw them hit the dance floor together in 2006’s ‘Step Up’, this will come as no surprise – their chemistry is the best thing about the film.
3. He does cheesy films for noble reasons*
Tatum says that he took the role in the Nicholas Sparks weepy ‘Dear John’ so that he could learn from director Lasse Hallstrom (since he’d never studied at drama school).
*Either that or he can spin a reporter a good line.
4. He knows when he’s got a stinker
Tatum was allegedly less than thrilled to return for the sequel of ‘GI Joe’, ‘The Rise Of The Cobra’, saying that he was pleased his character had a smaller role in this one.
5. He is actually, properly funny
’21 Jump Street’ proved that Tatum can tickle the funny bone just as much as his comedic co-star Jonah Hill, and his willingness to poke fun at his macho image brings down the house in the ‘Magic Mike’ films.
6. His body isn’t, in fact, a temple
‘Life is too short to miss out on the beautiful things like a double cheeseburger,’ he says. In an interview with Time Out for ‘Magic Mike XXL’ the 35-year-old revealed he hadn’t worked out since completing shooting on the film.
7. He might actually win an Oscar one day
There was early buzz for his impressive dramatic turn in ‘Foxcatcher’, and some might say he was unfairly overlooked when nominations day came. With roles coming up in Tarantino’s ‘Hateful Eight’ and the Coen Brothers' ‘Hail, Caesar!’, all may not be lost.
8. He's actually English. Well, kind of
While born in Alabama, the Tatum line traces back to a Londoner born in 1599, and his documented ancestry includes English, some Scots, Northern Irish and German. Channing: you are welcome for tea anytime.