At the roundtable interviews this morning for The Eagle, Channing talked to us about his new movie. Another “hot” topic from the interview? Tatum scalding his “member” in hot water on the set. Channing told us about the painful incident that left him screaming in agony after he tried to stay warm on set during a freezing shoot in the Scottish Highlands.
Channing also discussed his production company 33 & Out, his plans to get behind the camera and direct, and the kind of films he and production partner, Reid Carolin, plan to make including What’s Left of Us. He also updated us on what he has coming up next including The Son of No One that was just picked up at Sundance, Steven Soderbergh’s Haywire, The Vow with Rachel McAdams, and what’s up with the G.I. Joe sequel. We’ll have the full interview closer to release, but hit the jump for some of the highlights.
Channing Tatum: Yes, thank God.
Like boiling your testicles in hot water.
Tatum: I wish it was my testicles, but it was the other guy. It was by far the craziest thing that has ever happened to me, but we’re good now.
Is this movie now synonymous with your penis?
Tatum: It’s bled over into other movies and I don’t use bleed lightly. It’s always come up. Unless it was dramatic to the point where I remember the paramedic saying “I know it’s no consolation right now but it’s a good thing that it hurts because there’s no nerve damage.” And I was like “Thank God!” and then I went immediately back into screaming.
Was the event documented?
Tatum: I think my Mom’s done that in all my exploitations in being a child and trying to kill myself. She’s always taken pictures and documented all my scars, stitches and bruises. My Dad was like “They’re badges of honor!” Getting hurt and narrowly escaping death is sort of a thing for me.
Did she document this one?
Tatum: No, she definitely didn’t do this one. I did this one myself.
Are the pictures going to be posted somewhere?
Tatum: Oh no. That would be very humbling.
What do you have coming out next after this?
Tatum: Haywire with Soderbergh.
Will it be at Cannes?
Tatum: Maybe. I don’t know what’s going on with it. The studio and him, they might have been disagreeing because he scored the entire movie like a spaghetti western. Literally I get out of the car and it’s like [whistles like he’s in a Clint Eastwood-Sergio Leone film] and it’s like I don’t know if this works but it’s frickin’ awesome. It sounds great. But that’s Soderbergh, you can’t really put him in a box. You can’t put him in a genre or a type. He’s going to do Soderbergh. I can’t wait. I haven’t seen the movie yet.
What’s your character?
Tatum: I play a Blackwater agent. We get commissioned to go and kidnap this person and everything goes wrong in a way, and Gina Carano who plays the lead character gets set up for it. It’s kind of like a female Bourne Identity. My wife always hates when I go “I just don’t love female action movies!” I don’t know why. I just don’t go run to see them. I’ll watch them but I don’t run to go see them. And then I was like, find a girl that can, pardon my French, whoop my ass and I will go to the movies and watch it. And they did. They went and found one. And she did! And it was awesome! And I truly loved it! So yeah, I’m interested to see it myself to be totally honest.
What else do you have coming out?
Tatum: What else do I have coming out? The Vow, I think, will be next year with Rachel McAdams.
What about the comedy, The Dilemma?
Tatum: The Dilemma, that was a blast. People don’t call me for funny. When I heard Ron wanted to Skype with me, I was like “What?! Who? Ron Howard?” And then I read the script and I was like “Are you sure this is Ron Howard?” And they were like “Yup.” And I got on the Skype with him and he said “Hey man, would you mind putting yourself on tape?” I did. I was like “I don’t know how. One, I want to direct, but two, I’m a director of funnies.” I didn’t do the scene. I just made up the character that I thought would have been Zip and sent it to him and he was like “A little less high, but I like it.”
Why did he pick you?
Tatum: I really don’t know. I think his daughter is friends with Joseph Gordon-Levitt. He and I have done some of these weird comedy-vaudevillian type things on his website HitRecord.Org and I think she just said “Hey, why don’t you think about him?” I probably got the nod from her so I should probably go and buy her something. Joe knows he can call me up and I’ll pretty much do anything he asks.
You also worked with Al Pacino? What movie was that?
Tatum: Yes, The Son of No One, that just came out. It just got bought and I’m not exactly sure about the finer points of that. It just came out of Sundance with Al Pacino, Ray Liotta, Katie Holmes and Tracy Morgan.
Will there be a sequel in your future?
Tatum: For G.I. Joe? Yes, I think so. From everything I’ve heard, there’s a script. They’re trying to figure out something going on behind the scenes with the director. They keep everything pretty close to the chest with those big movies but I do know there’s a script. I have not read it yet. I’m about to start lighting a fire under those guys’ feet to give it to me because I’m dying to know. I know it’s substantial. It’s definitely different from what I hear.
What about Step Up Forever?
Tatum: (laughs) I’m not opposed, I’m not opposed, but they’re going to have to come with a pretty hefty number.
Is there a strategy to your career?
Tatum: Not really a strategy but I do want to take some time and reinvent and get better and maybe get behind the camera a little more. I do want to direct at some point and start failing really early (laughs) — start shooting videos and then commercials and then hopefully do some narrative.
You’ve named your company 33 & Out, and you’re 30 years old and you’re going to be 31 this Spring, does 33 & Out mean that’s when you’re going to quit acting and go behind the camera?
Tatum: That’s a funny story. My best friend growing up, we always had this thing. He was a few years older than me and he’d always say “Man, when I’m 35, I don’t care what I’m doing, I’m taking everything and I’m just moving to a tropical island and then I’m opening up a liquor store and developing liver cancer. And I was like, “I’m in! Well I’ll be 33.” So I just named the company that. I’m not going to be done at 33. That’s just a fun thing between him and me.
Tatum: Really anything. We’re doing stuff all over the map — from fantasies to documentaries. Reid Carolin, my production partner, and I want to try to direct something soon. It’s called What’s Left of Us. It’s like a One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, Requiem for a Dream, Death of a Salesman type film.
Are these films that will involve you?
Tatum: I don’t know if I’ll be in it or not. We have to go and put some things up on its feet with me in it and then out of it to see how that works out. I’m not sure about directing myself. He’s a great safety net to have because we’ll both be directing together. I don’t know. We’ve got to figure that out. But I don’t want to do only movies that I’m in. I definitely want to start to branch out and do TV and stuff that I’m not in and really make a good run at it as a production. I’m probably going to take a break from acting after a little while because I’ve enjoyed the developmental process so much. It helps you as an actor to learn story and to learn how to really nurture a script and work with a writer so you’re not sitting there having to write it yourself and give notes. It’s been a lot of fun for me.