A male sex symbol that regrets nothing of his past because it made him into the actor he is today, Channing Tatum gets noticed by the female public wherever he goes. Fortunately, he doesn’t let himself get carried away by the attention and works each day on bettering himself, just like he has his whole life. A loving husband, dancer, actor and producer, his career is set to get even better.
Channing Tatum was born in the USA, in a small town called Cullman in Alabama, as a descendant of many generations of Southerners. He is mostly of English ancestry, with some Northern Irish, German and Welsh. There is also a possibility that Channing has some Native American roots. His mother Kay was an airline worker and his father Glenn worked in construction. He also has a younger sister named Paige and a younger step-brother Christopher Anderson, who is an actor and a singer.
When he was six years old, his family moved to a rural setting in Pascagoula in Mississippi, where he grew up. He would spend his summers with his grandparents, which is a tradition that he continues up to this day. He was a very energetic boy, that got into a little bit of trouble and didn’t do well at school. He used to sneak out of his house and go to parties once his parents were asleep. His behavior led him to be diagnosed with attention deficit disorder and dyslexia. To release his energy, his parents signed him up for different sports like football, soccer, track, baseball and martial arts like Wuzuquan Kung Fu, for which he went on to earn belts. When he became a teenager, wanting to better him, his parents gave him a choice of switching from his regular high school to either a private one or going to a military school. Tatum chose the Tampa Catholic High School. There, he focused on playing football in order to earn an athletic college scholarship. He graduated on time and thanks to his success with sport, he got a football scholarship, that got him to Glenville State College. However, Tatum didn’t stay in college long. Eventually, he dropped out of school and decided to return home and start his adult life.
In order to support himself, Tatum tried out a number of jobs, like being a construction worker, a mortgage broker, a salesman and a staff of a puppy nursery. Finally, in 1998, still an eighteen-year-old guy, he became a stripper at a local nightclub, taking on a ‘Chan Crawford’ pseudonym. His sister and her friends went to watch his first night’s performance in order to embarrass him, but Channing kept on going and worked there for eight months. His favourite song to dance to was Usher’s You Make Me Wanna.
Then, sometime later, Tatum moved to Miami. With a passion for dancing, amongst many others, Channing auditioned for Ricky Martin’s She Bangs music video in 2000 and got the job. Although he was just one of the dancers in the video filled with people, this job helped him move on to more serious engagements, like becoming a choreographer. That same year he was introduced to numerous modeling agencies and began his work for the Page Parkes Corporation. His first fashion show was at Level Nightclub for Men’s Health magazine. The show helped him kick-start his career as he soon began booking editorials for the Ocean Drive magazine.
It can be said that Tatum’s modelling was what kick-started his career, although the truth is that his work as stripper was the beginning. Without that experience, he might have had difficulty getting the roles he got famous for afterwards.
As a model with a contract with the Page Parkes Modeling Agency, he worked for well-known clients as Armani, Abercrombie & Fitch. The career then led him to Vogue magazine and campaigns for Nautica, Dolce & Gabbana, American Eagle Outfitters, etc. In 2001 he was featured in the Tear Sheet magazine’s list as one of the ’50 Most Beautiful Faces’. Although acting might not have been something he wanted to pursue at first, the appearance in commercials for Mountain Dew and Pepsi in 2002 was so enjoyable for him he decided to take an acting workshop.
In 2004 Tatum appeared on the hit show CSI: Miami. This led on to the film Coach Carter in 2005, where he starred alongside Samuel L. Jackson. In 2005 he shot Supercross, then Havoc, that same year, as well as War of the Worlds. Though all those roles were small, they were just steps in his journey to making it big. In 2006, he landed the role in She’s The Man, which got him noticed by the wider audience, especially of female sex. Then, Step Up happened.
Step Up was a groundbreaking film for many reasons. Although it didn’t impress film critics, it surpassed its budget in as little as the first week after its release. The story of a troublesome teenager dancing together with a ballet student lured its target audiences into the cinema and is now considered one of the classic teenage romance movies. Tatum, insecure about his dancing abilities, took dancing classes in order to feel confident enough to play a natural-born dancer. This is also the film where Tatum met his future wife Jenna – his co-star in the film. Tatum commented on the movie saying he saw a lot of himself in the main character he portrayed as he was, too, a rebellious teenage boy.
What followed were, finally, lead roles in films such as A Guide to Recognizing Your Saints (2006), then G.I.Joe: The Rise of Cobra (2009), Dear John (2010), amongst many others, for which he again took lessons, this time to better himself in acting as he had no real formal acting education. Romance film The Vow was another success.
2012 proved to be one of the best years for Tatum’s career. 21 Jump Street, a hilarious comedy that is now also a bromance classic, almost didn’t have Tatum as one of its leading roles, as he passed the offer twice until his co-star, Jonah Hill, convinced him to do it. The film earned as much as $138,447,667 and Jonah and Tatum won a Teen Choice Award for the best ‘Choice Chemistry’.
But the best success of the year was the movie Magic Mike, the film about Tatum’s experience as a male stripper in Florida, in which he plays the leading role. Tatum was one of the co-producers of the film, alongside Steven Soderbergh, who also directed the movie. They self-financed the film. ‘’I really don’t want to be in any more movies that I don’t produce. Unless it’s with one of the 10 directors that I really want to work with, I don’t have any interest in not being on the ground floor of creating it.’’, Tatum said about his involvement in the film. The proof of that is the fact he started two production companies, 33andOut Productions and Iron Horse Entertainment.
What followed were: another collaboration with Soderbergh on the film Side Affects and sequels G.I.Joe: Retaliation, 22 Jump Street and Magic Mike XXL.
In 2016, Tatum worked with Tarantino, appearing in his The Hateful Eight film, as well as with brothers Coen on their Hail, Caesar! film. He is currently involved in a number of projects that are yet to be announced.
Channing Tatum is known as one of the actors that still manage to keep it real, as in keep in check with their ego, although they have become successful movie stars and, even more: sex symbols. Tatum embraces the way the public sees them and gives them what they want: he often dances on shows and is not embarrassed about his stripping phase in life. Why would he be when it has made him who he is now? When, in 2009, US Weekly announced that it has a tape of Channing Tatum dancing as Chan Crawford in a Tampa strip club called Male Encounters, he commented that he ”doesn’t regret a thing’’ about his experience. When asked if he would ever perform on a stage again, Tatum replied: ”Well, we’re going to start a Magic Mike show in Vegas, and I’ll never say never. I wouldn’t mind going out there and doing it one more time.’’
Honest as he is, when asked which film he made he disliked, Tatum answered: G.I.Joe: The Rise of Cobra. He says he was pushed into doing that movie as he had signed a three-picture deal through the Coach Carter and that he didn’t think the script was good enough.
With his production companies, in 2010, he made a documentary called Earth Made of Glass, about the 1994 Rwandan Genocide. The film aired on HBO and was nominated as the Best Documentary by the Producer’s Guild of America.
Tatum is a supporter of animal rights, much like his wife, and promotes the DaisyCares.com charity.
He is also very active on his social media and he and his wife are also not ashamed to share their love for one another publicly. So much so that in the beginning of 2017, Tatum posted a picture on Instagram of his naked wife sleeping.
In 2012, People magazine named Tatum their annual Sexiest Man Alive.
Tatum met his future wife, actress and professional dancer Jenna Dewan (born in 1980, same year as Tatum), on the set of the teenage hit movie Step Up in 2006. Jenna used to be a back-up dancer for Janet Jackson and Ricky Martin, as well as many other music icons. They began dating once the film was finished. Three years later, after a ten-month long engagement that happened in Maui, the couple married in Malibu, California, in a church ceremony. Another four years later, they welcomed a daughter, Everly Elizabeth Maiselle Tatum, who was born in London.
The couple has a lot in common, as they both share a passion for dancing and sports, as well as acting and producing. Alike Tatum, Jenna never graduated from college but it didn’t stop her pursuing her dreams. Both of them love the idea of mythical fairies, which led them to have them as their theme for the wedding: even their cake topper had the two of them portrayed as fairies. They have matching tattoos that say side by side in Balinese. They work for their production company 33andOut Productions, and they have a dog named Meeka.
It is obvious that the couple cherish their relationship, making it their priority in life. It is said that Channing often leaves his wife love notes around the house, like under the toilet seat, in order to surprise her.
Jenna is an animal rights activist and a vegan. The couple are raising their daughter as a vegetarian but they have decided to let their daughter make a choice on what she will eat once she is old enough.
And as for the Step Up movie? Apparently, the couple puts it on sometimes to see how their romance has started. ‘’I remember it (the movie) being much better’’, Tatum commented.
Written by: Tamara Djordjevic