Channing Tatum prepares for ‘Magic Mike’ sequel | Inquirer Entertainment
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Channing Tatum prepares for ‘Magic Mike’ sequel

By: - Columnist
/ 01:19 AM June 20, 2014

TATUM confesses that he “drinks and eats” in excess between movies. Ruben V. Nepales

LOS ANGELES—Channing Tatum isn’t looking forward to getting back in shape to become a male stripper again. “I’m about to start training for ‘Magic Mike XXL’ and it’s back to the monotony of chicken and broccoli,” Channing said about his diet for the next several months, in this recent interview at a penthouse suite of the Mandarin Oriental Hotel in New York. “Your house smells of broccoli for months. There’s no fun. There’s no sugar. There’s nothing I’m more addicted to than sugar.”

The actor, back with Jonah Hill in “22 Jump Street,” was asked about GQ’s June 2014 cover story on him in which he was quoted as saying that he was a “high-functioning” alcoholic. “What I intended to say was that, between movies, I’m a glutton and I do things in excess,” he gamely replied. “I probably drink in excess. I probably eat confetti cupcakes in excess. I eat bacon in excess. I love popcorn in excess. I like excess. I eat cheeseburgers and pizza. I put on 30 pounds between movies. It’s probably very unhealthy, and that was what I meant.”


He added, “I’m drinking to a point where I’m just getting fat on an epic level. It’s not affecting my family. I am not like an angry drunk so it’s not excess in that way. It’s really about getting fat for me. Unfortunately or fortunately, I get jobs because they want me to take my shirt off sometimes in a movie. I know how hard it is to get back to that level of being in shape.”


But, he clarified, “That comment on alcoholism (in GQ), I don’t want to make light of it because I have people very close to me—they’re my family—who do struggle with that. It’s not a laughing matter. I don’t want to make it seem like being a ‘high-functioning’ [alcoholic] is fine. It’s a serious issue. I don’t even think the writer intended to make it sound like that. I think GQ made that section bigger. They just blew that out which was fine. I’m not mad at GQ.”


‘Bromantic’ dialogue

In “22 Jump Street,” Channing and Jonah, returning as Jenko and Schmidt, respectively, go undercover—this time in college. More than their shenanigans, the pair’s “bromantic” dialogue makes the movie one of the funniest US releases this summer. The rapport between the two stars makes them among the screen’s best new couples. Jonah cowrote the story with Michael Bacall; screenplay is by Michael, Oren Uziel and Rodney Rothman; direction by Phil Lord and Christopher Miller.

But almost stealing the movie is the terrific Jillian Bell, hilarious as Mercedes, roommate of Maya (Amber Stevens), Schmidt’s girlfriend. Jonah and Jillian engaging in a verbal and physical fight is a riot.

Channing acknowledged that it was a lot more fun when both Jonah and Jillian were around. He said, “When Jillian and Jonah, who are wildly witty, are on the set, that’s when it gets fun. That’s when people really come alive. It’s like two rams smashing into each other. I get stressed out trying to figure out how to keep up with these really funny people.”


Channing rued that he missed watching the fight scene between Jonah and Jillian. “I was so upset,” he said. “I wasn’t even supposed to be working but I came to see the fight and I still missed it. I just wanted to see the two go at it. I think Jillian is going to steal the movie.”

He said of Jillian, a rising star of Comedy Central’s “Workaholics” series, “I had never seen anyone put Jonah back on his heels. As soon as he seemed, like, ready to strike, she knocked his legs out from under. I was just like, ‘My buddy!’ No one had done that to my buddy. He’s so fast and he knows how to paralyze your thoughts. But she was doing that to him, too. It was one of the better days on the set for me. I said to Jonah, ‘You have a Kryptonite and she’s it.’”

As for his friends in real life (although he and Jonah are now true friends as well), Channing volunteered, “I actually have a friend named Chris Schmidt who lives in Denver. Before I ever met Jonah, before I was even acting, I knew Chris. Jonah’s humor is so much like Chris’ so it was really crazy for me to meet Jonah.”

True friendship

His other best friend, Channing said, is his creative partner, Reid Carolin, whose credits include being writer/producer of “Magic Mike” and “Magic Mike XXL” and executive producer of “22 Jump Street.” “We couldn’t have grown up any more differently,” he said. “He was from a very affluent part of Chicago. He went to Harvard. I went to a semester of college. He’s a very cerebral person; I live more in my body. But we somehow speak the same language.”

He paid tribute to true friendship: “There’s a quality about each one of my best friends—you don’t see them for years, and then when you do, you pick up. There’s something about a best

HE DESCRIBES costar Jonah Hill (left) as “one of the sweetest and most talented people I know.”

friend that is all-forgiving. Like it doesn’t matter if you’ve screwed up or you haven’t called him for a year because you’re busy. You don’t have to say you’re sorry. They just get it. They understand that whatever is going on with you is OK because that’s your thing. They accept that.”

He doesn’t look for certain qualities in people to become his friends, but one helps. “Ultimately it’s someone who really likes to have a good time,” he said, chuckling. “I love life [but] not in the cliché sense. I don’t just want to have a career or a family. I want the whole experience. We (he and his friends) went to the Amazon twice—we did these survival trips. I love adventure and exploring. That’s probably the only quality that has to be checked in the box—someone who really loves to do that as well.”

‘Man love’

He described his “man love” for Jonah: “You love to watch people in movies and then you meet them and you’re like, that was so disappointing. With Jonah… I just love him… probably too much (laughs). He’s one of the sweetest and most talented people I know. He really does care. He took care of me so much in the first movie. He took care of me again in this second one. When I didn’t know where the joke was or how to say it, he helped me. It’s so easy for him; he’s just like duck in water. It’s insane.”

This couple is already grousing about how old they look (they are young, really—Channing is 34; Jonah, 30). “As in the first movie but especially in this movie, we were both shocked at how old we were,” Channing admitted. “On the first day, we watched the monitors and both of us were like, are these extras younger than college-age kids because they look 12 years old? We look so old. We’d never fit into college nowadays, or high school for that matter.


Good buzz

“I’m sure my daughter is going to see this stuff and I’m going to have to explain it all,” said the father of Everly, his one-year-old daughter with wife Jenna Dewan, laughing again. “I keep doing movies that I’m going to have to explain to my daughter someday. I’ve got to start thinking.”

One film that perhaps Channing doesn’t need to explain to Everly since it’s a straight drama and there are no juvenile hijinks involved, is Bennett Miller’s, “Foxcatcher,” which is getting good buzz.

Stay for the closing credits of “22 Jump Street”—it’s a real treat. Channing and Jonah appear in elaborate mock trailers of “Jump Street” sequels. Asked how many “Jump Street” sequels he’s game to do, Channing quipped, “Jonah and I keep joking that it would be super funny to do the third one when we’re 80—probably ‘Grumpy Old Men’-style or the ‘Cocoon’ version of ‘23 Jump Street.’”

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TAGS: “Magic Mike XXL”, Channing Tatum, Jenna Dewan, Jonah Hill, Magic Mike

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