Channing Matthew Tatum (born April 26, 1980) is an American actor, producer, and former model. After beginning his career as a fashion model, he has branched out into acting roles, appearing in the films Havoc (2005), Coach Carter (2005), Supercross (2005), She’s the Man, then Step Up, and A Guide to Recognizing Your Saints, all of which were released in 2006.
Born in Cullman, a small city in Alabama and later moved to Wetumpka, Alabama. Tatum has one sister. His family moved to Mississippi when he was six, although he visits Alabama, where his mother’s family still lives. Tatum grew up in the bayous near the Mississippi River, where he enjoyed a rural existence, including “All the rattlesnakes and alligators a boy could possibly chase, fishing every day, Pop Warner football league, stuff like that.”
Tatum was athletic while growing up, playing American football, soccer, track, baseball, and performing martial arts, although he says that “girls were always [his] biggest distraction in school.” Tatum initially attended Gaither High School in Tampa, Florida. After his sophomore year, he “had an option either [to attend] a military school or a private school”. He chose the private school, Tampa Catholic High School in Tampa, Florida. He graduated in 1998 and was voted most athletic. Afterward, Tatum was awarded a football scholarship to Glenville State College in Glenville, West Virginia, although he soon lost interest in the sport and turned down the scholarship, citing his dislike of the demands of playing football.
Tatum’s first experience was in the fashion industry as a model. He was then cast as a dancer in Ricky Martin‘s “She Bangs” music video, after an audition in Orlando, Florida; he was paid $400 for the job. He subsequently signed with a modelling agency in Miami, Page 305 (Page Parkes Modeling Agency), and appeared in Vogue magazine. He soon appeared in campaigns for Abercrombie & Fitch, Nautica, Dolce & Gabbana, American Eagle Outfitters, and Emporio Armani. Tatum has also starred in a few television commercials for American Eagle Outfitters, Pepsi, and Mountain Dew, and was picked as one of Tear Sheet magazine’s “50 Most Beautiful Faces” of October 2001. Tatum also signed with Beatrice Model agency in Milan, Italy and Ford Models in New York City.
Tatum has said that his modeling career has helped him with his life, specifying that “It’s made my life, and my family’s life, a lot easier, because I never knew what I wanted to do and now they don’t really have to worry about me anymore. I’ve been able to explore life, and through exploring it I’ve found that I love art, I love writing, I love acting, I love all the things that make sense to me. And I’ve been given the chance to go out and see the world, and to see all the things out there. Not everyone gets that chance”.
Tatum began his acting career in 2004, appearing in an episode of the television series CSI: Miami. His first feature film role was in 2005′s high school drama, Coach Carter, playing Jason Lyle, a street smart basketball player opposite Samuel L. Jackson; Tatum also appeared in rapper Twista‘s “Hope” music video, which accompanied the film. In the same year, Tatum had a role as a factory endorsed top motocross racer in Supercross, and part of the supporting cast in Havoc. Although Tatum has said that he loves modeling, he has taken a break from the profession to concentrate on his acting career, saying that he prefers making more mature films.
Tatum was originally scheduled to play Genghis Khan in the film Mongol, but was replaced by actor Tadanobu Asano. He also auditioned for the role of Gambit in X-Men: The Last Stand, but was not cast as the character was eventually removed from the film. The film’s producer, Lauren Shuler Donner, noticed Tatum and cast him in the film She’s the Man, where he plays the love interest of Amanda Bynes‘s character. The film opened on March 17, 2006.
Also in 2006, Tatum starred in Step Up, a dance-themed romance which opened on August 11, and the 1980s-set drama A Guide to Recognizing Your Saints, in which he plays Antonio, a street youth in Astoria, Queens. Tatum has described the latter film as his “first dramatic role”; his performance received positive notices at the 2006 Sundance Film Festival, where the film premiered. The acclaim continued when he received an Independent Spirit Award nomination for “Best Supporting Actor“.
In 2008, Tatum co-starred in director Kimberly Peirce‘s film Stop-Loss, about soldiers returning home from the Iraq War, and will appear in director Stuart Townsend‘s film Battle in Seattle, about the huge 1999 protest of the World Trade Organization meeting in Seattle.
Tatum will play in the indie film The Trap, which is directed by Tom Hanks‘ wife Rita Wilson. The actor was chosen to play a role in the film Poor Things, starring Lindsay Lohan, Shirley MacLaine, Rosario Dawson, and Olympia Dukakis, but had to turn down the role because of scheduling conflicts. Tatum will also be playing a soldier in another New Line Cinema film which is based on a popular Nicholas Sparks bestseller called Dear John. Besides, he will be starring in Christopher McQuarrie‘s upcoming feature project The Stanford Prison Experiment, Paul McGuigan‘s film Push, and Oliver Stone’s next Vietnam War drama, Pinkville, with veteran actor Bruce Willis. Tatum is also slated to play a renegade New York City cop who must infiltrate the underground world of free running, known as parkour, to bust a seemingly unstoppable gang of bank robbers in an untitled film for New Line Cinema.
Tatum and Dito Montiel, the star and director of 2006′s acclaimed independent feature A Guide to Recognizing Your Saints, have signed to reteam on an action drama for Rogue Pictures. Kevin Misher will produce the film called Fighting through his Misher Films. Rogue co-presidents Andrew Karpen and Andrew Rona made the official announcement about the film. Tatum will star as Sean Arthur, a young man who scrapes up a living scalping tickets in New York City.
Fox Searchlight Pictures‘s subdivision Fox Atomic has also picked up a pitch from screenwriter Doug Jung. The role as a “fish-out-of-water” story where Tatum will play an American cop in South Korea, a country that no other Hollywood production studio has ever filmed in.
Tatum has been added to the cast of writer/director/producer Michael Mann‘s 2009 crime drama Public Enemies, in which will play the ill-fated 1930s American gangster Pretty Boy Floyd. Tatum is also slated for the role of Duke in 2009′s G.I. Joe, Paramount Pictures‘ live-action film based on the popular Hasbro action figures.
Tatum and Dito Montiel will join forces again when Channing stars in 2010′s action thriller “The Brotherhood of the Rose“. Montiel will both write and direct the film. The story is a cat-and-mouse espionage tale about two orphans raised by a top CIA agent to become assassins. When their operations go awry, they find themselves on the run, caught in a conspiracy and hunted by the most dangerous spies in the world. The book was previously adapted as a two-part NBC miniseries in 1989 that starred David Morse, Peter Strauss, Connie Sellecca, and Robert Mitchum.
Tatum also has a production company that he started with three friends and wife Jenna Dewan-Tatum called 33&Out Productions, Inc..
Channing Tatum is married to actress and dancer Jenna Dewan, fellow co-star in Step Up. The couple got engaged in early September 2008 in Maui, Hawaii. They were married July 11, 2009. Their first production was a documentary called ‘Earth Made of Glass‘ that follows the Rwandan President Paul Kagame and genocide survivor Jean-Pierre Sagahutu.