'22 Jump Street' Directors on Channing Tatum: 'There's No Ego in His Comedy'
Channing Tatum and Jonah Hill are on top of the world.
Outside the Regency Village Theatre in Westwood, the 22 Jump Street stars stood in a DJ booth that towered 12 feet above the red carpet. They shot T-shirts out of a gun to the screaming crowd, and Tatum sent fans into a tizzy when he decided to climb up on the side of the structure, balancing like a cat as fans below waved foam fingers and pom-poms.
The Los Angeles premiere for Columbia Pictures and MGM's sequel was a lively party, and a perfect match for the college-set sequel.
The comedy, directed by Phil Lord and Christopher Miller, sees Tatum and Hill reprising their roles as bumbling cops who go undercover at a college to infiltrate a drug-dealing operation.
"It started with, 'We're not doing a sequel.' And then, 'Well, maybe, but only if we can get it to be good, and I don't know if we can get it to be good,' " Miller told THR about considering following up their 2012 hit. "And then finally, almost exactly a year ago, we thought, 'OK, I think it can be good.' "
The first film, 21 Jump Street, followed the duo as they went undercover in high school, and was released in March 2012, earning a stellar $201.6 million worldwide. In the sequel, Lord and Miller weren't afraid to poke fun at the movie-making machine, and studios' affinity for churning out sequels.
"We knew we wanted to tell a story about the second chapter in their relationship, and what it means to keep a relationship going, and replicate the first time you fall in love with somebody," Lord told THR. "And that rhymed a lot with what it means to try to replicate the success of a first movie. And once we realized that we could make a sequel about sequels and about extending a marriage, then it got really exciting to us."
After the screening, the cast, including Tatum, Hill, Ice Cube, Dave Franco, Rob Riggle and Wyatt Russell, headed to the W Hotel for the afterparty, which was decorated with beach balls, plenty of red plastic keg cups and tank-top-wearing bartenders.
Lord told THR that Tatum, whose varied career has included dance film Step Up, romantic drama The Vow, actioner G.I. Joe: Retaliation and stripper film Magic Mike, is a "gifted comedian."
"We knew it from the first minute we sat down with him. He's funny, he's playful, he's self-deprecating," said Lord.
"There's no ego in his comedy. He's willing to put himself on the tracks for a joke," he added. "A lot of folks who make their bread and butter by being handsome and charming don't want to do that. That's not who Channing is -- Channing's a modest hero, and that's part of what makes him so funny."
22 Jump Street hits theaters on June 13.