Channing Tatum on Directing 'Magic Mike 2,' Steven Soderbergh's D.P. Offer and Joseph Gordon-Levitt's Advice (Q&A)
This story first appeared in the July 19 issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine.
Riding such hits as The Vow, 21 Jump Street and G.I. Joe: Retaliation, Channing Tatum barely has paused to take time off with his new baby girl, Everly. Three weeks after his wife, actress Jenna Dewan-Tatum, gave birth May 31, he spoke to THR from England, where he is shooting the Wachowski siblings' sci-fi epic Jupiter Ascending.
The Hollywood Reporter: You just had a baby. Are you managing to get some sleep?
Channing Tatum: Yes. I am sleeping a little, probably a little more than most. A lot of people who have a baby probably don't have as much rest as I do. We have [a nanny] helping us manage all the risks of having a newborn.
THR: Were you in the delivery room?
Tatum: I was there for the whole thing. That was the most amazing thing I have ever experienced in my life.
THR: You and Jamie Foxx just did that spoof on Jimmy Kimmel Live! (where both rapped the sexually suggestive "(I Wanna) Channing All Over Your Tatum"). How did you fit it in?
Tatum: It happened when we were going over to the Kimmel show after the Oscars. I was prepping the movie in London, and we hadn't figured out what to do -- and they wanted us to rap. It turned out to be a big thing. Jamie is hilarious. After that, Jamie was like, "We should run with this thing!" I went to his house that following weekend, and he's got a studio, and some wickedly talented kids put together some stuff while we were drinking beers.
THR: What do you do to relax -- if you ever do? Do you watch TV?
Tatum: I don't really watch a lot. I only watch what I can get on DVD because I'm never at home. But I think some of the best stories that are going right now are on TV -- Game of Thrones, Vikings, Downton Abbey. I love New Girl as far as sitcoms go; I love Zooey Deschanel. I used to watch The Tudors, True Blood. HBO really has it figured out.
THR: You're developing an Evel Knievel biography. Would you take that to HBO?
Tatum: I think that is better [as a film]. I have always seen that as really intense. I want to do a beautiful biography of his early life. Evel is one of the greatest hustlers and entertainers of all time. He really had this idea of what the American dream was. He wasn't the best motorcycle rider or stunt man; he just had the biggest balls of them all. He was a ringmaster.
THR: Is he one of your heroes?
THR: Do you have others?
Tatum: Genghis Khan, that's who popped in my head. [Russian director] Sergey Bodrov gave me a book on him years ago, and I've been obsessed with him since then. We met for Mongol: The Rise of Genghis Khan , the movie he did. At that time, he hadn't decided he was going to use an Asian actor because Genghis Khan is rumored to have had freckles and green eyes and red hair because he was more from northern Mongolia. Back in the day, the Mongolians didn't have the dark features they have today.
THR: Speaking of directors, is there any chance you'll reteam with Steven Soderbergh on Magic Mike 2?
Tatum: We're developing Magic Mike 2, but he really wants to be done directing movies. We'll see. I wish people would lobby him to finish what he started: "Come on, man! Stop being stubborn and come back." I've said that to him, but he is a very fixed-in-his-ways guy, and if he says it, it is hard to change.