LOS ANGELES - Channing Tatum doesn't mind taking off his clothes. He does it to bond with… nature.
He laughs when he recalls shooting The Vow in sub-zero Chicago. A certain scene required him and his costar Rachel Mcadams to jump into freezing Lake Michigan to rekindle their love. Was it a fun date activity, or an insane one?
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"I really didn't care because I jump in the lake semi-naked in every city I film in," Tatum admits. "Actually, I strip down to my underwear, drive to the nearest body of water and jump in."
It's a chilly winter day as Tatum recalls those moments from a dry zone inside his suite at the Four Seasons Hotel. Looking comfortably hunky in a blue suit with a denim shirt underneath, he's happy to talk about what he calls "The Year of the Chan."
"Forget about the year of the dragon," he says. "It's the Year of the Chan."
Afterall, The Vow—a romantic comedy where his wife can't remember him after a head injury—is a mondo hit with a $40 million opening box office weekend. Then there's the upcoming 21 Jump Street starring Tatum and Jonah Hill, G.I. Joe: Retaliation and Magic Mike, in which he plays an upstart male stripper for director Steven Soderbergh.
Here's what the obviously very busy 31-year-old had to say about his groundbreaking year:
What was the appeal of a romantic drama like The Vow, which has been soaring at the box office?
I loved that it's a hard movie. It's about a woman who wakes up from a terrible accident and she sees some guy who she doesn't think is her husband – but he keeps insisting that he is her husband. She wakes up to a different life. She looks differently than what she remembers. She's a girl from an upper income Lake Forest family who wakes up and finds out that she's not a lawyer married to some corporate bigwig. She's a sculptor and a vegan and likes Obama. It's all one big shock. 'The Vow': What If You Forgot Why You Fell In Love?
You've had such success playing the lovelorn hunk in this movie and in Dear John. Did you do The Vow to play to that audience?
I didn't do the film to play to a romantic chick flick fan base either. I don't make decisions about movies to play to certain fans. It's just about, "Am I interested in this story? Of course, it's all about me!" I'm selfish like that. Just kidding! Honestly, it's not that I don't want to do certain genre movies well. I just thought this was a smart love story. But I'm not sitting there going, "I need to do a big action movie for the year and balance it out with a love story."
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Next: On working with Rachel McAdams and making it work with wife Janna Dewan.
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