Special Edition Friday Fracas: In Defense Of Channing Tatum
3:30 pm, November 16th | by Sarah Devlin
Sarah: It’s Friday, so I feel like it’s a good time to talk about Channing Tatum’s HUGE NEWS this week.
Sarah: Some people were not too pleased.
Laura: Oh, lord.
Sarah: I maintain that those photos are biased.
Laura: People are always finding something to complain about. Sorry he has comedic talent? And makes funny faces?
Sarah: You can’t be the lead in Magic Mike and NOT win “Sexiest Man Alive.” I mean.
Laura: I guess the “sexiest man alive” can never do anything funny. It’s his job to just sit there and look good.
Sarah: Haha. I mean, you know how I feel about his career. I love Step Up, I love She’s The Man, I love 21 Jump Street, I love Magic Mike. Ryan Gosling didn’t have nearly as much momentum this year as Tatum did.
Laura: Exactly. This was Tatum’s year. He also opened up a club in New Orleans. Everyone has their moment — well, not EVERYONE — but Tatum is having his. Let him enjoy it. It’s not as if Gosling doesn’t get enough love or recognition.
Sarah: I feel like there’s a tendency to perceive Tatum as dumb, and Ryan Gosling is more of the “thinking woman’s” sex symbol, which I feel like was a dichotomy in the Buzzfeed story. And I don’t think that Tatum is the smartest or most sophisticated guy on the block, but…does he need to be?
Laura: He never claimed to be either. Seems like unnecessary criticism to me.
Sarah: I think this piece really gets to the heart of why Tatum is so much fun.
*He is a (very heterosexual) man — a fact authenticated by a love interest of some kind.
*He’s working class in some form, meaning he’s in the military (either in the present or in Ancient Rome; see Stop/Loss, Dear John, G.I. Joe, and The Eagle), a foster kid doing community service (Step Up), a street peddler (Fighting), a cop (21 Jump Street), or a stripper (the upcoming Magic Mike). [Notable exceptions: "normal" high school kid in She's the Man and Coach Carter; covert operative in Haywire; I honestly can't tell what he is in The Vow, but he seems to drive a crappy car in the trailer, so who knows].
*He’s very sincere.
*He’s very American.
His persona as a star totally celebrates that stuff, and I think it’s actually awesome.
Laura: I appreciate that he seems very working class. His dad worked in construction, his mom is an airline worker, he was born in Alabama. I like that he does his own thing.
Sarah: ALSO (and Petersen makes this argument too) — not only is he handsome, aware of what his assets are and good at marketing them, and has a good sense of humor about himself — he’s a dancer. And I think that sets him apart.
Laura: Yeah, he was a stripper…
Sarah: But like (did you see Magic Mike)?
Sarah: I would guess that most male strippers aren’t dancers on his level. Like, you saw Matt Bomer and Matthew McConaughey.
Laura: Yeah, they were both good, though.
Sarah: They were good at this stuff. But they wouldnt be able to do, say, this:
Laura: Oh, right. I did see that movie.
Sarah: That’s what I mean — I feel like his talent and appeal kind of are underestimated. Because it’s like “Yeah, he was a stripper” — but he was probably, you know, the best one.
Also, this is just anecdotal, but I remember spending a lot of time at the boutique where I worked in college in, like, 2006 talking about celebrities with my coworkers, and they were all OBSESSED with him.
Laura: That was right after She’s The Man came out.
Sarah: He was their #1 celebrity dude. It was the Step Up/She’s The Man years.
Laura: He was just getting started.
Sarah: So this has been in the works for a looooong time.
Laura: Clearly he has worked hard for a while. He earned this! And he seems more humble than other male celebrities.
Sarah: Also, my favorite fun fact about him is that for his last birthday his wife built him a SCULPTURE STUDIO. Like, come on. Clearly, he’s just a very physical dude. That doesn’t mean he’s dumb.
Laura: Yeah, I wouldn’t assume he’s unintelligent off the bat. He also has a really cool name.
Laura: Have you seen 21 Jump Street?
Sarah: I have. I loved it.
Laura: Yeah, I love his chemistry with Jonah Hill. They seem like an unlikely pair but they’re so good together. Better than Hill and Michael Cera in Superbad.
Sarah: Well there you have it. I’m glad he got his due! It was Channing Tatum’s year and we’re all just living in it. Ryan Gosling 2013
Laura: Are you sure? I think last year was all about Ryan Gosling even though he didn’t get the award
Sarah: Yeah, but 2011 was definitely HIS year, you know? Drive happened, and Crazy Stupid Love happened, and he was saving ladies from cars left and right and being really cute about his dog. I get it. But don’t transfer your resentment to Channing Tatum! HE DIDN’T DO ANYTHING.
Sarah: BESIDES BE REALLY GOOD IN “SHE’S THE MAN.”
Laura: And I am sure Ryan Gosling isn’t bitter about this
THAT IS ALL THAT MATTERS.