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Channing Tatum: From eye-candy to Hollywood royalty #Kingsman


The sequel to 2015’s classy spy-actioner Kingsman: The Secret Service will soon be upon us, and with it come a few interesting casting additions.

Not only do we have the welcome appearances from Jeff Bridges, Halle Berry and Julianne Moore but, even more excitingly, we’re getting Channing Tatum as side spittin’, rifle spinnin’, cowboy hat sportin’, all-American Agent Tequila of the Statesman.

It’s hard to believe now that the name ‘Channing Tatum’ would once induce groans or questions of ‘who’s that?’ from anyone other than squealing teenage girls, but the man known as The Tates has gone through something of a career rejuvenation.

So, before Tatum returns to our screens in The Golden Circle, let’s take a look at the actor’s career from silver screen eye-candy to Hollywood royalty...

The romantic lead

In the beginning, The Tates would become best known as the chiselled, handsome hero of romance. His model good looks paired with his god-given ability to dance up a storm, allowed Tatum to slot perfectly into his breakout role in 2006’s Step Up.

Along with roles in She’s The Man, Step Up 2: The Streets and Nicholas Sparks weepy Dear John, Tatum cemented himself as the romantic lead. Though there were attempts to move away from this reputation in between, it seemed to be the role the young actor fit into best.

Though he found middling success being really, really, ridiculously good-looking, the majority of these romantic roles erred towards being bland, with none of them allowing Tatum to tap into his true potential. Thankfully, salvation would come in the unlikely form of an 80’s remake...

Comedy genius?

Though he had starred in a few comedies, there wasn’t much to suggest that Tatum was particularly funny. That is until he joined the Jump Street crew.

Directors Phil Lord and Chris Miller’s masterful remake/spoof comedy is ingeniously meta, hilariously funny and introduced us all to the comedy stylings of Channing Tatum. Paired with Jonah Hill, those who had never had any interest in Tatum and what he was up to suddenly had a new actor in their sights.

Tatum expertly portrays a dumb-but-handsome jock turned police officer in a superb display of self mockery. His comic timing is pitch perfect, and The Tates is endearingly charming whilst still picking up the action flack left by his co-star.

He continued to display this penchant for comedy with the Jump Street sequel, the Coen Brothers’ celebration of old Hollywood, Hail, Caesar!, and a hysterical cameo as himself in This is the End. You’d think good looks and spot-on clowning would be enough for one man, but apparently not...

Awards beckon

Whilst displaying his flair for comedy, Tatum was also pushing the dull romantic lead further behind him by taking on more serious roles.

Shining in his starring role as the titular stripper Magic Mike, Tatum proved he could do more than romance and comedy, crafting a complex character based partially on his pre-Hollywood experiences as a stripper striving for more.

Tatum would star in a few more dramatic roles, but 2014’s Foxcatcher is the clear highlight. The tragic true story of 1988 Olympic wrestler Dave Schultz, Tatum’s pretty boy looks disappear behind the veneer of a wounded brute.

A ball of self-loathing and aggression, this is without a doubt Tatum’s magnum opus, garnering him widespread acclaim in a moody drama that was nominated for five Oscars.

The future

With the release of the superb Logan Lucky last month, Tatum has once again shown that he can carry a movie on his broad shoulders, as well as keep up with talents like Adam Driver and Daniel Craig.

Add to this the much anticipated Kingsman sequel, a long-gestating Gambit film (playing the the kinetic energy-wielding X-Men mutant), some animation voice work and an R-rated musical comedy, the sheer variety in the Tates’s future demonstrates why he absolutely deserves his Hollywood crown.

Jon Fuge is a writer who blogs for Cineworld as part of our news team.

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