A Guide to Recognizing Your Saints
Award-winning American actor Channing Tatum first gained notice as a fashion model thanks to his appearances in campaigns for Abercrombie & Fitch, Dolce & Gabbana, Aeropostale, Gap, and Emporio Armani, to name a few. He was also seen in TV ads for Pepsi, American Eagle and Mountain Dew. The green-eyed, brown-haired model, who was one of Tear Sheet magazine's “50 Most Beautiful Faces” in October 2001, did not become a professional actor until 2004 when he debuted in one episode of “CSI: Miami.” Tatum quickly branched out to the silver screen when he was cast as the love interest of Amanda Bynes in “She's the Man” (2006), from which he received a Teen Choice Award. His next appeared as hip-hop dancer Tyler Gage on the blockbuster “Step Up” (2006), which won the Alabama native his second Teen Choice Award. However, it was Tatum's portrayal of young Antonio in Dito Montiel's much talked-about drama “A Guide to Recognizing Your Saints” (also 2006) that brought him positive reviews at the 2006 Sundance Film Festival. Tatum co-nabbed the Special Jury Prize-Dramatic Award at Sundance and earned a Best Supporting Male nomination at the 2007 Independent Spirit Awards.
More recently, in 2008, Tatum netted his third Teen Choice Award for his work in the Iraq War drama “Stop-Loss” (2008), which was directed by Kimberly Peirce. His subsequent film credits include Dito Montiel's “Fighting” (2009), Michael Mann's “Public Enemies” (2009), Stephen Sommers' “G.I. Joe: Rise of Cobra” (2009), Lasse Hallström's “Dear John” (2009) and the Mikko Alanne-written “Pinkville” (2009).
Tatum is good friends with his “A Guide to Recognizing Your Saints” costars Adam Scarimbolo and Shia LaBeouf. He is engaged to actress Jenna Dewan, whom he met on the set of “Step Up.” The couple has a dog named Meeka.
An accomplished martial arts performer, Tatum has achieved belts in both Kung Fu and Gor-Chor Kung Fu.
Childhood and Family:
Born on April 26, 1980, Channing Matthew Tatum was raised in his native of Cullman, Alabama, until age six when his family relocated to Mississippi. His family lived on a bayou near the Mississippi River. Young Chan returned to Alabama during the summers to live with his maternal grandparents.
“My parents couldn’t handle my energy so they enrolled me in every sport the school was offering. I didn’t resent it because I loved sports and picked them up easily.” Channing Tatum
Growing up, Chan developed a passion for sports. He played baseball, track and soccer, and excelled at martial arts and football. He was named “Most Athletic” while at the Tampa Catholic High School in Tampa, Florida. Upon graduating in 1998, he was awarded a full football scholarship at Glenville State College in West Virginia, but turned down the scholarship. Chan later attended the Deena Levy Theatre Studio.
Chan has one sister and an older stepbrother named Christopher Anderson. Christopher is an actor and musician.
A football star, Channing Tatum declined an athletic scholarship to attend college and instead found work as a construction worker, a salesman at the cologne counter of Dillard's, a mortgage broker, and an employee at an animal nursery. He, however, did not decide to pursue a career as a model until he was approached by a talent agent.
Attractive Tatum enjoyed his first break when he was cast as a dancer in the Ricky Martin music video for “She Bangs,” and shortly thereafter, he landed a contract with the Miami-based modeling agency Page 305. He appeared in Vogue magazine and in campaigns for many fashion labels like D&G, Emporio Armani, Nautica, American Eagle Outfitters, and Abercrombie & Fitch. In November 2000, Tatum participated in his first fashion show at the Level Nightclub in South Beach, Florida, for the magazine Men's Health.
Also signing with the Beatrice Model agency in Milan, Italy, and Ford Models in New York City, Tatum moved on to television commercials in 2002. He also appeared in TV ads for American Eagle Outfitters. Despite his success as a model, Tatum made the switch to acting. He said, “I've always had way too much energy so I'm always looking for new things to do to channel that energy.”
In 2004, Tatum had his first taste in front of the TV cameras as an actor when he landed an episodic role in the popular TV drama “CSI: Miami,” playing Bob Davenport. He made the leap to the big screen the following year with the Thomas Carter-directed “Coach Carter” (2005), which starred Samuel L. Jackson. The film was nominated for a Black Reel for Best Film, an ESPY for Best Sports Movie, an Image for Outstanding Motion Picture, a People's Choice for Favorite Movie Drama and a Teen Choice for Choice Movie: Drama. Tatum followed it up with supporting performances in the motorcycle saga “Supercross” (2005) and “Havoc” (also 2005), starring Anne Hathaway, Bijou Phillips and Shiri Appleby. Also that year, he had an unaccredited part in the Steven Spielberg Academy Award nominated “War of the Worlds,” which starred Tom Cruise. Tatum's film career received a significant boost when he was cast in the starring role of Duke in the Andy Fickman directed “She's the Man” (2006). The role brought him a Teen Choice Award for Movies-Choice Breakout (Male) and a Teen Choice nomination for Movies - Choice Liplock. Originally, Tatum auditioned for and won the role of mutant hero Gambit on “X-Men: The Last Stand” (2006), but the role was later removed from the script.
Tatum went on to score victory with the lead role in “Step Up” (2006), a dance-themed movie directed by Anne Fletcher. Playing a rebellious hip-hop dancer named Tyler Gage, he picked up a Teen Choice nomination for Choice Movie Actor: Drama and co-won the 2007 Teen Choice Award in the category of Choice Movie: Dance. “Step Up” was a flop with critics but a hit among young audiences. Subsequently after his performance in the film, Tatum emerged as a favorite of female moviegoers.
However, it was his compelling performance in the 1980s-set drama “A Guide to Recognizing Your Saints” that brought Tatum critical kudos. Under the direction of Dito Montiel, who also wrote the script, and costarring with Robert Downey Jr., Shia LaBeouf, Rosario Dawson and Chazz Palminteri, Tatum jointly netted the Special Jury Prize-Dramatic Award at the 2006 Sundance Film Festival and the Best Actor Honor at the 2006 Gijón International Film Festival for his performance as Antonio. In addition, he received a Gotham nomination for Breakthrough Performer and a 2007 Independent Spirit nomination for Best Supporting Male.
Following the banner year of 2006, Tatum could be seen playing a small role in “Battle in Seattle,” which premiered at the Toronto Film Festival on September 8, 2007. Directed and written by Stuart Townsend and starring Martin Henderson, Michelle Rodriguez, Woody Harrelson, Charlize Theron, Jennifer Carpenter and Ray Liotta, the drama went on to be seen at various festivals like the 2007 Vancouver International Film Festival, the 2008 South by Southwest Film Festival and the 2008 Seattle International Film Festival before enjoying a limited theatrical release in the U.S. in September 2008. Tatum also appeared with Jeanne Tripplehorn and Greg Butler on the 2007 20-minute drama “The Trap,” for director Rita Wilson.
2008 saw Tatum reprise his popular role of Tyler Gage for “Step Up 2: The Streets,” which was directed by Jon Chu and also starred Briana Evigan and Robert Hoffman. The same year, he joined Ryan Phillippe, Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Rob Brown in director Kimberly Peirce's “Stop-Loss” (2008). Tatum was handed a Teen Choice for Choice Movie Actor: Drama for his performance.
The gifted actor again worked with Dito Montiel for “Fighting,” an action movie slated for an April 2009 release. Playing Sean Arthur, he stars with Terrence Howard (as Harvey Boarden), Brian J. White (as Evan Hailey) and Flaco Navaja (as Ray Ray) and others. He will costar opposite Christian Bale, Johnny Depp, Billy Crudup and Giovanni Ribisi in Michael Mann's “Public Enemies” (2009), playing Pretty Boy Floyd, and join Brendan Fraser, Sienna Miller and Dennis Quaid in Stephen Sommers' “G.I. Joe: Rise of Cobra” (2009), playing Duke.
Currently, Tatum is filming “Dear John,” which is being directed by Lasse Hallström and scripted by Jamie Linden and based on Nicholas Sparks' novel. A romantic drama about a soldier who falls in love with a conservative college student while he is home on leave, the film cast Tatum as John Tyree and Amanda Seyfried as Savannah Lynn Curtis. Tatum is also scheduled to have roles in the upcoming “The Stanford Prison Experiment” (2009), directed by Christopher McQuarrie and “Pinkville” (2009), with Bruce Willis and Woody Harrelson.
Teen Choice: Choice Movie Actor: Drama, “Stop-Loss,” 2008
Teen Choice: Choice Movie: Dance, “Step Up,” 2007
Sundance Film Festival: Special Jury Prize-Dramatic, “A Guide to Recognizing Your Saints,” 2006
Gijón International Film Festival: Best Actor, “A Guide to Recognizing Your Saints,” 2006
Teen Choice: Movies - Choice Breakout (Male), “She's the Man,” 2006