(This is from a Tumblr thread where people were defending Tatum. Well, I had to add something, didn’t I?)
He IS brilliant in Hail Caesar, not least because he’s also having sly fun with popular notions about him as an actor. Takes a brave actor to do that and keep on point.
May I also add:
Channing in Step Up
Channing in Haywire
Channing in The Eagle.
You see, I, too, used to be a Channing-hater. Not, like, hugely or anything. But I’d go along with mates when they’d make fun of him or snort if I read film reviews slagging him off.
This was until I actually engaged my own critical faculties honestly.
I started realising… ‘oh wow, that bloke in Step Up… that’s CHANNING TATUM?!?’
‘That bloke in Haywire… that’s CHANNING TATUM?!?’
And then I realised that what we have in Mr. Tatum is a young actor who can dance, do romantic smouldering, light comedy, horrible secret agent villains and brooding soldiers haunted by loss of honour.
Tatum is a superbly flexible, adventurous and fearless actor. Where other actors find the ONE NOTE and then grind on that fucker for decades, hoping an Oscar will pop out, Tatum will have covered a myriad worlds, creating characters that have zero in common apart from his obviously gorgeous physicality.
I mean, he could just coast by on his looks, couldn’t he? He doesn’t really need to take risks but look at the man’s IMDB: he consistently does.
At the minute, Tatum is PRIME BEEF. He is beautiful and that will limit the roles he gets offered, as it does beautiful actresses (though to a lesser extent, of course, since Hollywood hates women). But Tatum’s work ethic and career arc reminds me of someone…
Here’s young Michael Caine. Pretty, isn’t he? He could have coasted on those looks but if you look at his IMDB, you’ll see an actor who got stuck in. He just acted and acted and acted, which is why we still know and love him now, decades after his equally-attractive comrades are forgotten. Yeah, Caine also did a lot of dodgy films but that’s my point ~ you HAVE TO. You don’t get to be in the Hail Caesars unless you’re also in the Jupiter Ascendings (and that’s no disrespect to JA, I love that slab of dog-gene, royalist bee crazy but I’m in the minority, I know).
We have yet to see the best from Tatum. Think of how great he’ll be when he’s a wrinkly, gnarly, hairy-eared old geezer! Think of the decades of experience of playing a huge gamut of characters he’ll be able to draw from. He’ll be too old for the 20-something romcom lead or the action hero, he will get characters with more layers, more complexity…