Some of you have fought The Rise of Charming Potato (name credit: Pajiba). Some of you still complain that Channing is nothing but a dumb meathead who can’t act his way out of a paper bag. Some of you refuse to find him sexy in the least. Your numbers are dwindling! Because Channing Tatum is HERE and he will charm you. Charming Potato 4 Eva. After being named People Magazine’s Sexiest Man Alive AND GQ’s Man of the Year, I do think that Channing is pretty much Establishment Hollywood at this point. He is here and he’s going to stay here, and he’s going to be making movies for a while.
What’s funny about Channing is that he’s constantly underestimated. Several years ago he started his own production company, and it was considered little more than a vanity project, an overreach by a dumb jock. Channing and his team worked hard, made some solid connections, and Channing – as he has always done – picked the right projects. Channing was a producer on both 21 Jump Street and Magic Mike (a film that originated at Channing’s production company), and he’s now established himself as a solid producer as well as an in-demand actor. So what’s next for Channing? He just told Entertainment Weekly that after The Year of Charming Potato, he’s going to be taking a year off to find a project to direct!!! Charming Potato, Director?
…After a year that saw him explode onto the A-list with a hat trick of hits — The Vow, 21 Jump Street, and Magic Mike — Channing Tatum says he’s planning on taking a break from acting next year to focus on finding a project to direct with his production partner (and Magic Mike screenwriter) Reid Carolin.
“[Reid and I] have about three to four ideas that we love that are all in the hopper. By the end of next year, we’re going to shut things down and write the first thing that we’re going to direct,” says Tatum, who has been developing a Magic Mike sequel and an Evel Knievel biopic with Carolin. “We’re going to be like, alright, no more acting parts for a minute, let’s take a few and really get caring about that section of our career.”
You can’t blame the guy for wanting a breather. Tatum earned a spot on EW’s Entertainers of the Year list for being one of 2012′s best and most tireless actors, starring in five movies in 2012. And he’s got at least another four lined up for 2013, including the medical thriller Side Effects (directed by Steven Soderbergh), the action spectacular White House Down, and the new Bennett Miller drama Foxcatcher.
“I love the steps that I’ve taken acting-wise. That has been a wild sort of exploration,” he says. “But I don’t want to just keep putting [directing] off for these fun and incredible opportunities.”
While he might not have a film school education, Tatum says he and Carolin have already spent the last few years learning the craft from the best in the business, especially Magic Mike director Soderbergh.
“I don’t think Reid and I would have the balls to try to make a movie without learning what we did from Soderbergh and [assistant director] Greg Jacobs,” he says. “It was like a crazy crash course Cliff Notes on directing and how to make movies, literally get them done. We had a Matrix-style download, like a plug in the back of the head and bloop! I know Kung Fu now.”
There are certain sayings in LA that came to be because they are universally true – everyone wants to be a producer and every actor says he really wants to direct. While it would be easy to dismiss Channing as a wannabe, or a Franco (can we start using “Franco” as a code for “pretentious douche who thinks he’s making high ART”?), Channing has been dismissed many times before and he’s always excelled. I think the world just needs to deal with certain facts: 1) Channing Tatum is not the dumb jock that everyone says he is and 2) Channing might actually be the closest thing to an “heir” for actor/producers like George Clooney and Brad Pitt.
Photos courtesy of WENN.