Channing Tatum: Women ‘are so much stronger than we could ever be’


It’s sort of crazy to think that Channing Tatum is arguably our biggest movie star right now. Of his generation, I mean. The late 20s, early 30s actors. Channing is bigger than the Marvel guys, he’s bigger than many of the so-called “great young actors.” And by that I mean Channing has been delivering big hits pretty consistently, Jupiter Ascending notwithstanding. So it’s an obvious choice to be Channing on the August cover of Vanity Fair. He’s pretty, he’s potato-y, he’s got fantastic arms and Channing knows how to give a good interview. You can read the full piece here (VF did release their entire cover story) and here are some highlights:

The Sony Hack email: “I’m sure, I’m positive, I’ve written bad e-mail. I just got lucky that’s not the one out there.”

Why he did Foxcatcher: “I’d come to this place where I didn’t want to just keep doing parts because I think the movies will do well. I want to do character work. I still like all the movies I’ve done … but with Foxcatcher I went deeper.”

The birth of his first child: “It was crazy. You feel helpless. We like to think of ourselves as big, strong men, and we could handle whatever situation. And reality is [that women] are so much stronger than we could ever be. There’s a reason why we weren’t given that job, evolutionary or whatever. My wife, she’s a warrior. She did it as natural as you can. [As a man], you’re basically a cheerleader. ‘Come on, baby, you can do it.’ I would’ve tapped out in the first.”

Fatherhood: “It’s scary. You made this thing and have to bring it into the world together. You think people are going to be there, but ultimately you just have each other. Knock on wood, everything goes well, now you have a baby. They’re like, ‘O.K., here you go.’ They hand it to you, and you’re like, ‘Uh, wait a minute. Aren’t you guys going to come home with us and make sure we’re not screwing this thing up?’ I think every parent has that moment where they’re like, ‘Oh, maybe this was a bad idea; we don’t know how to do this.’ You can’t put it back in there. It doesn’t go that direction. But Jenna is a super mom. There’s no other way to say it. She is there every single second, every single day. I love being a dad. They’re like little mirrors running around. They show you things about yourself you wouldn’t pay attention to before. Jenna says it all the time: ‘Oh, my God, that is so you right there.’ But I don’t know if I’m good at it.”

Bad fathers: “Conversely, I know some guys that would’ve been better off without their fathers around. It’s case-by-case: did you get loved too much or not enough? I now look back on my own parents and have a better appreciation.”

His fitness: “You work out as much as you possibly can to burn, but that part is not hard for me. I enjoy it. I have a great trainer and great buddies and we push each other … run, cycle, hit the bags … CrossFit stuff. But you can do that five times a day and if you’re not eating right you’re not going to lose anything. There’s a bunch of schools of thought. I’ve gone Paleo, where they let you eat bacon. I’ve also done the opposite and carbed out in the morning, oatmeal or some sort of a starch. I like grits.”

Movie stars & social media: “This is something we were just talking about. The Brad Pitts, the Leos, the Downeys: Why aren’t there new versions of those guys? I think people just know too much about actors, about everything. Behind the scenes. It’s almost like the world is so with you all the time, people on the phones and blah blah blah, that to go into a movie theater for three hours and lose that time is harder and harder. People watch TV at home and they’re still on their phone, wired. They’re even wired to the actors. Twitter, Facebook, Instagram. You feel connected. So that [actor] doesn’t feel as mythic anymore. I used to go see movies to watch people because I didn’t know anything about them. The only time I got access was in a movie. I wanted to go see the movie because I hadn’t seen my guy in a while.”

[From Vanity Fair]

He talks a lot about Magic Mike XXL, obviously, and he chats for a while about Quentin Tarantino and working on The Hateful Eight. It’s a good piece, but I can feel Channing becoming more guarded as he grows up and becomes Hollywood’s go-to guy – it feels like just four years ago, Channing would have done this interview in Alabama and he would have been wrestling hogs or something, for fun. As for “where are the Pitts, Leos and Downeys of his generation?” He’s it. He’s the Pitt/Leo for many people.


Photos courtesy of Vanity Fair.

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19 Responses to “Channing Tatum: Women ‘are so much stronger than we could ever be’”

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  1. Brittney B says:

    I don’t want to perpetuate the idea that feminism is about female superiority; it’s not. But he’s right about this one, at least physically.

    It reminds me of a joke that examines the way we use “p****y” and balls. If you “have balls”, you’re strong and brave… because we equate masculinity with these “superior” traits. If you display weakness or fear, you’re a “p****y”… again, because we equate femininity with inferiority.

    But when you think about it, it should be the opposite. Balls are a man’s most sensitive body part. A half-hearted kick can bring a man to his knees. Female genitalia, on the other hand…? It RIPS OPEN AND PRODUCES A HUMAN BEING. It also bleeds profusely on a regular basis, causing all sorts of pain and inconvenience in the process. Weakness and fear shouldn’t be condemned in the first place, but yeah… our expressions and gender cliches are seriously backwards.

    • darkdove says:

      acording to a femminist teachear a had a few years ago men started hating women because in their cavemen ignorance we were seen as this magical creatures for being able to give birth to another human and were also jelous they couldnt and as the years went on women were stuck taking care of the offspring while the men hunted and brought the food women and the offspring had to be protected from the wild beast so men were seen as strong and brave and women as soft weak and helpless equated in the same category as children.

  2. Franca says:

    I usually find men calling women stronger quite patronising.

    • Astrid says:

      Yup me too. I like him in general but those sort of quotes bother me.

    • Jen43 says:

      Me too. It always seems disingenuous,, also. I’ll give Tatum a pass, though, because he seems like the kind of guy who speaks before he thinks. And I mean that in a good way. I can’t help but like him.

      • Franca says:

        Yeah, I can’t help but like him too, and I enjoyed the rest of the intrerview.

      • Esmom says:

        I tend to want to give him a pass, too. He actually sounds pretty genuine. I generally like what he has to say.

      • KHLBHL says:

        I agree with you; generally when men say this, it sounds hollow, like pandering. While I find Tatum likable, I also can’t ignore the fact that one time I heard him (or read – can’t remember where) say that he doesn’t like watching female action movies and/or can’t take them seriously. I remember him saying that his wife gets annoyed with him because of that. So I tend to think of what he said as disingenuous. Sorry I don’t recall where exactly he said that. Maybe it was his recent Reddit interview?

    • Emma says:

      the author of Gone Girl, Gillian Flynn, put it well:
      “Because he says things like: “I like strong women.” If he says that to you, he will at some point fuck someone else. Because “I like strong women” is code for “I hate strong women.”

      its really the male version of “im a cool girl”, he panders to the female audience. And its working, so why would he stop?
      when a handsome men says something most women shut off their brains. That is a good thing because men do that too when it comes to good looking women, it means men and women arent any different.
      an ugly dude or a reguar looking dude wouldnt get away with saying such things. just as a “cool girl” must be hot.

      • Monroe says:

        It was around the he was doing Haywire, he’d said that he couldn’t take action movies with a female lead seriously because they wouldn’t be strong enough in real life to take someone his size on and win. That was until he met Gina Carrero (sp?). He was okay with doing Haywire because he knew she could put him through a wall.

    • Sixer says:

      Usually, so do I. I always think oh there you go, boy starlet, protesting too much to be credible. You only want interview brownie points; you don’t actually mean it. And anyway, I don’t feel better than you or want you to think I am: I want you to think I’m the same.

      But this particular comment was made in the specific context of giving birth. I think a lot of guys see their partner give birth, think bloody hell I’m glad that’s not me, and then go around telling everyone about the crazy strength of women out of sheer relief that it WASN’T them who had to do it!

    • Michelle says:

      I feel like the worst “feminist” or even just the idea of it is getting used to the point of exhaustion in Hollywood. All of a sudden, all celebrities are being expected to rant on and on about their position on feminism and it’s getting old. If they say they’re not feminists, they get bashed. If they say they are, they get bashed. It’s just become so silly and really patronizing at this point.

      I came away from reading his quotes about women thinking that even though he may really feel that way, it seems like he is saying it because he feels that he has to. I think he is being politically correct.

    • LA Juice says:

      I think you are right in a lot of cases, but I think there are two things going on here, because he’s said this over the years quite a lot- 1. i think there is a sort of vibe in hollywood that men need to stand up for women these days, and those with wives in holllywood do it a lot these days (take mark ruffalo for example) – so he’s probably just trying to show alignment- and 2. He is young and has a daughter now, he’s probably just wrestling with the issues for the first time.

      one question for the commentariat: Why do we call him a potato?

  3. Illyra says:

    Oh brother.

  4. RocketMerry says:

    For once his face looks decent, good even. Maybe it’s the caked on make up that makes him look like he’s feature-less, and so they went au naturelle in this shoot…? Anyways, looks way better than usual.

    • Beth No. 2 says:

      He looks good here.

      And I didn’t know he’s in The Hateful Eight! Working with esteemed directors such as Bennett Miller and Tarantino; frankly I wouldn’t have foreseen this of Potato. Good for him!

  5. LB says:

    I love my charming potato! Great interview!! His reddit AMA was also pretty great!

  6. Nessa says:

    I love him. He is one of the few celebrities I really route for.