Channing Tatum heads to Rome in ‘The Eagle’

Channing Tatum on his roles in 'The Eagle', '21 Jump Street' and 'G.I. Joe 2'.

Fred Topelby Fred Topel

Channing Tatum heads to Rome in 'The Eagle'

Channing Tatum plays a Roman soldier and army commander in gladiator times in The Eagle. So I couldn’t resist doing my Peter Graves/Airplane schtick. Tatum was a good sport and then I was able to ask him about all the other films he’s attached to, including 21 Jump Street and G.I. Joe 2.


CraveOnline: Can I channel my Peter Graves/Airplane and ask: Do you like movies about gladiators?

Channing Tatum: [Laughs] I do like movies with gladiators, yes. Gladiator and Braveheart are two of my favorite films. Braveheart is probably my Star Wars. Everybody has sort of one. It came out when I was in high school. I was on a football team and it’s all about we were just all ready to rock. Aside from that, it’s something about these movies that’s so romantic. They’re my versions of fantasy. I loved history class and probably for the stories. It’s stranger than fiction, some of the history of it all.


CraveOnline: So instead of cops and robbers or cowboys and Indians you’d play…?

Channing Tatum: Legionnaire? Mine were probably ninja. I really wanted to be a ninja when I was really young but it was still swords and stuff so yeah, running around in the woods.


CraveOnline: Obviously you’re speaking English in the movie. How old timey could you make it without going too far?

Channing Tatum: I don’t know, I don’t think there is an answer to that because look at The Passion of the Christ. They went and found Aramaic and had them speak it so I think there’s no distance I think you can go that’s too far. It’s just how you tell the story. If you can make people understand, get what you’re trying to do across, I don’t think that there’s any length that you can go. But [director] Kevin [Macdonald] I think made some really smart decisions and really strong decisions because I was doubting them in the beginning. He’s like, “I want the Romans to be American.” I’m like okay, but if I’m saying dog and son and speaking like we speak today, because America’s such a young country, I thought it would be weird. So we kind of met in the middle. The mid-Atlantic accent which isn’t a real accent, it’s just a fake made up accent that lives in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean, it’s such a weird thing. It’s really just good speech for the stage so I just took that and sort of tried to water it down and kind of Americanize it a little bit.


CraveOnline: What are you looking forward to about 21 Jump Street?

Channing Tatum: I’ve read a lot of just insane scripts and this one takes the cake. The stuff that we’re going to get to do, you’re just going to be like, “I can’t believe they’re getting to do this.” 21 is broad. Wait ‘til you see how broad it is.


CraveOnline: But Jonah likes to improvise so how much of the script ends up in the movie?

Channing Tatum: Who knows? Truly, that’s what I mean. It’s going to be just bonkers.


CraveOnline: Is Johnny Depp doing a cameo?

Channing Tatum: Yes, well, I’m praying. We’re beating on his door so hard that I hope that he answers. But yeah, we would freak out I think. We’re on top of it every single day. I think we send him something every single day.


CraveOnline: What would the scene be?

Channing Tatum: I can’t tell you that. I can’t say. We have an idea.


CraveOnline: Are they still going to do a G.I. Joe 2?

Channing Tatum: I hope so. They have a script from what I hear. I haven’t read it yet. With these big films they always play the cards pretty close to the vest. Don’t know what’s going on with the director. I’ve been calling, I’ll tell you that. I keep hearing grumblings of things.


CraveOnline: Were you at Sundance with Dito Montiel’s film, Son of No One?

Channing Tatum: I was. I was. I went for the opening night of it but I didn’t get to go very much. We just wrapped up the first movie that we’re producing in New Mexico called Ten Year. It’s a little movie, kind of like Diner. Well, 18 actors isn’t a little [film]. It’s not a small fete for especially a first time director. Jamie Linden is directing it, who wrote the screenplay to Dear John. I don’t know if you’ve ever had 16 actors in one scene but it’s like herding cats. You can’t get ‘em to do anything you want ‘em to but we have such brilliant actors in it that it’s very freeform. All the actors got to write their own characters. It’s kind of an experimental type thing.