Channing Matthew Tatum (born April 26, 1980) is an American actor. He began his career as a fashion model and now appears in film roles. He has appeared in a number of films, including Step Up, Fighting, She's the Man, Public Enemies, and G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra.
Channing Tatum was born in Cullman, Alabama. His family moved to Mississippi when he was six, although he visited Alabama, where his mother's family still lives. Tatum grew up in the bayous near the Mississippi River, where he enjoyed a rural existence.
Tatum was athletic while growing up, playing American football, soccer, track, baseball, and performing martial arts, although he says that "girls were always [his] biggest distraction in school. As a child, he practiced kung fu. Tatum spent most of his teenage years in the Tampa, Florida area and initially attended Gaither High School before going to Tampa Catholic High School. He graduated in 1998 and was voted most athletic. Afterward, Tatum was awarded a football scholarship to Glenville State College in Glenville, West Virginia, but he turned it down. He returned home and started working odd jobs, until he moved to Miami, where he was discovered on the street by a model talent scout.
Tatum was first cast as a dancer in Ricky Martin's "She Bangs" music video, after an audition in Orlando, Florida; he was paid $400 for the job. His first experience was in the fashion industry as a model, working for such noted clients such as Armani and Abercrombie & Fitch. He soon moved into television commercials, landing national spots for Mountain Dew and Pepsi in 2002. He subsequently signed with a modelling agency in Miami, Page 305 (Page Parkes Modeling Agency), and appeared in Vogue magazine. He soon appeared in campaigns for Abercrombie & Fitch, Nautica, Dolce & Gabbana, American Eagle Outfitters, and Emporio Armani. He was picked as one of Tear Sheet magazine's "50 Most Beautiful Faces" of October 2001. Tatum also signed with Beatrice Model agency in Milan, Italy and Ford Models in New York City.
Tatum has said that his modeling career has helped him with his life, specifying that "It's made my life, and my family's life, a lot easier, because I never knew what I wanted to do and now they don't really have to worry about me anymore. I've been able to explore life, and through exploring it I've found that I love art, I love writing, I love acting, I love all the things that make sense to me. And I've been given the chance to go out and see the world, and to see all the things out there. Not everyone gets that chance".
In 2004, Tatum began his acting career, appearing in an episode of the television series CSI: Miami. His first feature film role was in 2005's high school drama, Coach Carter, playing Jason Lyle, a basketball player opposite Samuel L. Jackson; Tatum also appeared in rapper Twista's "Hope" music video, which accompanied the film. In the same year, Tatum had a role as a factory endorsed top motocross racer in Supercross, and part of the supporting cast in Havoc. Although Tatum has said that he loves modeling, he has taken a break from the profession to concentrate on his acting career, saying that he prefers making more mature films.
Tatum was originally scheduled to play Genghis Khan in the film Mongol, but was replaced by actor Tadanobu Asano.He was eventually cast in the film She's the Man, where he plays Duke the love interest of Viola Hastings Amanda Bynes's character. The film opened on March 17, 2006, and it was a modest success at the box office, grossing about $57 million worldwide.
That same year, in 2006, Tatum starred in Step Up, a dance-themed romance, playing a rebellious hip-hop dancer who must partner with a ballerina who is in training played by Jenna Dewan which opened on August 11, 2006. The film earned a total of $21 million in its opening weekend and $114 million worldwide. Later that year, Tatum played in the 1980s-set drama A Guide to Recognizing Your Saints starring Robert Downey, Jr. and Shia LaBeouf, in which he plays Antonio, a street youth in Astoria, Queens who uses his fists to solve problems. Tatum has described the latter film as his "first dramatic role"; his performance received positive notices at the 2006 Sundance Film Festival, where the film premiered. The acclaim continued when he received an Independent Spirit Award nomination for "Best Supporting Actor".
In 2008, Tatum co-starred in director Kimberly Peirce's film Stop-Loss, about soldiers returning home from the Iraq War, and in director Stuart Townsend's film Battle in Seattle, about the huge 1999 protest of the World Trade Organization meeting in Seattle.
Tatum will play in the indie film The Trap, which will be directed by Rita Wilson. The actor was chosen to play a role in the film Poor Things, starring Lindsay Lohan, Shirley MacLaine, Rosario Dawson, and Olympia Dukakis, but had to turn down the role because of scheduling conflicts. Tatum will also be playing a soldier in another New Line Cinema film which is based on a popular Nicholas Sparks bestseller called Dear John. Besides, he will be starring in Christopher McQuarrie's upcoming feature project The Stanford Prison Experiment and Oliver Stone's next Vietnam War drama, Pinkville, with veteran actor Bruce Willis. Tatum is also slated to play a renegade New York City cop who must infiltrate the underground world of free running, known as parkour, to bust a seemingly unstoppable gang of bank robbers in an untitled film for New Line Cinema.
Tatum and Dito Montiel, who worked together before on A Guide to Recognizing Your Saints, reteamed on the action drama Fighting for Rogue Pictures. Tatum starred as Sean McArthur, a young man who scrapes up a living scalping tickets in New York City.
Fox Searchlight Pictures's subdivision Fox Atomic has also picked up a pitch from screenwriter Doug Jung. The role as a "fish-out-of-water" story where Tatum will play an American cop in South Korea, a country that no other Hollywood production studio has ever filmed in.
Tatum appeared in writer/director/producer Michael Mann's 2009 crime drama Public Enemies, playing the ill-fated 1930s American gangster Pretty Boy Floyd. The same year, Tatum played Duke in G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra, Paramount Pictures' live-action film based on the popular Hasbro action figures.
Tatum and Dito Montiel will join forces again when Channing stars in 2010's action thriller The Brotherhood of the Rose. Montiel will both write and direct the film. The story is a cat-and-mouse espionage tale about two orphans raised by a top CIA agent to become assassins. When their operations go awry, they find themselves on the run, caught in a conspiracy and hunted by the most dangerous spies in the world. The book was previously adapted as a two-part NBC miniseries in 1989 that starred David Morse, Peter Strauss, Connie Sellecca, and Robert Mitchum.
Tatum has also started a production company with three friends called 33 and Out.