CHANNING. Chan. Chan-chan. C-Tates. Whatever you call him, he is a delightful bit of abdominal muscles and jamz, and I will genuinely defend his talent and goodness to the stars.
He is sometimes (very frustratingly) compared to ***intellectual*** stars as this doofus with a dopey face, and there are women out there who are like “ugh, no, I couldn’t date Channing, his neck is so thick, give me someone like [current popular actor from the United Kingdom].” And this is absolutely not meant to denigrate any of those British actors, but… really? His neck is too thick? That’s what’s stopping you? You’re ignoring his dance moves, his ability to laugh at himself, his comedy chops, his kindness, his dedication to his daughter, and his 400 abdominal muscles, because his neck is too thick. You def had a chance, anyway. I’m Not Here For pretending like my guy is dumb because he hasn’t played an aging literature professor who’s found himself attracted to one of his female students. He is sunshine and you will back off.
HERE WE GO
You know, already, obvs, to some extent. My boy is southern as heck – born in Alabama, raised mostly in Mississippi, teen years in Tampa. He talks pretty openly about getting diagnosed with ADHD and dyslexia and I love him for that, but it of course made school extra difficult. He’s frequently apologetic in interviews to his mom, because he was rambunctious, and she apparently called him “Chanimal,” which is very, very important to me.
He played like, every sport, and went to college for football for a bit, but then dropped out and did random jobs including the stripper thing until he appeared as a dancer in Ricky Martin’s “She Bangs” music video. I feel so goddamn old typing that sentence. He also modeled because duh, my little twinkly-eyed abdominal muscle is fly as heck. He just did beautiful people things for a while until starring in a couple films that put him on the map, including She’s the Man, which is objectively phenomenal and I will die on this hill and write a paragraph about it below because it EARNED IT.
You’ll know him from
Just being lightspeed beefcakey attractive?
Step Up. In case you’re not a Stan-ning Tatum (I made that up but it’ll catch on), this was one of his first roles. A scrappy troublemaker from a tough neighborhood enrolls in a dance academy and in the process learns about dance, love, life… and himself. This is also the film in which he met his wife, Jenna Dewan, and the two of them are stun-ning in this movie. If you’re not going to watch it, please just look up the last dance routine and appreciate how good they look together. Also appreciate how Jenna dances the whole thing in heels. This is the first of many movies where he shows off how well he can dance, and boy can move. If you wanna hate on him my protip is to not try to come for his moves because he like a snake. Ssssss.
21 Jump Street or 22 Jump Street. These movies are collectively bananas, but he and Jonah Hill work really well together, and while they are not perfect, they are a perfect *vehicle* for these two. There are some true gems in the scripts and you’re probably aware of some of these jokes even if you haven’t seen a second of these movies. You *do* have the right to be an attorney, if you want to. You can be anything, Channing. Anything you want. He also gets the marvelous line “Fuck you, science,” which he then chose as his favorite line he’s ever said.
G. I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra. When he talks about this movie he is like “yyyyyeah that was a thing that happened” and when he was making it he’d tell people he was in it and have to say like “um, yeah, I play Joe, technically” and in theory people other than me saw this movie so this paragraph is for them. Idk.
Magic Mike. If you aren’t aware of this movie I question whether you are living on Earth. You could not escape this film when it was released, and it felt like they were airing the trailer in like, preschools. Everyone saw it. The entire nation was either enthusiastically or uncomfortably turned on for at least 8 months.
Matthew McConahuhguhayahsyy got a bit more billing in a lot of the promos, but this was Tatum’s vehicle, for sure, as they pushed the “based on a true story” angle quite a bit. MagicMikeChanningTatum. You know about this film and you know about my bb Channy being in this movie. And you know Ginuwine’s Pony, stop lying to yourself.
You should know him from
“Um, this list is pretty long. Do I really have to read it and go watch all these things?” YOU ABSOLUTELY DO THIS IS NON-NEGOTIABLE
HE IS A SENTIENT CREW CUT FROM A HIGH-END SALON AND HE IS THE SUNSHINE THROUGH THE SPRING LEAVES
She’s the Man. I’ve been pushing this movie for a decade: if you haven’t seen it yet, ask yourself why you hate happiness. It’s so good, it’s SO good. It does require a bit of suspension of belief, but Channing as Duke Orsino in this Twelfth Night adaptation is just excellent in this role. He is good at being just the meathead jock, but this movie is where you’re like “okay this guy has comedy chops, forreal.” The scene in which he dramatically opens his flip phone to answer a call and then hangs up with “can I call you back, I gotta, go, uh, change… m-my feet” because he is distracted by his crush??? It is hilarity and purity and I want it injected into my *veins*. He didn’t have to be funny in it. He didn’t have to be anything other than pretty and shirtless, but he brought it, and he is precious, and just go watch this goddamn movie right now go stop reading this blog will still be here GO.
Comrade Detective. I don’t totally know how to explain this other than he is the voiceover work for an English translation of a Romanian propaganda series during Soviet times. Just, go watch like, 5 minutes, it is weird and fun, I promise. Again, he doesn’t have to do any of this, but his movie choices are just like “that sounds fun as hell, let’s do it.”
Foxcatcher. An additionally bananas movie for Steve Carrell who is unrecognizable in makeup and prosthetics, but Channing plays a wrestler and he at one point got so into the acting that he broke a mirror with his head and just kept filming the scene and it was so good that they left it in. I can’t finish this movie because I got scared but watch it if you can? He’s real good!
Jupiter Ascending. “Wait, but didn’t that movie suck?” Um no it is your life outlook that sucks, this thing is a masterpiece. Channing is an alien who is partly dog in this movie, and trying to explain why he and Mila Kunis’ character can’t be together, and this gif gem happens after Channing says he has more in common with a dog than with a man:
He is the most lovable here because it is Channing Tatum plus a dog. Like, just let me lie down.
AND, Magic Mike XXL. I didn’t even see the first one, because of my McConauihhgua-phobia, but I went to this one, and it holds the title for “Biggest Difference Between Expectations Going In And Actual Quality.” I thought this movie was gonna suck. It did the opposite. It dumped Matty and Petty (Alex Pettyfer who is…theoretically hot? idk) and turned into a road trip with Chan the Man and the rest of the guys to get to a stripper convention.
*Stefon from SNL voice* this movie has everything. yoga. drag queens. the Backstreet Boys. several lines of dialogue about how cookies > cake. Michael Strahan.
I don’t know how to explain to you how good this movie is. It has all of the sexiness of the first one (I am guessing here as I did not see the first one but I *did* see the trailers) and none of the angst. It is self-aware that it is ridiculous, it has really well-coordinated dance scenes, and it calls all the women in the audiences “queens.” It also has this scene, which is the best thing that’s ever happened to me, and 80% of that is just how encouraging his buddies are the whole time. Just… I don’t know what to say, just please watch this movie and then tell me when you do and we can be happy together. He is flippin’ adorable in this role even more than he is smooth, and he at one point says “Yes, my God is a she,” just, casually. He improvised a bunch of his lines and took the Screen Actors Guild minimum salary and HE IS JUST EARNEST AND SWEET AND I LOVE HIM sorry
And then, finally, what you *should* know him from most is the episode of Lip-Sync Battle where he and Jenna faced off. I have watched all 4 of their performances roughly 100 times each. Jenna does “Pony” dressed like Magic Mike. Channing does “Girls (Who Run the World)” dressed like Beyonce. This episode cleared my skin, ensured my financial security, and got my oil changed on my car. If you aren’t going to watch the whole thing at least watch the final.
Muscles at home
CHANNING AND JENNA. A LOVE STORY FOR THE AGES. THIS SOUNDS SARCASTIC BUT ISN’T THEY ARE SO GOSHDARN CUTE IT MAKES MY ORGANS HURT AHHHH
Met on the set of Step Up. Have a little girl named Everly. Are sparkles and sunshine and cuteness who are also honest about how challenging marriage can be. Are bananas at praising each other every waking second to every media outlet possible. Are a *team*. I am rooting for them so hard.
Why he deserves a spot on this list
Channing Bae-tum has all of the makings of a hypermasculine douchebag but has managed to dodge every single gross thing that his trajectory could have been. He is settled with a family and a wife he respects and, by all accounts, everywhere, treats wonderfully. A search with his name and “legal issues” turns up nothing, when he could have turned into a hard-partying jerkface who hurts those closest to him. He doesn’t take himself too seriously and knows how to be self-deprecating: he talked about wishing he hadn’t made G.I. Joe but no one got mad at him because he’s just so *nice.* He openly talks about how as soon as filming for the Magic Mike movies wraps he goes and eats everything because the diet sucks and he prefers being thicker. He describes this situation as “fappy – fat and happy,” with no knowledge that it might mean something else. In this interview, he requests to go to Color Me Mine to paint some pottery. He is a sentient “omw to steal yo girl” meme, but he 1. wouldn’t 2. it wouldn’t even occur to him because he is a good person.
Just, for me, in a world where I have to watch Jared Leto be wide-eyed and explain how every emotion he’s ever had is more important than any of yours, or where James Franco is enrolled in four hundred colleges and grinning like a weirdo, or Johnny Depp needs to wear enough rings to sink a Carnival cruise ship and can’t be bothered to participate in interviews, I know that Channing is gonna be eager and hungry and silly and himself. He’s a universally appealing goofball with sick moves, and that was far from a guarantee when he started. Starting acting as a teen does not guarantee you work in the future, and so his continued participation in Hollywood is his marketability and his own hustle. He’s just nice, and fun, and as this earlier GQ profile stated, “he’s like a big, good-looking Tickle Me Elmo.”
I don’t need tortured souls. I don’t need guys being douchebags for the sake of the craft. I want Channing Tatum, who would jump in your car for a road trip and find the best radio station in each new state. I want Channing Tatum, who would fight through a hangover to be at your house at 9 AM because he told you he’d help you move apartments. I want Channing Tatum, who goes all out on learning Beyonce choreography for a C-list TV show and confidently rocks pantyhose. I want Channing Tatum, who will laugh even harder than you if you make fun of him. He’s dumb? He’s just a beefcake? He’s “not attractive”? Please, by all means, try to say that to his smiling, goofy, puppy dog face.
I probably went in too hard on this post, but I need to see famous people who are nice. And he’s doing it. I hope he makes four million more movies and I hope he kills it as Gambit and I want every good thing to happen for him. You make your movies, bb. I’ll defend you.