In many ways, Channing Tatum’s career is in the best shape it’s ever been. He got some major acclaim last year for his work in Foxcatcher, 22 Jump Street was a massive hit, he’s about to play Gambit, and Magic Mike XXL seems destined for box office gold. But it wasn’t always this way…
In an interview with Howard Stern this week, the King of All Media walked Tatum through his career, and referred to 2009’s G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra as “the big moment in your career.” Stern’s right, in that the film was Tatum’s first real blockbuster test, and opened some doors for him, but as soon as he said it Tatum started laughing, then declared: “Look, I’ll be honest. I fucking hate that movie.”
When Stern asked why, Tatum revealed that he signed a three-picture deal with Paramount Pictures after Coach Carter (2005), and years later, in the midst of the writer’s strike, the studio called him up and used that contract to push him into doing G.I. Joe. Tatum, of course, did the film, even after the studio denied his request to play Snake Eyes, but he wasn’t happy about it.
“The script wasn’t any good. And I didn’t want to do something that I — that I was a fan of since I was a kid and watched every morning growing up — and didn’t want to do something that was 1) bad, and 2) I just didn’t know if I wanted to be G.I. Joe.”
The film ultimately grossed more than $300 million, and spawned a sequel that made even more money. Still, critics and more than a few viewers would agree that they fucking hate it too, so thanks for the honesty, Channing Tatum.