I recently caught up with Channing Tatum while he was in London to talk about his new film, the romantic tear jerker Dear John. Channing Tatum plays John, who while on summer vacation from the military meets Savannah (Amanda Seyfried). But their romance is threatened as the holiday ends, Savannah has to go back to college and John must return to life in the army and all that his duty entails. They decide to exchange letters to each other after he is deployed to the war. Brought together by love, but will fate tear them apart?
I haven’t read the book so the film wrong stepped me most of the way. Did you know the source material before read the script?
Channing Tatum: I actually read the book first, even before it came out, I got approached for the film and I fell in love with my character John, I had known Nicholas Sparks through The Notebook and A Walk To Remember, I think I cried a lot with The Notebook (laughs). I knew what it did and I knew there was already a starving audience for it, those unbelievable loves, this is more relevant and contemporary than The Notebook for me which drew me more to it.
What was it like working with Richard Jenkins?
Channing Tatum: He’s so overrated (laughs), nah that guy can do anything, he can give you whatever you ask from a character, he is one of the strongest and smartest person I’ve ever met. He helped me through the entire film, I can’t even describe how it is to be in a scene with a guy that makes you better, he’s so smart he manipulates you to be better, it’s ridiculous.
Do you find it more fun to do these more meaty roles than the action films?
Channing Tatum: I find it more exciting. The more action type films they’re fun to do, especially with the physical element, but the REALLY fun stuff like running into a falling building they won’t let you do that, there’s too much money riding on you not getting hurt, but yes there is something exhilarating about it but it’s so different. With this sort of film it’s so much more honest, which excites me more.
channing tatum dear john Channing Tatum Interview For Dear John
You’ve been up in Scotland filming The Eagle of the Ninth can you tell us a bit about that?
Channing Tatum: I’ve loved Kevin Macdonald’s movies for a while now, it was an amazing experience because he wanted to do something really different, he wanted to make all the Romans American, venturing off from Romans being this English speaking very villainous type thing. It was by far the hardest things I’ve ever done, to wake up every single day and know your gonna be freezing cold and wet, 10 times a day, every single day and you know there’s no getting away from it for about 4 months, it was exhausting but very gratifying, it’s gonna be some of the most beautiful scenery you’re ever gonna see. I think I had minor hyperthermia, Jamie Bell almost collapsed. It’s a little more commercial that what he’s made before, it should be great.
Without giving too much away your character go’s through a lot and at times gets the short end of the stick.
Channing Tatum: Yeah, I don’t think when people watch movies they always want a happy story or a happing ending, because life isn’t always like that, hindsight is really 20/20, in your real life I guarantee you will look back and you’ve had to make decisions, sometimes you get pinned into a corner.
I heard they wouldn’t let you use your own handwriting in the film for the film.
Channing Tatum: (laughs) Yes, they would not let me hand write anything because you can’t read what I write, it’s like chicken scratches, worse than a 3 year old’s handwriting.