Monday, 10 December 2012

Channing Tatum: Movie Star of the Year 2012

Yes, he was a stripper. Yes, he was in Step Up—and Step Up 2: The Streets. But after a year like this, when he showed not just his abs and his glutes but his smarts and his inner Stanislavsky, it's time to give Channing Tatum his due. Meet America's newest bona fide movie star
It's about two in the afternoon when I finally see the day starting to wear on Channing Tatum. They're setting up the next shot for his movie, White House Down, and Channing is sitting in a director's chair wearing a wife-beater and some pants, plus a bloody gash on his arm and some spray-on movie soot. (His hair looks marvelous.)

The movie is basically Die Hard in the White House. It's the kind of movie in which Channing shoots everything "except for maybe a Javelin missile. But the president might get to shoot a missile, I'm not saying." They're filming today outside Montreal, at a driving range housed in an enormous inflatable bubble. The turf of the range has been covered by a vast carpeting of actual sod, on top of which are cameras and lights, crashed helicopters, fire engines, ambulances, and the entire back facade of the White House, rebuilt to scale, with some gashes in the pillars.
Channing Tatum is an indefatigable dude. He's relentlessly energetic and positive and upbeat. He is just happy to be here. He is grateful to be here. But right now, Channing actually looks like a guy who spent the past twelve hours crawling around on his hands and knees saving the world and the nuclear football and the president, etc. For an indefatigable dude, he looks, you know, defatigable.

Okay, part of it is that he skipped lunch to go work out with his trainer, which he does twice a day. They've built a gym for him near the bubble. (Jamie Foxx uses it, too.)

"We have a trailer we go in and do meatheadish things," Channing says.

How'd it go today, workout-wise?

"It was good, it was good. Deadlifted 425."

He is not, of course, simply tired from whaling delts/deadlifting 425. He whales on his delts all the time at home, and he hardly ever gets tired. It's more that White House Down is about to wrap after two months of six-day weeks. And he crammed this movie into the space between reshooting G.I. Joe: Retaliation and starting Foxcatcher, directed by Bennett Miller, which begins in less than a week.

I have spoken to professionals in the filmed-entertainment business about Channing's shooting schedule, and the verdict: insane. Sadistically insane, possibly not-good-for-career burnout insane. But: "Big actors have told me to get it while the getting is good. Grind it."

Who told you that?

"Ahhh, I'm not gonna drop names," he says. "You know, very successful, smart actors. And they were like: 'Grind it. If you love it, grind it.' I did. They said: 'And a lot of people who didn't grind it, it's not that they're not in a good place, but I'm in a better place.' "

This was the year that launched Channing Tatum into that special, lonely orbit in which one's dream career becomes an almost cannibalistically demanding job. He starred in three films. 21 Jump Street. The Vow. Magic Mike. Every one of these films not only way outperformed what they were meant to, box-office-wise, but seemed to cement the notion that people go to movies just to see Channing Tatum.

It's not right to boil a guy down like this, but here's a theory about who he is: He's the star football player whom you have to tutor in algebra, only to discover that, deep down, he's got just a giant heart. That boiled-downness can be experienced in its purest form in Magic Mike, based on the real-life stripping career of Channing Tatum. It's not merely that he has an uncanny ability to retain his dignity while greased up in only a shirt collar, pop-and-locking his junk onto the floor while twirling an umbrella. It's that you believe the odds are stacked against him. Maybe it's that his mouth can never get out of the way of the words he's saying, but you root for him. Just like you root for him when he yells "Fuck you, science!" at a dry-erase board full of numbers in 21 Jump Street.

Or consider The Vow, about a guy teaching his amnesiac wife to love him again. "I did The Vow because I really love being in love," he tells me. That's who Channing Tatum is. A guy who takes his vacations doing survival trips in the Amazon with former SAS members (true) and desperately wants to fight a sanctioned MMA bout but also tells you he loves being in love, and you just want to be like, COME HERE AND GIVE ME A HUG, BRO.

A man wanders by with a box full of "burritos beef" that he hawks with a French accent. Channing looks at the box like he wants to mount it. He glances hopefully at his trainer. The trainer shakes his head, like: You know better than that. Channing turns away from the box, and his face is steely with resolve. You can sleep, and have burritos beef, when you're dead, Channing Tatum. Right now you have a meeting with the president of the United States on his helicopter.

Jamie Foxx, duh, plays the president.

Suit by Calvin Klein Collection. Shirt by Ralph Lauren Black Label. Tie by DiBi. Shoes by Tom Ford. Socks by Pantherella . Pocket square by Paul Stuart . watch by Georg Jensen.

This Suit Can Talk
And it's saying, "I've got confidence." Business suits with a slight sheen to the fabric—usually a wool-mohair blend—are back in style. Just make sure your shine is subtle, not blinding.

Suit by Tom Ford. Shirt by John Varvatos. Tie by Burberry Prorsum. Shoes by Salvatore Ferragamo. Tie bar and pocket square by The Tie Bar.
Do You Know What Slim Means?
Tight means you can't move. Slim means you can break-dance. To get the right fit, find the size that's one up from too damn restrictive. Then let your tailor do the rest.

Suit by Dolce & Gabbana. Shirt by John Varvatos. Tie by Band of Outsiders. Shoes by Salvatore Ferragamo. Socks by Pantherella. Pocket square by Paul Stuart.

How to Choose Your Supporting Cast
If you start piling on the blingy accessories while wearing a shiny suit, you can start to look like a contract killer in a B movie. Follow this leading man's lead and keep the accoutrements minimal.

Suit and tie by Emporio Armani. Shirt by Charvet at Tie bar by and pocket square The Tie Bar.

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