Channing Tatum: hot stuff

Even though much of Channing Tatum’s career is built on roles displaying a rugged physicality – Fighting, G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra and Step Up, among them – the 30-year-old actor found the shoot for The Eagle in the wilds of Scotland particularly grueling.

In addition to the usual battling and swordplay, he was hospitalized with burns to his groin after a crew member accidentally scalded him with hot water. It was just one of the many challenges that he faced during making of The Eagle.

Cary Darling of the Fort Worth Star Telegram caught up with the Alabama native who is married to Step Up costar Jenna Dewan:

How did the mishap happen?

The quick story is we were in a river, and you can’t be in more than five or 10 minutes. The guys were coming down with the [hot] water bottle to pour down our wet suits. He didn’t get to dilute the water with the river water; as soon as he saw me he wanted to warm me up. Accidents happen. If the guy had been incompetent, I would have blown his teeth down his throat. But he’s a hard-working, smart guy. He took care of us all day. It was truly an accident. We were all mentally, spiritually and physically exhausted.

What other challenges were there?

If you’ve ever been to Scotland, it’s so wet:the rain and the fog, every single day. You wake up and the crew would put on their wet-weather gear. They’re covered up to here and here in gloves and everything. Me and Jamie [Bell] are in cheap leather and are convulsively shaking. But it helps put you in the place so you’d know what it would be like. One reason why the Romans could never conquer that part of the world was it was so foreign to them, and they had no idea how to negotiate it.

Could you have survived in A.D. 120?

As a soldier, probably not. You had to be some of the toughest things that ever crawled this earth. We had a few fight scenes that lasted more than a minute. Even just fighting for a minute, I was exhausted. I’m a decent athlete. I don’t know how these guys would fight for months at a time. … And just being a civilian was daunting, living without medicine or you catch a common cold, you can die. It’s crazy.

You started as a fashion model in South Beach. Do you find you still have to live that down for movie roles?

No, even in the beginning, I still say it definitely helped me more than it hurt me. There were a couple of times when people said they were not seeing any model-looking type guys. Like I think even for 127 Hours, I know that was an issue. But [director Danny Boyle] always wanted James Franco for it. That does come into play, but I don’t look on it as a weakness.


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