We’ve seen him do a dance-off in Step Up, shimmy behind the bar for Ricky Martin’s “She Bangs” video and strut his sexy bod in Magic Mike, and now Channing Tatum is about to show us some hot new moves in Hail, Caesar!.
But while freestyling and stripping come naturally, the 35-year-old admits his latest dance venture – tap-dancing – has been the most challenging of his career. “I in no way, shape or form thought tap-dancing was going to be easy, but I had no idea how hard it would be,” he says. “I thought I could learn the moves and the sounds would come out of my feet ... nope! It’s basically like drumming with your feet.
“You’re a percussionist with your toes and heels, so it’s really different. You’re playing an instrument and it’s not so much dancing, in my opinion.”
Channing plays all-singing, all-dancing superstar Burt Gurney in the Coen brothers’ film. Set in glamorous 1950s Hollywood, it follows the fallout that takes place when one of the world’s biggest stars is kidnapped.
The film’s choreographer squeezed 10 months’ worth of tap training into three for Channing, whose dancer wife Jenna Dewan-Tatum helped him prepare. He also sings in the movie.
“Burt is a song-and-dance man and he lives the life of an actor on screen and off,” tells Channing. “He’s blonde and his soul lives in his long hair. He’s the kind of actor who has an outfit for everything – a driving outfit, an eating-dinner outfit ... He’s very theatrical.”
The movie also stars Scarlett Johansson, Ralph Fiennes and Tilda Swinton, alongside George Clooney in the role of kidnapped star Baird Whitlock. “Baird is maybe the dumbest character I’ve played for the Coens,” tells George, 54, who has previously worked on three other films directed by the duo. “He’s just a clueless movie star, which of course could never happen in real life now, could it?”