Thursday, June 28, 2012

In Defense of Channing Tatum

Hey, I like basketball too!
Channing Tatum is not a great actor. He's probably not even a good actor. He'll never win an Oscar (unless Best Abs becomes a category) and he'll probably never make a movie that lands anywhere near my Top 10... or 20... or 100. He's a good-looking guy and a pretty good dancer, but that's about it. He just doesn't have the acting chops of a Clooney or a Pitt or even a Galifinakas. But that's okay. Why? Because he knows it.

Judging by the roles he takes, Channing Tatum knows he's not the world's best actor... and I admire that. How often do you see him in challenging dramatic roles? Not often, if ever. For the most part, Channing sticks to his bread and butter: comedies, chick flicks, and action movies. Are some of these movies terrible? Yes. In fact, a great deal of his movies are gosh awful, but you know why I don't care? I rarely see them. Good ol' Channing does me the courtesy of being in movies that are largely unappealing to me. If I see a Channing Tatum, that's on me... not him.

Now I've been roped into seeing a few of the stinkers. I saw Dear John and The Vow on dates and they were pretty terrible, but it's not Channing's fault that the girl I was with got to pick the movie. Those two movies would have stunk with any other actor in the lead role anyway. However, Tatum's more recent work has been noticeably better -- Haywire was pretty good, 21 Jump Street was funny, and Magic Mike is getting good reviews. Is it possible that Channing is actually becoming a better actor? Maybe. Still, he's not fishing for Oscars, he's playing cops and strippers and he's taking his shirt off and that's what he does best. Can't hate him for that.

In my continued defense of Mr. Tatum, I'd like to bring up something that most Channing-bashers probably don't take into account: he seems like a nice guy. If the interviews I've seen and stories I've read are any indication, he's fairly down-to-earth -- especially for someone who has pretty much every girl in the free world drooling over him. Sure, all the articles are accompanied by a shirtless Channing picture, but I'd rather deal with that than with the vanity and conceit that oozes from most Hollywood actors. Also, the guy's got dyslexia -- it's pretty amazing that he's able to go shirtless all the time with a disease like that.

So while I can't say that I particularly like Channing Tatum, I do respect him... and I certainly don't hate him. There are far worse things in the world than a poor actor with a propensity for wearing wife-beaters  -- why waste my time hating on him?