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Channing Tatum on Dear John

Published February 4, 2010 in Movie Interviews
By Fred Topel | Image property of Screen Gems
Dear John Dear John

You don’t have to be in the military to relate to Dear John. Perhaps it is just the movie’s mcguffin to keep the lovers apart. Channing Tatum had to play a love story where he wouldn’t be on screen with his love interest for the bulk of the film.

Channing Tatum Gets Dear John


“[I was] a little bit [worried] because they can get so sort of voice-overy and episodic,” Tatum said. “Once Lasse [Hallstrom] came on though I wasn't really worried about it anymore. I don't think they reinvented the wheel with it. I think that he just did it really simply well, great music, timing well. I mean, he directed Abba videos so I think he knows how to make a music video. It just never really was a problem when he came on because he has a sort of an allergic reaction to anything that is really cheesy.”

Of course, you want a little bit of cheese in your romance, so Tatum fought for the right slices. “He hated my beret. Like when I wore the beret or the jacket, he was just like, 'It just seems like the worst movie moment. I can see it in the trailer and I just can't have it.' So he would always fight with the DOD, the army guys, because they're like, 'If you're outside, you've got to have your cover on and your jacket on.' Then he's like, 'Well, he’s not outside in public. He’s at a private property.' He’s like, 'You can't have it all and I'm just not going to have it. It’s a movie. Stop it.' So that was always kind of interesting to watch.”


Dear John Dear John


Dear John Dear John

Speaking of the director’s musical heritage, the crew made sure to give him a hard time behind the scenes. “Oh man, those pants, those haircuts. You name it, the glossy, foggy like... Oh man, it was hilarious. We made a fake Abba video and gave it to him. All the crew came in, we did like little verses and wore wigs and stuff like that. Some of it’s really funny. Some of it’s not that funny, because we didn’t have enough time that we wanted to do it with.”

That stunt gave the actors and crew a common bond with their director. “He likes to look up Abba videos. He used to direct Abba, like all their music videos and I’ll ask him, he’ll show you on his iPod. He’ll just go, 'Hey, would you guys like to see some of my earlier work?' And he’ll like show you the whole thing on his iPod. He’s the funniest guy and he's really so specifically funny. Like all of his jokes are really like for one person, they're not really for the room. He’ll kind of lean over and whisper something absolutely hilarious to you and then you want to share it. You're like, 'Awww, no one else heard that?' I don't know, he's one of the smartest people I think I've ever met in a lot of different ways because he doesn't sit there and try to like impress people with his knowledge. He actually does the opposite. He kind of tailors himself to whoever you are, you know? If you're a very intellectual person, he’ll have an intellectual conversation with you. If you're just a kid and you want to joke around and have fun, like that's what he's doing, he really sort of adjusts himself to whoever he’s around. And I think that’s a really socially genius thing to do.”

Dear John opens to theaters on February 5th.

For the trailers, poster and more movie info, go to the Dear John Movie Page.
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Fred Topel
Sources: Image property of Screen Gems
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