Channing Tatum has never been on my list of celebrities who make me nervous, but the more I read the quotes he’s been giving in interviews lately, the more I think that might have been a mistake on my part.
Up until now, he hasn’t given me much to worry about — he’s over thirty, at a good place in his career, he’s been married to Jenna Dewan-Tatum for almost five years, and they welcomed their daughter Everly a little over a year ago. Not that you can’t also be a mess if you have one or all of those things going for you, it’s just my first impulse to assume that if you have all that great stuff, it must be because the rest of your life is under control as well. But the more I hear from him in interviews, the more I’m starting to doubt that.
First, during a 22 Jump Street promo interview last week, he admitted that he drinks too much, and labeled himself a high-functioning alcoholic, which is definitely not A. terminology to throw around or B. something to brag about. And now he’s following up that revelation with a story about getting wasted with Shia LaBeouf, who’s essentially the Bad Idea Bear of Hollywood right now. Not a lot of stories involving him that end with me proclaiming what a great influence he is on everybody, and this one is no exception.
Early in his career, Channing was cast opposite Shia in a low-budget drama called A Guide To Recognizing Your Saints. The director, Dito Montiel, wanted his costars to bond, so he sent them on a New York City adventure prior to filming, and things apparently got pretty crazy. According to an account that Shia gave for a June 2008 GQ cover story:
“We knew what Dito wanted. And we were walking around the Upper East Side in this rebel mind-set, trying to be like street kids. Channing was supposed to be the head honcho in the movie, so he goes, ‘All right, you see that bookstore? Somebody throw a rock. Let’s break in and steal a Spider-Man bookmark.’ And Peter and me look at each other like, ‘Dude, what? Are you fucking kidding me?’
According to Shia, Channing kicked in the plate-glass window, grabbed the bookmarks, and took off running when the security system started going off. It’s an insane-sounding story, and at the time, all Channing’s rep would say was that Shia’s version of the story was ‘inaccurate’. Just…not that inaccurate, according to Channing’s version, which he revealed in GQ‘s June issue of this year.
“Me and Shia, I think we had just met that day. We were, like, ‘what shall we go out and do?’ We were drinking. And I think our initial thing was ‘Alright, let’s go out and try and get in a fight!’ This was just young dumb idiot actors thinking that that’s going to bond us. Because we’ll shed blood together blah blah blah. Just stupid actors thinking that they have to try and be method. I’m not saying anything about method actors, but to go and try to fight somebody to become the character? I think that’s a little immature, in hindsight. But it felt real and sort of visceral at the time.”
Sounds like a pretty solid explanation so far, but it falls apart a little when the interviewer asks for confirmation that Channing didn’t actually kick in a window:
“I definitely kicked in a window that night. But it wasn’t Barnes and Nobles. Just a window. I was running.”
Um, okay. Thanks for being honest, finally, but why would you do that?
“I didn’t think I was going to kick through it. We were just running and being hoodlums and throwing trash bags down streets and just being stupid. We were trying to be like eighties hoodlums. And I think as we were running I kicked this thing, not thinking that it would ever shatter. And everything just went raining down. And I was like ‘oh shit’. And then we just took off running.”
But don’t worry — that’s not the only window that got assaulted that night.
“We all split up. I think Shia even punched a cop car—we weren’t even sure if the cop was in the car, he punched the window of a cop car. It was pandemonium. It was just one of those nights that the volume just keeps getting turned up, turned up, turned up.”
Honestly, I have no idea what to make of this. It’s one thing to have crazy drunken nights when you’re in your twenties, as Channing was at the time, but it’s a whole ‘nother thing to still be having them and reminiscing about them in your thirties, as a father.
Just worries me, that’s all. I’ve got you on my radar, Chan.
(Photo: Daniel Deme / WENN.com)