Hollywood hearthrob Channing Tatum who danced his way into teenage girls’ hearts with Step Up (2006) has now donned a skirt and sandals to wield a sword for his lead role as a young Roman officer Marcus Aquila in Kevin Maconald’s period action adventure The Eagle, releasing in India on Friday. “I love the genre really. It’s kind of a make believe heaven,” says the 30-year-old. Throwing light on his character, he says, “I play the son of a Roman commander whose father dies under a cloud of disrepute and controversy. He is out to restore his father’s reputation and clear his name.”
Tatum also had to undergo a tough regime to get into the skin of his warrior character along the likes of Jamie Bell, Donald Sutherland and Mark Strong. “Kevin really prepared us for the role. He inundated me with all things Roman and I guess Jamie with all things Scottish or tribal. Like he gave me these books where it documented like a day by day campaign of a Ceasar or a general’s journal, where it shows you what battle took place, where it took place, how they won it, lost, what negotiations were taking place. It was such a beautiful window into history,” says the actor, who was last seen in comedy The Dilemma.
The weather, however, proved to be a challenge while filming. “No one, including Kevin, really imagined how hard the weather would be. Scotland was extremely cold and wet. Fighting with sword and armour, and specially holding up the sheilds for hours on end was certainly quite hard. Your left hand gets quite a work out, and yes your right hand is all chipped to pieces with all the accidental nicks and bangs. But mostly it was the natural conditions that were really tough to deal with,” he says.
More about Tatum...
Name: Channing Matthew Tatum
Place of Birth: Alabama, US
Years active: 2000-present
Debut: Coach Carter (2005)
Known for: She’s The Man (2006), Step Up (2006), G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra (2009), Dear John (2010)
Spouse: Jenna Dewan (2009-present)