We’ve seen and enjoyed Channing Tatum in many films, but surely no one has forgotten Magic Mike, which turned a rising actor into one of the most popular Hollywood stars.
Born in Alabama, he has been a model, dancer, film producer and now, for the very first time, director for his new film Dog, where he plays the leading role. He chose and approached this production because he has always felt a strong bond with dogs and, when his own dog passed away, he was offered the project. It was almost impossible not to get involved in the direction of the film.
Interview with Channing Tatum
What do you think about the relationship between humans and dogs?
Dogs have a strong presence as they give you everything they have unconditionally and always stand by your side. We will probably never know if they have an idea of the future, how much and if they think about the past, however, every time the owner comes home it’s like the first time. It doesn’t seem to matter at all. I could go out for thirty minutes and then Cutie, my new little one, is like: “oh my goodness, you’re back”.
I think dogs remind us that joy can always come over; as human beings, we focus way too much on the past and the future, but we can only really experience joy in the present. I think humans, in some ways, love them for that reason.
Tell us about the story of your road movie Dog.
What my character, Briggs, really needs is a recommendation, to make his captain call the diplomatic security company and vouch for him, saying he’s a good soldier. To achieve this aim, he takes Lulu with him on a road trip from the Pacific Northwest coast to the Mexican border. This operation won’t be quite easy, as if it were enough to put a dog in the car and just leave, well, it’s not exactly like that. Animals like these require a special treatment to say the least, so we’ll see them fighting all the time. However, if Briggs manages to accomplish his “mission”, taking Lulu to a funeral without collateral damages, then he will get the recommendation.
“The real challenge is convincing the dog that it is all a game”
What are the similarities between your character and Lulu?
They are both quite “crazy”, indeed, they will definitely get along until they can’t do without one another. Dealing with two stubborn characters, always about to clam up and clash, is like having fuses ready to explode, in other words, they are a true powder keg that can blow up at any moment. There’s a moment when Briggs and Lulu grab a sort of stuffed unicorn, which wouldn’t stay still if one of them let go and anything could happen in an instant.
It’s really funny because they’re the same, the only difference is that one is a dog and the other is a man.
What’s the real challenge when acting with a dog?
There is a scene in the car when I’m driving really fast and Lulu basically goes crazy, so I open the door, yelling at her, almost aggressively, and that poor animal looks at me as if to wonder what I’ve done to make her yell, pulling her ears back. This broke my heart, because we are very good friends, really.
Each one of us on set had to reassure her and to confirm that we loved her. The real challenge is convincing the dog that it is all a game.
Opening image: Channing Tatum on the set of “Dog”
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