A Minute With: Channing Tatum taking on "The Eagle"

Thu Feb 10, 2011 12:21pm EST
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By Zorianna Kit

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Channing Tatum, best known for his roles in "G.I. Joe: The Rise of the Cobra" and the romance "Dear John," ventures into the Roman Empire this Friday in the dramatic action feature "The Eagle."

Based on Rosemary Sutcliff's novel "The Eagle of the Ninth," 30-year old Tatum plays Marcus Aquila, a soldier who seeks to restore his family's name and avenge the perceived disgrace his late father brought to the country.

With his slave Esca, played by Jamie Bell, he sets off on a perilous journey to find out what really happened.

The Alabama native spoke to Reuters about the film, why he decided to start his own production company and taking on a big-screen version of "21 Jump Street."

Q: "The Eagle" takes place in 2nd century Britain, an era you've not yet tackled in films. Is this a departure for you?

A: "Not so much because I've played soldiers before, but this is obviously period and I've only done contemporary stuff. I started in a more urban setting with movies like "Step Up" but to me this story was simply about honor. Marcus is wondering if his father was a coward or not. He is also dealing with the fact that his entire nation thinks his father was a laughing stock. That's a pretty intense thing to grow up with because a father is very big in a son's life."

Q: What have you learned about yourself from your father?

A: "I've learned from all his friends and from my mother that he was the tough guy in the neighborhood. And so I think my whole life I've tried to figure out, 'Am I a tough guy or not?' I've quickly figured out I'm not. (laughs)."   Continued...

<p>Actor Channing Tatum, who stars in the movie "The Eagle," poses for a portrait in Beverly Hills, California February 4, 2011. REUTERS/Danny Moloshok</p>