Channing Tatum was born in Cullman, a small city in Alabama,
the oldest of eight children; he has French, Irish and Native
American ancestry. His family moved to Mississippi when he was
six, although he visits Alabama, where his mother's family still
lives, every summer. Tatum grew up in the bayous near the
Mississippi River, where he enjoyed a rural existence, including
"All the rattlesnakes and alligators a boy could possibly chase,
fishing every day, Pop Warner football league, stuff like that".
Tatum was athletic while growing up, playing football, soccer, track, baseball and martial arts, and had "a lot of energy", although he says that "Girls were always my biggest distraction in school". During the ninth grade, he was sent to a military school, where he played on the football team. Tatum won a football scholarship to Glenville State College in West Virginia, although he soon lost interest in the sport and turned down the scholarship, citing his dislike of the demands of playing football.
Channing returned home, feeling that he'd disappointed his parents. He soon worked in construction, an animal nursery, and at a clothing store. During this time, he developed an interest in club dancing.
Channing Tatum's first experience was in the fashion industry as a male fashion model. He was first cast as a dancer in Ricky Martin's She Bangs music video, after an audition in Orlando, Florida; he was paid $400 for the job. He subsequently signed with a modeling agency in Miami, and appeared in Vogue magazine. He soon appeared in the pages of Citizen K, and Contents, as well as campaigns for Abercrombie and Fitch, Nautica, Dolce & Gabbana, American Eagle Outfitters, and Emporio Armani. Tatum has also starred in a few television commercials for American Eagle Outfitters, Pepsi and Mountain Dew, and was picked as one of Tear Sheet Magazine's "50 Most Beautiful faces" of October 2001.
Channing Tatum has branched out into a professional acting career, first appearing in a 2004 episode of CSI: Miami. His first feature film role was in 2005's high-school drama, Coach Carter, playing Jason Lyle, a basketball player opposite Samuel L. Jackson; Tatum also appeared in Twista's "Hope" music video, which accompanied the film. In the same year, Tatum had an unaccredited bit role in War of the Worlds, as well as supporting parts in the films Supercross and Havoc. Although Tatum has said that he "loves modeling", he has taken a break from the profession to concentrate on his acting career, saying that he prefers making movies.
Tatum auditioned for the role of Gambit in X-Men: The Last Stand, however, did not make it as the character was cut. The film's producer, Lauren Shuler Donner, noticed Tatum and cast him in the film She's the Man, where he plays the love interest of a character played by Amanda Bynes. The film opened on March 17, 2006.
Channing Tatum was also originally scheduled to play Gengis Khan in director Sergei Bodrov's epic, Mongol, but was replaced by actor Tadanobu Asano. His most recent role was in Step Up, a dance-themed drama which opened on August 11, 2006. He has also been cast in director Kimberly Peirce's Stop-Loss, about a soldier returning home from the Iraq War.
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