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Tatum saves the day! ; Man of the moment Channing Tatum sets out to save the world - and the US President, played by Jamie Foxx - in new action flick...

September 21, 2013


Tatum saves the day! ; Man of the moment Channing Tatum sets out to save the world - and the US President, played by Jamie Foxx - in new action flick White House Down. Susan Griffin muscles in as the actors share anecdotes and parenting tips

THE focal point of Roland Emmerich's latest movie isn't exactly new territory for the director.

In 1996, aliens blew up the White House in Independence Day and, 13 years later, he sent the aircraft carrier USS John F Kennedy crashing through the iconic building in the movie 2012.

This time round, a heavily-armed paramilitary group storms the building in his new action-packed film White House Down - and it's left to Channing Tatum to save the day.

The Magic Mike star plays John Cale, a policeman who has just been denied his dream job of protecting the President, and just so happens to be taking his daughter on a tour of the White House when the siege takes place.

I had so much fun on this movie, says Tatum.

Jamie Foxx, who plays President James Sawyer, agrees with his co- star.

As an actor who wants to be a director, I'd think about the movie and wonder, 'Wow, the scope! How's Roland going to make this cinematic?' says Foxx, who won an Oscar for his moving depiction of the legendary blind soul singer Ray Charles, in 2004's Ray.

I got to watch Roland, I got the chance to look over his shoulder and have a peek at his shot list, it was really a blast.

But Roland was also a great collaborator, he adds. He allows you to bring in your own voice, your ideas, and then he shapes them in the way that he can execute the movie - and if you go too far, he's there to pull you back in.

There might be 12 years between the two actors but, when they met at the Summer Of Sony industry event in Mexico, we got along really well, recalls Tatum, 33.

My wife [actress Jenna Dewan-Tatum, who he met on the set of 2006's Step Up] and I were dancing and Jamie was DJing, and it wasn't a surprise at all that we got along. I'm from the south, he's from the south.

Indeed, Tatum was born in Alabama and still retains a strong southern drawl, although he grew up in Florida, where he worked as a model and dancer before making the move into acting, landing a few small roles before being cast in 2006 film A Guide To Recognizing Your Saints.

Foxx, 45, meanwhile, was born and raised in Texas and rose to fame in comedy before embarking on a more dramatic route.

It was a dream role to work with Channing, says the actor, who has also had success as a singer and songwriter.

His experience on both comedic and dramatic projects was the reason that producer Bradley J. Fischer thought he'd be perfect to portray an American President who was a little disarming.

We were hoping to find an actor who could bring the gravitas of the presidency, but also a comedic element - not jokes, but funny, light moments that would cut the tension, Fischer has previously noted.

As a famed supporter of Barack Obama, Foxx was thrilled to portray the most powerful man in the world.

In this situation, the President is faced with the beginning of a new world order, explains the Django Unchained star.

He's learning that the might of the sword is not always the best course of action.

We bring up some of these political issues, but not too heavy on the political side. It's a fresh look at what I would call a super- action hero. Sit down, get ready for the ride, watch Channing go to work and do his thing as Officer John Cale.

Laughing, Tatum doesn't deny that he pays homage to the likes of Bruce Willis's John McClane - of the Die Hard movies - with the white vest he sports for the majority of the film.

Looking 'sexy' isn't something that's ever likely to be too much of a challenge for Tatum, who was named Sexiest Man Alive by People magazine and portrayed a male stripper in the steamy hit Magic Mike last year.

However, he's also passionate about his craft and, judging by his packed CV, very hard-working.

At the beginning of White House Down, Cale is an ex-soldier and divorced father who's trying to put his life back on solid footing, especially when it concerns his relationship with his daughter.

He's been trying to figure out his life for years, to get it together, but he doesn't really have the tools to put it all into place, says Tatum. But his heart is good, he's always wanted to be his daughter's hero.

Tatum himself became a father for the first time in June when his wife gave birth to their daughter Everly, and insists he loves being a hands-on dad, including doing his fair share of the nappies.

Foxx, who has two daughters - Corinne, 19, and four-year-old Annalise - thinks he's a natural. Channing has a natural charm about him that his parents would've given him, and that he'll pass on to his daughter, he says.

And does he have any parenting advice to impart? Foxx pauses for a moment, before saying: Figure out a way to be a friend and a father, which is the toughest part.

. ? White House Down is in cinemas no

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