In Dear John, the Lasse Hallstrom-directed adaptation of Nicholas Sparks’ bestselling novel, G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra star Channing Tatum plays — guess what? — a soldier. While the role is an increasingly familiar one for the actor, who’s played military men in three of his last five movies, a project like Dear John — a romantic drama from the author best-known for such tearjerking estro-fests as Nights in Rodanthe, The Notebook and Message in a Bottle — is anything but. Donning an accelerator suit and dodging explosions in Stephen Sommers’ frenzied green-screen playground is a walk in the park compared to the challenge of conveying macho vulnerability amidst the gauzy, amber-and-khaki Charleston backdrop of Dear John. Fortunately, Tatum is up to the task.
Tatum talked to us recently about his Dear John experience, his hopes for G.I. Joe 2, and his excitement at finally making the transition to manhood: