Channing Tatum on Being ‘Freestyle’ Father

Jun 5, 2013 11:01am
ht vanity fair channing tatum tk 130605 wblog Channing Tatum on Being Freestyle Father

                                                                              (Image Credit: Bruce Weber/Vanity Fair)

Even before the birth of his daughter, Everly, first-time dad Channing Tatum had already given thought to what kind of parent he’ll be.

“I don’t think you can prepare. It’s a bit of a freestyle,” the 33-year-old actor told the latest issue of Vanity Fair before the May 31 birth of his daughter with wife Jenna Dewan-Tatum. “I’m just going to be a good friend to my kid. One thing I definitely want to change is that whole, ‘I don’t want you to make the same mistakes’ mentality. My dad didn’t have much money growing up; he didn’t have much of an education. He forced that on me, and I didn’t want it.”

Tatum struggled in school, and still has difficulty reading.

“I read so slow. If I have a script I’m going to read it five times slower than any other actor, but I’ll be able to tell you everything in it,” the Alabama native told the magazine. “It kills me that there are standardized tests geared towards just one kind of child.”

Another thing he dislikes, medicating for learning disabilities, after taking such drugs himself while in school.

“I truly believe some people need medication. I did not,” he said. “I did better at school when I was on it, but it made me a zombie. … I would go through wild bouts of depression, horrible comedowns. I understand why kids kill themselves. I absolutely do. You feel terrible. You feel soul-less. I’d never do it to my child.”

Tatum also reflected on being a celebrity and how much harder it is for those whose fame comes early.

“I worry about [Justin] Bieber, man. That kid’s wildly talented. I hope he doesn’t fall down into the usual ways of young kids because it’s so hard for someone to be responsible when they’re not asked to be,” Tatum told Vanity Fair. “We’re not asked to do things ourselves. You have someone there with a coffee. ‘You want food? I’ll get you food.’

“I put my bag in the trunk yesterday – I can’t drive here – so my driver, great guy, Terry, amazing, I call him T-Bone. I drop my bag in and left the trunk open,” said Tatum, who is in London working on a film.

“And I get around to my door, and I’m like, ‘What the f*** am I doing? That’s not my behavior.’”

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