Channing Tatum has, over the past few years, become a major sex symbol for women (and men — no shade!) around the world, and for good reason. He's hot! He's also a pretty decent actor, with a fair share of comedic, dramatic, and action-packed roles under his belt. But while you may have loved watching him strip in Magic Mike or peed your pants watching his terrible attempt at accents in 21 Jump Street, you've probably missed out on some of his less popular (but still completely awesome in their own way) movie roles. And believe me, there are plenty to choose from.
It was over a decade ago that Tatum began his Hollywood career, with small parts in TV series like CSI: Miami and in movies like Coach Carter and Havoc. He's been on an upward trajectory ever since, and he's come a long way not just in terms of star status, but in his craft as an actor, as well. Basically, what I'm trying to say is that Channing Tatum is more than just a pretty face (and hot body) — he's actually got some chops on him... but he had to pay his dues to get there. After all, he wasn't always a leading man, and most actors take roles early on that are probably slightly embarrassing in hindsight, but still totally awesome.
Here are 7 underappreciated Channing Tatum movies that you need to see NOW (or again, if you've watched them already but just failed to notice his role in them).
In Fighting, Tatum is a counterfeiter in New York City that gets introduced to underground street fighting by some scam artist that later becomes his "manager" on the circuit. This is one of Tatum's first real starring roles and he carries it well. The plot is somewhat heavy-handed at times, but this movie's really more about the action (and he's shirtless sometimes, so go with it).
A Guide To Recognizing Your Saints (2006)
Tatum only gets fourth billing in this one (Robert Downey Jr. is the real star here, and who can argue with that?), but his role as Young Antonio is integral to the flashbacks of the story of an Astoria, Queens writer who returns home after learning his father is ill. It's a nice bit of dramatic work from Tatum, and is a nice example of the depth he's capable of when given a meaty enough role.
Dear John (2010)
If you've got the hots for Channing Tatum and you're also a hopeless romantic, oh man, are you gonna love this one. It's the story of a soldier who falls for a rather conservative college student (played by Amanda Seyfried) when he gets home on leave. Plus, this was based on a Nicholas Sparks novel, so turn up the lovey-dovey factor (and the cheese factor) and get the tissues ready.
She's The Man (2006)
I know you've probably seen this 600 times already, since it's basically the best thing Amanda Bynes has ever done, EVER, but did you really fully appreciate Tatum in She's The Man? Probably not. If you missed him as Duke (not missed him totally, since he was a main part of the storyline, but missed him in the figurative sense), I encourage you to hit this one up again.
The Vow (2012)
While The Vow was released relatively recently, I still feel like it didn't get as much attention as it deserved. Was it poorly written? Yeah, I guess. Was it really corny? Unbelievably so... and yet it's still really sweet and Rachel McAdams is in it, too, which makes the whole thing automatically good even though it's not, if that makes sense. If you've watched it, you'll know what I mean.
Public Enemies (2009)
This gangster film was really all about Johnny Depp, given that he's the lead character, but Tatum as Pretty Boy Floyd (that name alone!) also made his mark... albeit swiftly, since (SPOILER ALERT!) he was killed pretty early on. The whole movie's worth watching, though, and this was great exposure for him at the time, to be part of such a legendary cast.
Step Up (2006)
THE ULTIMATE. Is there anything better than Channing Tatum in Step-Up (or, you know, the Step Up franchise in general)? Who knew he had those smooth dancing skills in him? Watching him turn from undisciplined, uncoordinated Tyler into sexy, smooth Tyler is hilariously awesome, and I love every minute of it.
Images: Getty (1), Giphy (7)