MONTREAL - "Independence Day" director Roland Emmerich is once again wreaking havoc on the president's pad, and this time he has Channing Tatum along for the ride.
In the upcoming "White House Down," Tatum plays a secret service rookie named John Cale (no relation to the famed musician, we assume), who is working under a soon-to-be-retired veteran named Walker (James Woods) in order to protect U.S. president Sawyer (Jamie Foxx).
When terrorists attack the White House, and his daughter (Joey King) is caught in the crossfire, Tatum and Foxx team up to escape the assault. Basically, it's the second film to be released this year that could be dubbed "Die Hard in the White House," hitting theaters just a few months after the similarly-themed "Olympus Has Fallen," starring Gerard Butler and Morgan Freeman.
I visited the "WHD" set along with some fellow journalists late last year and Tatum took some time out from filming a dialogue scene to answer questions about the film, his recent career upswing and his future aspirations behind the camera.
With "Fallen" in production across town, the creation of "WHD" moved incredibly fast, especially for blockbuster standards. Between the sale of the script by James Vaderbilt ("Zodiac," "Amazing Spider-Man") and its June release date was only 14 months.
The fast pace was more akin to an indie film, and Tatum was understandably wearied. "It's intense," he told us. "We're shooting 6-days weeks, sometimes 13-14 hour days"
However, Tatum was more than up to the challenge, doing some tricky schedule shuffling in order to play the ole. The studio obliged as well. "Sony moved heaven and Earth to make it," Tatum revealed.
The actor formed an easy rapport with his Oscar-winning co-star Foxx, who often claimed he was getting too old for action films. Tatum disagreed, saying that Foxx "was more than keeping up."
Many of the film's stunts were performed by Tatum and his castmates, and the "G.I. Joe" star obviously relished the challenges. "I'll do it all if they let me," he boasted. "I can do it pretty aptly."
"Sets are generally so-so-so-safe," Tatum continued, "but there's always a certain amount of danger. Fights are probably the most dangerous, because one little slip-up, you get hit in the nose and it's a few days of downtime."
Go to page 2 to read Tatum's take on working with Emmerich, and the actor's future production plans.