As a naive, Olympics-bound wrestler in the new film Foxcatcher, Channing Tatum is vulnerable to a fault — not to mention game for anything. Based on real-life world champion wrestler Mark Schultz, Tatum’s character, an enigma steeped in daddy issues, finds solace in millionaire coach John du Pont (Steve Carell), who, in unofficially adopting Mark and presumably making him the target of hush-hush desires, becomes the Liberace to the athlete’s Scott Thorson.
Whether shedding tears at the thought of disappointing du Pont or trashing a hotel room amid the agony of defeat, Tatum has never given such an open wound of a performance. “It was definitely something that gets into your body and doesn’t leave,” he says.
Bulked up and chiseled, Tatum also parlays his gyrating, Magic Mike physicality into full-on role immersion, as when he and Mark Ruffalo (who plays Schultz’s brother and fellow wrestler, Dave) enact a training session that quickly evolves from bear-huggy gestures into a fierce ballet of brute maneuvers. “Mark and I both have cauliflower ear as a take-home present from this,” Tatum says. “And bad knees.”
Foxcatcher opens Nov. 14. Watch the trailer below: