‘She’s the Man’ Was Channing Tatum’s First Comedy, but He Still Improvised

Channing Tatum made his way to the big screen years ago. Although he once considered quitting, he has a long list of movies under his belt, dating back to the mid-’00s when he appeared in the drama Coach Carter.

Just one year later, Tatum proved he could take on a new kind of role when he appeared in a romantic comedy alongside Amanda Bynes. She’s the Man was his first comedy, but he still improvised in at least one memorable scene.

The movie was a hilarious nod to Shakespeare

Channing Tatum she's the man
(L-R): Channing Tatum, Amanda Bynes, and Robert Hoffman during DreamWorks’ “She’s the Man” Los Angeles Premiere – Red Carpet at Mann’s Village in Westwood, California, United States. | Jon Kopaloff/FilmMagic

Shakespeare buffs know the tale Twelfth Night. It’s a story about a woman, Viola, who dresses as a man after she’s separated from her twin brother. She falls in love with a Duke, who’s in love with Olivia, who in turn falls in love with Viola. The mishap romantic comedy made for the perfect material for a modern update.

In She’s the Man, Viola (Bynes) dresses up as her brother, Sebastian, to play soccer and get back at her ex-boyfriend. She meets and develops feelings for Duke (Tatum), but he is after Olivia (Laura Ramsey). Olivia ends up having eyes only for Sebastian.

Tatum’s character slips up when he attempts to flirt with Olivia, opening the door for some memorable one-liners. The actor brought some of his lovable personality to the role, including his comedic timing.

Channing Tatum showed off his comedy chops in ‘She’s the Man’ 

Despite its mixed reviews, the movie remains a favorite to many, specifically fans of Bynes and Tatum. Though he was just getting started (and arguably was too old to may a high school student), the actor brought a lot of flair to Duke.

One example of this is when Duke tries to flirt with Olivia at the gym. In the scene, Tatum opens his flip phone while flipping his head and attempts to act casual in front of Olivia. As MsMojo notes, he improvised this moment, which undoubtedly led to laughter from audiences.

Of course, Channing Tatum isn’t the only She’s the Man star who cracked viewers up. Bynes’ improv skills are top-notch, as her former co-star told ET in 2018. “You never knew what was going to come out of her mouth,” Tatum said. “She was on fire.” 

Tatum brings even more laughter to the big screen

She’s the Man began a trend for Tatum, who has starred in many other enjoyable films. Some of his notable funny roles since include 21 Jump StreetMagic Mike, and Kingsman: The Golden Circle.

In 2022, fans were reminded of Tatum’s funny side with the release of Dog. In this movie, his character brings the dog of a fallen commander to the funeral. The dog does not make it a peaceful journey. Tatum also directed the film, adding more of his humorous instincts to it.

If Dog doesn’t sound like your kind of film, you can check out The Lost City an action-comedy starring Tatum and Sandra Bullock. It will also give you a little more of Tatum’s improvising skills. 

“The directors had Channing ad-lib lines to us, and none of his lines were used because I was laughing so hard,” said Bullock at SXSW in March 2022 (via Insider). It looks like Tatum has only improved since She’s the Man.

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