Channing Tatum Hated One Role So Much, He Asked to Be Killed Off in the First 10 Minutes

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Fans are not alone in their hatred for the live-action 2009 G.I. Joe remake. Star Channing Tatum revealed that he hated it so much, he begged for his character to be killed off.

Vanity Fair recently interviewed Tatum in probably the most uncomfortable fashion imaginable – strapped to a lie detector test. His interviewer ominously sat off-screen, reading the questions as we watched the results of the polygraph. Two minutes in, she brought up his role as Duke in G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra.

She asked point blank, “Did you ask to be killed off in the sequel?” And without hesitation, Tatum said yes.

He went on to say he did not regret the choice, citing his experience in the first movie. He passed on the role seven times, but he was contractually obliged by Paramount to appear. The polygraph administrator confirmed that Tatum was telling the truth when he said he definitely didn’t want to do the sequel.

The Rise of Cobra ended up with a 33% critical score from Rotten Tomatoes. It grossed $302 million, the 23nd highest for a film released in 2009 – relatively poor compared to its $175 million budget. Tatum got his wish, as G.I. Joe: Retaliation famously killed off its lead character. Duke died in an airstrike along with most of the other Joes very early in the runtime. Dwayne Johnson’s Roadblock took over as the leader of both the team and the movie.

Ironically, Tatum’s hatred for the franchise gave its next its most interesting plotline. Retaliation was made on a smaller budget but received better reviews and grossed $75 million more than the Rise of Cobra. And while Tatum may despise the film, it did play an important part in his own history.

By 2009, he was a moderately successful model-turned-actor who was best known for his starring role in the street dancing franchise Step Up. G.I. Joe was one of his earliest big roles in an action film, and definitely the highest-profile movie of his early career. Looking back, it’s a pretty significant milestone.

In the past decade, he’s been one of the go-to actors for studios casting an action comedy. He’s starred in 21 Jump Street and Kingsman series, as well as Logan Lucky, White House Down, and The Hateful Eight. His most memorable might be one that stemmed from his history with dance, the Magic Mike trilogy. The third installment of the series, Magic Mike’s Last Dance, will be released on February 10.


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