Thursday, August 11, 2022

Channing Tatum on How the Death of His DOG Inspired His Latest Film | WATC

*Channing Tatum’s latest film, “Dog, was inspired by his relationship with a four-legged friend.

“Dog” is the story of two former Army Rangers who are linked up against their wishes for a life-changing road trip. Tatum stars as Briggs, a man recovering from a brain injury who receives an assignment to escort an unruly and anxious Belgian Malinois named Lulu to her former handler’s funeral. Along the way, things go awry in the craziest ways possible.

The film marks Tatum’s directorial debut alongside his long-time collaborator Reid Carolin – who also wrote the screenplay. Tatum and Reid discussed how the death of Tatum’s dog was the inspiration for the film and how the two worked as co-directors on the project.

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Channing Tatum stars as Briggs and Lulu the Belgian Malinois in DOG – A Metro Goldwyn Mayer Pictures film Photo credit: Hilary Bronwyn Gayle/SMPSP © 2022 Metro Goldwyn-Mayer

“Reid and I have known each other about 15 or 16 years,” said Tatum. “Since we met, we have talked about movies. We had a love for it, and I’ve learned a lot from him through the years, and like five years in, we started thinking about creating on a higher level to direct and tell our own stories. We were looking for something to direct for a really long time. We both love animals. I lost my puppy Lola of 11 years; Reid was there when I got her at six weeks old. It was a pretty painful and profound experience. Especially, at that time in my life. And we thought, maybe there’s a story here, so we went on that journey trying to figure that out.”

Another source of inspiration for Tatum is having a girl dog as his co-star. “The idea of having this really masculine guy – almost toxic masculinity – and a hyper-solider type of guy that has a girl dog that is tougher than he is…”

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Channing Tatum stars as Briggs and Luke Forbes as Jones in DOG – A Metro Goldwyn Mayer Pictures film. Photo credit: Hilary Bronwyn Gayle/SMPSP © 2022 Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Pictures Inc.

For Tatum and Carolin, the documentary the pair produced for HBO in 2017 called “War Dog: A Soldier’s Best Friend” also provided a building block. While filming, they got to know many people in the Army Rangers community who work in Special Operations with their dogs. There are several movies about the military, but those have been primarily focused on action and combat. The two realized there were many more stories to tell.

As this is Tatum’s first foray into directing a feature film, and with best pal Reid at his side, we wanted to know how that division of labor transfers. But Reid said there isn’t one. They work together on every aspect.

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Producer Gregory Jacobs, 1st AD Christopher Bryson, actor/director Channing Tatum, producer Brett Rodriguez and Director Reid Carolin on the set of their film DOG. A Metro Goldwyn Mayer Pictures film Photo credit: Hilary Bronwyn Gayle/SMPSP © 2022 Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Pictures Inc.

“We don’t legislate it. It’s more like we’re trying to think from one brain,” said Reid. “Channing describes it as a semi-controlled avalanche. When you’ve known someone as long as we have, it’s like working with your family or your brother. You figure it out as you go. The good thing is we know each other so well we can navigate problems through instinct. Like one mind.”

MGM pictures “Dog” also features Jane Adams, Kevin Nash, Q’orianka Kilcher, Ethan Suplee, Emmy Raver-Lampman, Nicole LaLiberté, Luke Forbes, and Ronnie Gene Blevins.

It arrives in theatres on February 18.

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