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Channing Tatum: ‘I Know I’m Not the Best Actor’

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Norman Jean Roy/DETAILS

Norman Jean Roy/DETAILS

Channing Tatum's latest movie -- the mushy drama "The Vow" about a man who must woo back his wife, played by Rachel McAdams, after she loses her memory -- comes out next month, but the actor doesn't do any of the usual promotional gushing in his February interview with Details magazine.

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"You gotta' do the 'Dear Johns' [his 2010 equally mushy romance flick opposite Amanda Seyfried]. You gotta' do 'The Vow.' I'm conscious about why I did those parts, those movies. I wanted to learn from Rachel on 'The Vow'. I wanted to learn from ['The Cider House Rules' director] Lasse Hallström on 'Dear John,'" he explains in the February issue. "I didn't go to acting school, so my knowledge of story, filmmaking, and character comes from just being on set and doing it. I know I'm not the best actor, but I hope my characters are getting better."

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One thing Tatum doesn't have to hope for: a couple of leads in some upcoming big-budget films. In February, the actor will star in the comedic remake of "21 Jump Street" opposite Jonah Hill, and then this summer in the potentially blockbuster "G.I. Joe" sequel, alongside Bruce Willis and Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson. Also out this summer is "Magic Mike" -- a film he and his production partner developed based in part on Tatum's real-life past as a male stripper (In Tampa, Florida, no less), which will star none other than Tatum himself. Still, the 31-year-old has even bigger aspirations.

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Norman Jean Roy/DETAILS

Norman Jean Roy/DETAILS

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"I really don't want to be in any more movies that I don't produce," he admits. "Unless it's with one of the 10 directors that I really want to work with, I don't have any interest in not being on the ground floor of creating it. But what I really want to do is direct."

It's all a long way from his Alabama upbringing, which found him firing off guns almost as big as he was.

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"When I was a kid, we lived on the bayou in Mississippi. My dad would throw a beer can into the water and have me shoot at it," Tatum remembers. "Once, when I was really little, we had this huge double-barrel shot-gun, and when I tried it, it literally blew me off the dock."

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Norman Jean Roy/DETAILS

Norman Jean Roy/DETAILS

But the Southern-born kid -- who's also worked gigs selling mortgages and framing houses over the years -- hasn't gone too Tinseltown, choosing an office in Hollywood next to a seedy hotel to house his production company, rather than going with swankier digs.

"This is where people smoke crack. This is where people do heroin," he says of an area behind the building. "Whatever. I like it here."

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