Thursday, March 22, 2007

Exclusive Dito Montiel Interview on CHUD Praising Channing Tatum's Talents

In case you missed the Google News article on the right side of the blog, I thought I would point out that the recent exclusive interview of the A Guide to Recognizing Your Saints writer and director Dito Montiel at Cinematic Happenings Under Development (aka CHUD). Here is a snippet from the article where CHUD and Dito both praise Channing for his performance:

A Guide to Recognizing Your Saints was one of the biggest film surprises I got last year. Based loosely on writer/director Dito Montiel’s own experiences growing up in ethnically mixed Astoria, Queens in the 1980s, the movie is a perfectly evocative glimpse at a New York City now lost to history. But like all the best stories, its specificity makes it weirdly universal, and the lives and tribulations of Dito (Shia LaBeouf), Laurie (Melonie Diaz) and hot-headed Antonio (Channing Tatum in a performance that should get him out of sappy romances soon, God willing) will be familiar to everyone. The movie is now out on DVD, where Dito gives a revealing commentary...I can’t recommend it enough – it’s going to go down in the history of the ‘boys growing up’ genre alongside Stand By Me and Breaking Away I had a chance to talk to Dito recently, and he had some really fascinating things to say about the factual truth of movies versus the emotional truth of movies.

You had such a great cast – not just the adults, the kids are fantastic. What’s it like working with the younger actors? And how about Channing Tatum – he’s so amazing in this film.

I kept coming to New York and doing open calls because I love movies like City of God or Raising Victor Vargas, where you don’t know anyone. I went to Coney Island and Manhattan, anywhere I could. I put fliers up, I put an ad on Craigslist and it was like American Idol – three thousand kids showed up in the pouring rain. You get mothers showing up with 13 year old girls saying, ‘She looks 18,’ and they don’t even know who I am! We’re at some weird music rehearsal place in Queens and she’s offering this 13 year old girl – are you nuts? But it’s full of that, it’s crazy. One girl I found on a train, Julia Garro, who plays Diane. I saw her and I walked over and said, ‘Listen, I know I sound like a real creep, but I think you would be good. I’m going to give you a number and have your mom call me.’ Luckily she did.

With Channing it was really strange, and it epitomizes what you asked before, about the truth and all that. When Channing showed up, I thought, no way, man. He was from Alabama, blond hair, blue eyes – a male model! The character I wrote was a short, wiry, impossible to love kid from Naples. They couldn’t physically be more opposite. But we hung around, and something about the role appealed to him and struck a nerve in his personal world. He brought this Of Mice and Men thing to it, which wasn’t my intention, this Lenny ‘I broke your neck but I didn’t mean to and I’ll fix you now’ thing. When I saw that it was strange – it reminded me of the kid I wrote about. He would break your neck, but didn’t want to. Same truth, but a different angle.

Stay in the Know...Subscribe to Channing Tatum Unwrapped: Email |  RSS
Digg Channing Tatum Unwrapped!

No comments: