To the dismay of Channing Tatum fans everywhere, we recently learned that his highly anticipated movie 'Stop Loss', initially scheduled to release in the US and internationally in 2007, is now going to be released in US theaters March 28, 2008. :-(
Since we have to wait to see Channing in his role as Steve Shriver, a US soldier who serves in the Iraq war, I decided to track down one of his co-stars for an interview so CTU readers didn't have to wait so long to get more info on the film.
I know it sounds kind of crazy, but I am a firm believer that you don't get what you don't ask for. So I asked actor, photographer, and Channing Tatum co-star, Matthew Garth (Photography Site, MySpace, IMDB) if he would be willing to share his on-set experiences with us, and he was nice enough to agree and send tons of exclusive on-set pictures. As a side note, he also confirmed that Channing's name is definitely Channing Matthew Tatum and not Channing Bryan Isaac Tatum Anderson.
I am so excited to bring this interview to all of the CTU readers, and I hope that you enjoy it reading it as much I enjoyed writing it for you.
Without further ado, here's Matthew Garth from Channing Tatum's movie 'Stop Loss'...
CTU: Please tell us a little bit about yourself. Where you are from? How long have you been acting? Why did you decide to pursue an acting career? What movies or shows have you been in? What do you like to do when you are not acting?
Matthew Garth: I am originally from Corpus Christi, TX which is where I first started acting around the age of 6. Anytime there was a play or talent show, you could bet I was probably in it. I've always enjoyed entertaining people which is why I would love to make a long career out of it.
My first break came from a famous friend of mine, Singer and Songwriter, Sam Neely (R.I.P.) several years back. He was releasing a new album and music video. I told him that I would love to be in the video and it happened. It was a fun role to play and I will never forget him for giving me that opportunity.
Since then I have worked on several different projects such as a CMT music video for Wade Bowen, a movie for Lifetime called 'The Price of Innocence', 'Man of the House' with Tommy Lee Jones, 'Gary the Tennis Coach' with Seann William Scott, some local commercials and of course 'Stop Loss'.
When I'm not acting, I am usually behind the camera working with actors and models around South and Central Texas. That is basically my full time job behind acting until that really takes off for me. I also enjoy working on old cars, playing poker, camping, listening to live music, playing some guitar and anything else that may get me out of the house.
CTU: I read that you play P.F.C. Usher in Stop Loss. Can you tell us about your character?
Matthew Garth: He is in no way a main character, but a character that seems to always be around. Usher is just some redneck Army boy out of Texas that is in the same platoon with the other soldiers fighting in Iraq.
CTU: What other actors did you work directly with in Stop Loss?
Matthew Garth: I worked directly with Ryan Phillippe, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Rob Brown, Abbie Cornish, Timothy Olyphant and of course Channing Tatum.
CTU: What type of training did you and the rest of the cast have to go through to prepare for Stop Loss?
Matthew Garth: There was not a lot of training other than basics of how to operate certain weapons and military procedure. Most of the time there was military or prior military around to assist with everything we needed to know to make everything look as authentic as possible.
CTU: I know that the movie was filmed in locations like Austin, Lockhart, and San Antonio, Texas, Morocco, and Santa Clarita, California. What locations did you get to film in? And were any of the locations difficult to film in, because of weather conditions (i.e. extreme heat).
Matthew Garth: My first week on this set I was already hating this movie! It rained non-stop through most of the scenes. When it wasn't raining, it was around 100 degrees with direct sun. The locations that I got to work on were mostly around an old Airforce base here in San Antonio. We also did some filming around Austin and some little towns in the area. The bar that we shot the "bar fight scene" in was the same bar I had worked in before with Wade Bowen's music video.
CTU: What did you guys do for fun when the cameras weren’t rolling?
Matthew Garth: There was a lot of story telling by everyone. We would always make the best of the location we were on. For instance, the 'bar fight scene' was probably the most entertaining. Joseph jumped up on stage with the band and started playing drums. We were all line dancing to music that wasn't really playing, but sang by one of the cast mates. At the end of the night after almost 18 hours of filming, we drank a little and just hung out.
CTU: Did the cast hang out a lot together after filming?
Matthew Garth: Most of the cast did hang out. When the cameras quit rolling at the end of the day, there was always something going on somewhere like swimming or a party somewhere.
CTU: As you know, this is for CTU, so I have to ask...What was it like to work with Channing Tatum?
Matthew Garth: It's pretty funny actually, when he first walked up and introduced himself to me, I had no idea who he was. After I posted a blog on MySpace about working with a guy named Channing Tatum, all these girls started freaking out. Then I realized that I needed to find out who he was. Later I did realize after watching some of his old stuff. Anyways, Chan is definitely an awesome guy to work with and always made sure we were having fun. Anytime there were kids on the set, he always took the time to meet and take some photos with them.
He is a big jokester and very goofy! I would have to say that he is one of the nicest and most fun guys that I have had the privilege to work with.
CTU: If you could describe your cast mates in one word, how would you describe them?
- Channing Tatum - GOOFY
- Ryan Phillippe - POLITE
- Abbie Cornish - SWEETHEART
- Timothy Olyphant - MISCHIEVOUS
- Joseph Gordon-Levitt - CRAZY
- Rob Brown - QUIET
CTU: How do you feel about the Oscar buzz that is already swirling around the movie?
Matthew Garth: That would be awesome! This movie is definitely going to get a lot of attention and raise some awareness of current events.
CTU: How did the G.I.’s on the film feel about the movie?
Matthew Garth: All the ones I spoke with thought this movie was a great idea. They are tired of the way they are getting treated during this war and want people to be aware of the things that troops have to go through.
CTU: What’s next for you?
Matthew Garth: Well, hopefully this year I will be working on an episode of CSI: Las Vegas, but that is still up in the air. Other than that, I will just keep on hitting audtitions until I find my next spot. In the meantime I will just keep on shooting people!
Below you can see the awesome on-set pictures that Matthew sent for you all. You'll see Channing ofcourse, but you will also see pictures of co-stars Ryan Phillippe, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Rob Brown and others. Matthew took some of the pictures and some were taken by other actors during the course of filming 'Stop Loss'. Enjoy!
This interview really wet my whistle, so I plan on providing more in the future. Stay tuned to Channing Tatum Unwrapped for more exclusive information on Channing Tatum's personal and professional life.
And thanks again to Matthew Garth for granting me this interview! I wish you all of the luck in the world in pursuing your acting dream and just to let you know, you just gained a ton of new fans today!
I would also like to thank CTU readers Tina, Gina, Jan, and Kerline for submitting questions for the interview and who learned that it pays to hang out on the CTU comment box. :-D