By Angela Salazar
Updated Feb 05, 2016 @ 7:45 pm
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Credit: Alison Rosa

Channing Tatum first danced his way into our hearts way back in 2006 when he starred in Step Up with his now-wife, Jenna Dewan Tatum. He showed off serious strip moves in the Magic Mike franchise, and now we’re seeing a more classic side of the crush-worthy actor’s skills in the Coen Brothers’ new Hollywood satire, Hail, Ceasar!, opening today.

The film revolves around a fictional 1950s movie studio, Capitol Pictures, and its cast of characters, all feverishly working on their own silver screen productions. Tatum plays actor Burt Gurney, a Gene Kelly-like song-and-dance man. But in true Coen Brothers form, Tatum’s big musical number “No Dames” is a tongue-in-cheek tap dancing extravaganza in which Tatum dons a sailor costume and croons with his comrades about the lack of lady loves at sea. The undertones are not-so-subtle by the end of the song.

Tatum reportedly learned tap and spent months preparing for the role, which is arguably the best part of this very meta movie-industry flick. The film also pokes fun at other Golden Age archetypes: the handsome but not-so-bright big-budget leading man, played to perfection by George Clooney (the Ceasar of Hail, Ceasar!); the cunning studio head (Josh Brolin); the not-so-innocent starlet (Scarlett Johansson); the spaghetti cowboy (you’ll see what we mean) played brilliantly by Alden Ehrenreich; the revered director (Ralph Fiennes); and the intrepid gossip columnist, times two—Tilda Swinton turns heads as twin reporters Thora and Thessaly Thacker!

Credit: Alison Rosa

With so many stars, it’s easy to get distracted, but watch carefully because Tatum plays a key part in the, ahem, bigger picture. With another clutch role in director Quentin Tarantino’s gory film The Hateful Eight, in theaters now, and a number of major movies in the pipeline that he’s producing, directing or starring in, Tatum is quickly becoming Hollywood’s new go-to guy. We’ll happily line up to see every one of his next moves—can he just dance his way through all of them?