Born today, April 26.
Channing Tatum (1980)
Tatum is a busy guy–a seemingly “overnight” Hollywood success story more than 8 years in the making. Newer fans might not guess it from films like “G.I. Joe: Rise of the Cobra” (2009) or “The Eagle” (2011), in which he plays guys who know the best places to stab and/or shoot other guys, but there is actually a bit more to him.
For instance: he is quite a dancer. Not a “tutored by Deney Terrio” dancer either. He came to his first major film role in the dance movie “Step Up” (2006) as an entirely self-taught break boy, who had previously leveraged those skills into a regular job as a male stripper. Really.
With choreography and coaching he made a strong showing in the film, particularly in terms of his b-boy moves. Could he compete on “So You Think You Can Dance”? Maybe not. It is a good bet Nigel, Mary, and Lil’ C, confronted with Tatum’s forays into classical or jazz or modern dance, would rip him a few new orifices. But he is good enough to put most regular guys to shame, which is why so many regular guys hate his guts.
That, and the muscles.
And the chiseled good looks.
His saving grace, and the reason regular guys still kinda-sorta like him, is that he comes across as a regular guy himself. Just a regular guy who married his beautiful co-star and makes tons of money and probably has really cool cars.
Maybe “seething hatred” is more apt.
On top of all that, it turns out he can do comedy. His latest film “21 Jump Street” is a hit with audiences and critics alike, largely due to Tatum’s well-timed deadpan delivery and enthusiastic send-up of his own macho persona.
Yeah. Seething. That will work.
Born in Panama, raised in London, Rio and New York, Jordana Brewster (1980) brings an exotic vibe to the “Fast & Furious” franchise.
Comedian Kevin James (1965) got his big break through fellow stand-up Ray Romano on “Everybody Loves Raymond”–a break that quickly developed into James’ own sitcom “King of Queens” and starring roles in “I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry” (2007), “Paul Blart: Mall Cop” (2009), and “Zookeeper” (2011).
Action phenom Jet Li (1963) broke into film, quite literally, as a champion martial artist. If his first movie “The Shaolin Temple” (1982) is regarded as a classic by kung fu fans, the “Once Upon a Time in China” series is considered downright legendary. Li’s first American film role–and his first as a villain–was that of a Triad assassin in “Lethal Weapon 4” (1998) opposite Mel Gibson and Danny Glover. Having famously passed up roles in “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon” (2000) and “The Matrix” sequels, Li has still managed take Western audiences by storm in blockbusters like “The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor” (2008) and “The Expendables” (2010).
Happy birthday to Channing and the gang. And if you were born on April 26–happy birthday to you.
(Click here if you believe some folks were clearly born yesterday.)