Over the years, Channing Tatum (“Dear John,” “G.I. Joe”) has turned into Hollywood’s go-to for troubled-but-hunky soldiers. His newest film,“The Eagle,” isn’t much different — albeit a period drama, it features Tatum in his fourth combat role, once again playing a soldier on a mission.
Though Tatum is no stranger to tough roles, he said his turn as Marcus Aquila brought new challenges.
“[Dear John] is more of a love story, more about love, not just soldiering,” Tatum said. “It’s just more about a love story, unrequited love, regret. G.I. Joe, he’s not even really a soldier; it’s like a super- hero, like X-Men or something. It was more sci-fi and creepy, lasers and crap. And now [“The Eagle”], fighting with swords and stuff.”
Before “The Eagle” even began shooting, Tatum took a crash course on all things Roman, spanning everything from chariot races to hand-to-hand combat — not that he’s new to fighting.
“I did martial arts when I was young,” Tatum said. “I practiced when I was nine to 13, but then I took a break, because I moved into sports. But I have picked up martial arts in the last couple ofyears. So I had messed around with swords a little bit — that wasn’t too new for me. Horseback riding wasn’t too new for me either. I’ve been around horses pretty much my entire life.”
The actor was originally drawn to the project because of director Kevin MacDonald’s (“Last King of Scotland,” “State of Play”) involvement. Once locked in, he discovered that MacDonald keeps his cast’s nose to the grindstone — for Tatum, a typical day on set could last 13 hours. Because the film was shot in Europe (mostly in Scotland and Bulgaria), the cast and crew followed the European custom of a “running lunch”— meaning no lunch breaks.
“Sometimes, you’re tired in the morning,” Tatum said, “and you have to be up and awake, and ready to rock, so you start a battle scene at 6 a.m. in the morning, tired and kind of sleepy, and someone comes swinging an axe at your head, and you’re kind of like, ‘Wake up, black coffee, a lot of green tea.’”
Though “The Eagle” is based on a novel of the same name by Rosemary Sutcliff, Tatum said MacDonald didn’t want the cast to read it.
“They had changed it pretty significantly,” Tatum said. “I think they are known to be more young adult-type novels and not so historically based in fact or written for older people.”
Instead, MacDonald urged the cast to read a journal kept by an emperor during one of his war campaigns. This first-hand account provided insight into how taxing such a journey was. It also inspired a heated argument on a very important topic: how to pronounce Tatum’s character’s name.
“Marcus Aquila — we had a whole day of conversation about how would you say his name: Ack-qui-la or Ack-quila,” Tatum said. “We settled on Marcus Ack-quila, because depending on where you were from, you would pronounce it differently.”
Now that filming’s done, Tatum said he misses the on-set bromance with co-star Jamie Bell.
“In our business, you see each other so intensely for that long of a time, over three months,” Tatum said. “Every single day — and then you just leave. You leave each other, and you go through withdrawals for a little while. It’s hard to keep in touch with people, but he will always be one of my dearest friends. I’m going to see him soon, so I’m pretty excited. Kind of like seeing an old girlfriend or something.”
After 133 undergrad parking spots in Sixth College were eliminated this quarter, Sixth College sophomore Allie Platt took a stand. On Jan. 25, Platt created an official petition for more ‘S’ parking spots on campus, and the cause has apparently struck a nerve: Since then, more than 2,700 students have signed.
The UCSD men’s volleyball ended its three-game skid on Wednesday night, beating Princeton 3-0 with set scores of 25-21, 25-23 and 25-16. The Tritons have now won 11 consecutive matches against the Tigers, with their last loss coming in 1997.
The Tritons took an early lead by winning the first set. UCSD thoroughly out-hit the Tigers .345 to .148, but the set was still tight with seven tie scores and three lead changes.
“We did get off to a good start, but we let them back in it a little,” head coach Kevin Ring said. “I think we let them stay around. We let the score be closer than it should have been and I felt like we didn’t play our best by any means tonight. I wanted to — not necessarily run away with it — but just be the better team and play like it, and we didn’t do a great job of that in game one.”
Game two proved to be even closer, with .267 hitting from the Tritons and .241 from the Tigers. UCSD kept the lead until Princeton went ahead late in the set at 20-19. But after trading points, the Tritons were able to pull through and take the set at 25-23.
“They [the Tigers] are coming out and it’s a good trip for them to get their season going, so they’re playing really loose,” Ring said. “I felt like we’re just tight and we weren’t executing, bottom line. We had too many service errors, we weren’t passing that well, and they just swung away and played fearlessly. When you play fearlessly, you’re going to play loose and usually do pretty well.”
But the Tritons came out and dominated the third set, taking an early three-point lead and not looking back. UCSD easily won the set at 25-16.
“I felt like once we got to game three, we really got going,” Ring said.
Senior setter Phil Bannan collected 29 assists on the night, and needs just 112 more to pass Brooks Dierdorff’s 3,867 career assists and become UCSD’s all-time leader.
“Phil Bannan, at that point, showed he’s our MVP,” Ring said. “He got it down from the service line, did a great job at the net blocking, and made our passing look a little bit better than they really were. He was able to handle a lot of really tight passes — passes off the net that he did a nice job with.”
On the match, the Tritons hit at a season-high .333 clip.
Sophomore outside hitter Carl Eberts said the win was an important one, as the Tritons snapped their losing streak.
“We were able to get in sync, we were a little off on the weekend so it was good to get back into it and get a flow before we face Hawaii on Friday,” Eberts said. “I think serving was a big difference; we served and passed a lot better and from there everything flowed off of that.”
Eberts recorded his first career double-double, with 14 kills and 12 assists, both team-highs.
The Tritons will face No. 11 Hawaii at RIMAC Arena this Friday, Jan. 28 at 7 p.m.
“[We have to] serve and pass, just play our game. If we play on our side well, I think we’ll do well,” Eberts said.
Readers can contact Hanna Rahimi at [email protected]
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