In Hollywood, one must separate the artist from his art. Christian Bale isn’t actually a billionaire-turned-masked vigilante, for example.
But SEC football is an exception, and Channing Tatum crossed a line. In a recent photo shoot for GQ, the rising star and Alabama native professed his support for Crimson Tide football (via AL.com).
Celebrities and politicians are notorious for declaring their allegiances to teams, but it’s often empty rhetoric. However in Tatum’s case, he at least knows enough to have the right delivery of a hearty, “Roll Tide!”
Now, this would not be an issue, had Tatum not just last week been announced as the choice to play Gambit in the next installment of 20th Century Fox’s wildly popular X-Men franchise.
For those who are
not huge nerds like me unfamiliar with the character, Gambit is a Louisiana-born Cajun mutant. X-Men authors never bother to detail Gambit’s college football allegiances, but two things are certain:
1. Gambit lives in the American Southeast, thus has college football allegiances.
2. As a Louisianan, if Gambit supports any SEC program, it’s abundantly clear he’d be an LSU Tigers fan.
It’s entirely possible Gambit is more of a Louisiana-Lafayette man, which in and of itself presents some intriguing cinematic possibilities. Just imagine Mark Hudspeth making an appearance as an X-Man whose ability is super-strength. Tatum could spot Hudspeth as he bench-presses the Superdome.
But if Gambit’s to be an SEC supporter, LSU is his only option. The character is proud of his home state and heritage. Gambit even wears purple, for crying out loud!
A golden opportunity to replace his signature bow staff with a comically oversized corn dog was missed; as was a possible cameo from Les Miles as a mutant who derives his power from eating grass.
Alas, Tatum’s public support for Alabama compromises Gambit. History has already proven once before football’s impact on the role; Taylor Kitsch simply brought too much Tim Riggins to his interpretation of the character in the abominable 2009 film X-Men Origins: Wolverine.
Channing Tatum can only salvage his place in the X-Men series by pitching Nick Saban as Mr. Sinister in any future sequels.