Channing Tatum: 'I've Never Considered Myself Smart'

by Antoinette Bueno 2:02 PM PDT, October 16, 2014
Photo: T The New York Times Style Magazine

Humble and handsome.

Magic Mike star Channing Tatum recently talked to The New York Times' T magazine about struggling with A.D.H.D. and dyslexia growing up, and admitted that he never considered himself "smart." Specifically, he recalled getting prescribed stimulants and doing poorly in school.

"I have never considered myself a very smart person, for a lot of reasons," he said. "Not having early success on that one path messes with you. You get lumped in classes with kids with autism and Down Syndrome, and you look around and say, 'Okay, so this is where I'm at.' Or you get put in the typical classes and you say, 'All right, I'm obviously not like these kids either.' So yoy're kind of nowhere. You're just different."

VIDEO: First Look at Channing Tatum in 'Magic Mike XXL'

"The system is broken," he added. "If we can streamline a multibillion-dollar company, we should be able to help kids who struggle the way I did."

Though clearly -- Channing, now 34, has made some very smart career choices for himself. Aside from currently filming the sequel to the super-successful Magic Mike -- cheekily titled Magic Mike XXL -- he's also getting Oscar buzz for his role in the highly anticipated Foxcatcher. Based on a true story, the film tells the story of Olympic wrestling champion Mark Schultz (Channing) and his relationship with sponsor John du Pont (Steve Carell), which ultimately turns tragic.

But according to Channing, art itself was actually a "luxury" during his blue-collar upbringing in Alabama, Mississippi and Florida.

"My parents had no artistic outlet," he revealed. "Some people pass down music to their kids, but I couldn’t tell you what my mom's or dad's favorite song is. So when I started going out into the world, I was drawn to people who knew about movies, art, even fashion. I went to New York and did the whole modeling thing, and I just learned everything I could from anybody who knew something I didn't."

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"I think that’s one thing I'm pretty skilled at," he explained. "I can look at a person and say, 'They've got something that I want up there in their head. I'm going to do my best to get in there and absorb it.' My mom said, 'Be a sponge.' And so I've learned more from people than I have from school or from books."

Ever one to point out his flaws, Channing also admitted to finding first time fatherhood difficult when it comes to his 1-year-old daughter with wife Jenna Dewan-Tatum, Everly.

"You notice your behavior, like, 'Wow, I don’t have much patience right now. Why is that?'" he revealed. "You spend the day watching this thing constantly taking in information, and you have to be sure you’re making that happen. At the end of the day when I put her to bed, I feel glad to have some peace but say to myself, 'That was so much fun.'"

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Check out Channing like you've never seen him before in the darkly intense trailer for Foxcatcher: