“One, I don’t sing, and two, I don’t tap dance,” Tatum told Vulturewhen asked to do the Gene Kelly-inspired role.
Even his 2-year-old daughter Everly with wife Jenna Dewan isn’t a fan of Tatum’s vocal cords. “I’ve sung to my daughter, and she cried every time,” he candidly shared.
“I’ve never been a singer,” Tatum went on to explain. “When I was younger, just a dumb kid, and Usher came out, I was like, ‘Oh, man, I want to be the white Usher.’ Then I was like, ‘Oh, right, I can’t sing.’ I’m nowhere near as talented as Usher is, so that was quickly erased in my mind. But Ethan and Joel told me, ‘We don’t need you to riff.’ And you know, Gene Kelly wasn’t like some fantabulous singer -- he could sing efficiently.”
Tatum admits that he spent more time focused on perfecting his tap skills, but hopes the final product is listenable.
“I actually haven’t heard the finished version of the song, but I’m hoping and praying that with all, like, the magical tools that they have [in the recording studio] it’s going to sound decent,” he joked. “I probably didn’t work as much as I should have on the singing, because if I’d sucked, they could have dubbed someone else’s voice in, and I would not have felt bad about it. So I put all my efforts into the tapping.”
The film, which opens nationwide on Feb. 5, is the first time the Coen Brothers are back in the director’s chair since 2013’s Inside Llewyn Davis. Its all-star cast includes George Clooney and Scarlett Johansson. Watch the trailer below.