Congratulations are in order for Channing Tatum. He’s got his likely summer blockbuster, White House Down, opening today; he’s been killing it on the press front (Channing all over your Tatum is now a real-life phrase. Congratulations!) and I don’t think I’ve ever wanted a kid more than watching him adorably dance with co-star Joey King on Good Morning America. But he wasn’t always such an A-list stud (Or, more accurately, A-list; he was always a stud). Back in 2006, Tatum was best known for a little teen comedy called She’s the Man.
She’s the Man is, 100 percent unironically, one of my all-time favorite movies. I’m not saying it should have won an Oscar, but when it comes to a film I can watch over and over again, Amanda Bynes dressing up as a dude to prove that ladies are just as good at soccer as the boys, muttering weird catchphrases while her hot roommate/crush Duke (Tatum) parades around in a white tank top while school president David Cross – surely collecting a paycheck! – makes everyone uncomfortable is a romp that can even find the laugh lines in systemic gender inequality. Plus, the whole thing is based on Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night. Highbrow!
I’m bringing this movie up today because it’s where the White House Down star got his leading-role start (He’d previously had small parts in things like Coach Carter and Havoc). He may now have successfully moved on to bigger things, but I’ll never forget the sensitive hunk who fell in love with his roommate. Below, five incredible Tatum-specific moments from She’s the Man (and yes, many of them are shirtless). A star is born!
1) Bynes’ character Viola is pretending to be a guy, Sebastian, at a new school when she meets her new roommate Duke. He’s shirtless, she’s flustered, and the duo engage in an extended awkward convo about other uses for feminine hygiene products. You know, something two guys regularly do. This movie is the best.
2) The story starts to take on a really creepy edge when Duke talks to his roommate about his crush on Sebastian’s sister, who is actually just Viola, but this time without a wig. Throughout the scene, Tatum wears White Tank Top’s Darker-but-Equally-Sexy Cousin, Gray Wifebeater. Stay for Bynes’ not-at-all-believable voice changes! It’s a good thing for Tatum’s Duke that he’s hot, because he sure is slow on the uptake.
3) Shout “My favorite’s Gouda!” at any She’s the Man fan, and you’re bound to be met with excited shouts and goofy, posing head tilts. In this scene, Bynes and Tatum’s characters practice getting their flirt on with each other, except poor, sweet Duke still thinks he’s just talking to a guy friend and not the future love of his life.
4) This part isn’t that hilarious, but what kind of blogger would I be if I didn’t include the scene of Tatum working out at the gym? Because this movie can’t go three minutes without something incredibly awkward happening, this clip also includes Sebastian’s facade as a man beginning to slip, because Viola can’t help but try and touch Tatum’s ripped body just a bit.
5) Fair warning: This is an ending clip, so if you’ve never seen the movie, go ahead and skip. For those who know exactly what I’m talking about, this is the big reveal moment where Viola transforms (via sideburn removal) back into a lady. Tatum also plays soccer, if you think you might like to watch that kind of thing.
Speaking as a completely objective third-party observer with absolutely no personal interest in the matter, if you’ve yet to ever rent this movie (it’s not on Netflix, sadly) consider this the sign/invitation you were looking for to couple She’s the Man with White House Down for one amazing, hilarious, and hunky double feature. To paraphrase Sebastian: It’s brilliant, shh!