Published: February 2, 2012
Rachel McAdams and Channing Tatum — stars of upcoming romantic drama The Vow — are no strangers to the genre. Both actors have worked on adaptations of heart-string tugging novelist Nicholas Sparks’ works before. McAdams went from Mean Girls to leading lady in The Notebook — the film that spawned endless imitations of that fervent kiss in the rain with her then-boyfriend Ryan Gosling. Since then, she has charmed audiences in a number of other romantic films, like The Time Traveler’s Wife, Morning Glory, and Wedding Crashers. Tatum also broke his usual mold of hip-hop dancing hunk to sweet love interest in Sparks’ Dear John. The two recently sat down with Buzzine’s Emmanuel Itier to discuss realistic romance, their favorite movie scenes, and the sheer delight of red velvet cake.
Emmanuel Itier: Do you both consider yourselves hopeless romantics?
Channing Tatum: Do you?
Rachel McAdams: Hopeful romantics. [Laughs] I’m a romantic. Yeah, I think so. I would say I am.
CT: I would say too. I’m hopeful in romance as well.
EI: What attracted you to this movie? Was it the romantic aspect?
CT: I don’t know. I loved the realistic version of it. I don’t want to spoil the movie, but I think we don’t fall into clichés at the end of the film. It’s an extraordinary circumstance to have happen, and I think the journey which we go on is a very realistic and frustrating and kind of a beautiful one. And I think that’s a bit of life. Life is very frustrating yet beautiful at the same time.
RMA: Yeah, and I was also interested in this question of: can you find your way back? When you lose someone to that degree, can you both find your way back to each other, which, in this case, is an extraordinary set of circumstances that leads to that that are very unusual, but I think we can all relate to that feeling of disconnecting from someone, and how do we find our way back while still being able to move forward? Because you can never really go back.
EI: What is the challenge of doing a movie like this? Is it in its rhythm, chemistry…? What was the toughest…?
CT: You can fall into the sappy, cheesy ways of doing it, and I think Michael (Sucsy) has a really beautiful hand. I think he’s a sculptor. He’s so attentive, even down to pattern on your clothes, much less the dialogue in a scene. And I think we were really hyper-aware of the really schlocky version of this, and even though there might be lines, I think we paid attention to them enough that we knocked the edge off them that there’s just enough hopeless/hopeful romanticism in there.
EI: What’s your favorite moment of the movie — the scene that moved you?
CT: Mine is in the sculpting studio – that moment where I’m playing, and I’m trying to get her out of her head because she’s all frustrated, and then I totally mistake the scrap pile for the art piece. It’s just sort of a real moment of two people who love each other to death and they’re around each other all the time, but you don’t really understand what the other one does. It’s just like, “Oh, right. Right.” And the fact that you love that about each other – I think that was awesome.
EI: Did you both write your vows in the movie, or was it written already?
RMA: No, I think they were pre-written…
CT: I told Michael Sucsy what my vows were. Me and my wife wrote our own vows, and obviously I didn’t want my vows in the movie. [Laughs] That would be weird. But I think he did a version of the sentiments and took the ideas of, and went in that direction, from mine, at least. Do you like red velvet cake?
RMA: I don’t get…it’s chocolate cake.
CT: It’s not chocolate cake.
RMA: It is.
CT: It’s not chocolate cake!
RMA: It’s chocolate cake…
CT: You are out of your actual mind.
RMA: With red food coloring.
CT: I remember this argument now that we’ve had, and this is on video.
RMA: [Laughs] It’s all flooding back.
EI: What has been, your favorite scene from all the movies you’ve seen in your life?
CT: Wow. Go ahead.
RMA: I don’t know…there are so many, but I guess the first that flashed into my head was there was a Nikita Mikhalkov Russian film called Burnt by the Sun, and there’s a really beautiful scene with the father and his daughter out in a rowboat, and he’s just holding her foot up and looking at it in the sun – her little, tiny foot. And it’s so beautiful, it makes me cry every time, especially because of what happened after that. Of course, it’s Russian so it’s very tragic. But that’s a lasting image in my head in cinema.
CT: There’s so many, again, but the one that’s always kind of bleeping in my head is in Warriors. They’re sitting on the subway and they’re going to the prom, and they’re dressed up in kind of crappy clothes – tuxedo type stuff – and they look over and there’s a really nice couple that look clean and nice, and the girl’s got dirty fingernails. And she starts looking at them, being insecure, and he just grabs her hand and puts it down. It was just a really awesome moment in a really weird, small movie.