21 Jump Street directors impressed by Tatum

March 13th, 2012

The '21 Jump Street' directors were surprised by how good an actor Channing Tatum is.

Co-writers and directors, Chris Miller and Phil Lord were adamant they wanted a ''Channing Tatum type'' for the role of underachieving cop Jenko who is sent back to a local high school with his partner to blend in and bring down a drug ring but didn't initially consider hiring him for the part.

They told thehollywoodnews.com: ''We looked at other people for Channing's part and we kept talking about like a 'Channing Tatum type', and then we thought well let's just meet Channing Tatum, and it really demonstrates our own prejudices that we were pleasantly surprised to find out what a powerful actor he was, and what a neat person he was. We just felt like dumb-dumbs that we hadn't thought of going to him sooner.''

The directors also revealed Channing and co-star Jonah Hill (who plays Schmidt) played off each other well and improvised many of their scenes.

They said: ''There was a lot of improvisation in the movie. We intentionally cast actors who were all good at improvisation so that they would have a spontaneity, a looseness, be able to try things, and use the script as a springboard and narrative spine.

''We tried to build in a lot of looseness when we were shooting it, and we were working with very talented actors who are really funny. Channing was no different - he was a really great improviser as well, and I think Jonah and Channing really respected each other and what they each brought to the table.''