21 Jump Street: Channing Tatum and Jonah Hill

March 19 2012, 4:00 PM

You two got to play high school students in this movie. Was it in any way reflective of your own high school careers or were you different people in high school?

Channing Tatum: I think it was pretty close to mine.  (Laughter) I was a jock. I didn’t like school. I slept mostly through it. So that was my fault. Thank God…thank God this worked out.

What about you Jonah? Was it reflective of your own high school career at all?

Hill: No. I mean, I looked like that. I had the same hair. I was actually cool back then. So I don’t know. I had a good time in high school.

Jonah, didn’t you actually spend a semester at the University of Colorado?

Hill: My first semester of college.

Did you enjoy it?  

Hill: I did. A little too much, I think. That was probably the issue. I had too much fun.

What was your major?

Hill: I didn’t have a major. And that was my academic career.

Channing, you were in the Vow, then in 21 Jump Street. How did you make that transition, from such a dramatic role to comedy?

Tatum: I was actually shooting that one (The Vow) when he called me. And we didn’t know each other beforehand and we had seen each other across, like, a restaurant where we were both like eating out. We kind of gave each other like the good shit nod—like what’s up, congratulations. Then, four years later, he called me up, said he wanted me to read this script. I said, "Is it a drama? Are you sure you want me for a comedy?" And he’s like yep, he assured me I would be funny in it. I told him I’d blame him if I wasn’t funny...and I would’ve. And he did, he really took care of me on it. He promised he’d sort of be responsible for my performance. Other than the directors, obviously. But he would take a real concern. I trusted him. And it worked out, I think.

There were a lot of funny actors even with small roles. Who was the funniest?

Tatum: Rob Riggle. If I can’t say myself.

Hill: Rob Riggle was really funny. Jake Johnson is too, he plays the principal, it’s a small part, he’s wildly funny.

Tatum: I always say you won’t see a lot of shots with me, Jonah, and Rob because I can’t keep a straight face. He can make me laugh just by looking at me, and it sucks. I feel very unprofessional because I’m ruining all his takes. They’re like, how about we just make this a long shot.

Channing, this is probably one of the few movies where you haven’t had to take your shirt off. Do you let out a sigh of relief when you read a script and realize you don’t have to do that, or does it motivate you to keep you in shape?

Tatum: No, I’m in New Orleans eating good southern food and drinking beer all the time. It was awesome; it was one of my favorite jobs ever. I was like, flip flip flip, oh, not naked in this one, awesome, where’s that keg at? Donuts.

Read more: 

Rob Riggle 

Ice Cube