Side Effects: Channing Tatum

Channing Tatum, who plays Martin Taylor, makes his third appearance in a Soderbergh film, after “Haywire” and “Magic Mike.”

“Channing was Steven’s idea and it was great one,” says Burns. “I initially pictured Martin as older than Emily, but Steven felt that would make it more a Lolita type of story. Channing is just right as a young, materialistic guy on the make. Martin is a good-looking frat boy who went Wall Street to make the American dream come true—even if he had to steal it.”

The role is a departure for Tatum, which is one of the reasons Soderbergh selected him. “I said, let’s put him in a suit for a change. I wanted him to speak differently and he worked very hard with a dialect coach to create a much more clipped, enunciated manner of speaking. If you compare it to Magic Mike, the last movie we did together, he sounds really different. Channing is very appealing and very much a movie star, which works really well for the character.”

“Chan was really the first person we thought of for the role,” says producer Gregory Jacobs. “We felt it would be great to see him play a part that we hadn’t seen him play before.”

Tatum was not expecting to be tapped for the part of a white-collar criminal. “I’m from the South and I definitely didn’t go to college,” he says. “But Steven felt I would lend the story a Side Effects different perspective, as opposed to casting somebody we’ve seen play similar parts a bunch of times.

“Martin is a guy who wanted it all and took it,” Tatum observes. “He convinced himself that it wasn’t cheating. With Emily, he fell in love with the idea of an innocent, fragile flower he could put on a pedestal in a castle. She’s another trophy he won.”

Whatever the part, the actor says he would have signed on just to work with Soderbergh again. “Steven is one of the smartest, most creative, most original people I’ve ever met in my life,” says Tatum. “We get along personally and artistically to the point where if he called me up and said, ‘I want you to play Waiter No. 2,’ I’d do it.

“His work is different from everyone else’s,” the actor adds. “Steven is a student of life and people’s contradictory qualities. Maybe because he’s so full of contradictions himself, he likes to shine light on other people’s quirks.”