Channing Tatum: I Won’t Medicate Kid For Learning Disabilities, “Worry” About Justin Bieber
Channing Tatum talks parenting, fame, and Justin Bieber in the cover story for July’s Vanity Fair. The leading man’s wife Jenna Dewan welcomed the couple’s first child last week, and Tatum is looking forward to raising daughter Everly — and the learning experience of fatherhood.
“I don’t think you can prepare. It’s a bit of a freestyle,” Tatum tells the magazine. Of his own parents, he says, “They weren’t perfect. I don’t know anyone who did have perfect parents. It’s provided me with lessons I’ll try to improve upon when I’m up to bat. I’m just going to be a good friend to my kid.” Tatum reveals that growing up, his laborer father “forced” education on him, and that he struggled. “I read so slow,” he tells Vanity Fair. “If I have a script I’m going to read it five times slower than any other actor, but I’ll be able to tell you everything in it. It kills me that there are standardized tests geared towards just one kind of child.”
Because of his negative experience with drugs used to treat learning disabilities, Tatum says that he’ll never medicate his own child for similar issues. He explains, “I truly believe some people need medication. I did not. I did better at school when I was on it, but it made me a zombie. You become obsessive. Dexedrine, Adderall. It’s like any other drug. It’s like coke, or crystal meth. The more you do, the less it works.” “For a time, it would work well. Then it worked less and my pain was more. I would go through wild bouts of depression, horrible comedowns. I understand why kids kill themselves. I absolutely do. You feel terrible. You feel soul-less. I’d never do it to my child,” continues Tatum.
The Magic Mike star also reflects on the nature of celebrity. Tatum says, “I don’t remember who said it, but I do believe that whatever age you become famous, you end up staying that age. Because from that point you’re not asked to be a normal citizen.” “I broke through at 24 or 25. I had lived a pretty diverse life. When I was finally making money, I knew exactly what I needed… $5.67. I’d have one meal a day. I would go to Checkers and get the No. 1 with everything,” recalls the actor.
His thoughts then turn to the biggest young star in the world: Justin Bieber. “I worry about Bieber, man. That kid’s wildly talented. I hope he doesn’t fall down into the usual ways of young kids because it’s so hard for someone to be responsible when they’re not asked to be,” says Tatum. He explains, “We’re not asked to do things ourselves. You have someone there with a coffee. ‘You want food? I’ll get you food.’”