At 'Smallfoot' Junket, Channing Tatum and Common Get Vulnerable Chatting About Their Roles as Dads

Posted: Sep 20, 2018 4:10 PM
At 'Smallfoot' Junket, Channing Tatum and Common Get Vulnerable Chatting About Their Roles as Dads

Los Angeles, CA - Warner Brothers managed to create a Yeti village in the middle of downtown Los Angeles last week. It was an exact replica of the film, right at the corner of Hollywood and Vine. The impressive makeshift village even made it on to Google Maps. That's where a group of reporters met with two of the stars of Smallfoot.

Channing Tatum and Common were patiently waiting for us on white fuzzy benches and underneath a giant Yeti.

The main character, Migo, is voiced by Channing Tatum, who, it turns out, is just as charming and likable as a snow creature as he is as an actor. One day Migo discovers the human/Smallfoot Percy, played by late night TV host James Corden, and tries to tell the other villagers. But, their village, led by a stubborn Stonekeeper (Common), suppresses the story. He can't have the villagers forming their own thoughts. You find out why in the latter half of the film. 

When they first meet, Migo and Percy mistake each other's motives. But, after a few kind gestures that require no words, the two become fast friends.

                     In the film, the SES society conspires to prove that the "Smallfoot" exists.

Communication, of course, is just as important in real life. Tatum and Common both have daughters and each shared how important communication was when they were first getting to know them. 

No surprise that Tatum, who loves to dance, said music was a big way he learned to communicate with his daughter.

“It elicits tone and what makes them move or smile, they don’t even know why they’re feeling that way," he explained. "I think it’s scientifically proven that babies are more attracted to a sweet mother’s voice than a deep father voice. I find myself talking like my wife a lot."

"You got to figure out, even if someone you’re speaking with is someone who speaks your language, you don’t just blurt out things, you go, 'Hi, nice to meet you.' It’s just listening as much as it talking," he added. 

For Common, calming down his daughter was as simple as handing her a microphone, or just showing her he loves her.

“One of the ways I used to get my daughter to stop crying, was to give her the microphone," he said. "I had a studio system set up in my place. When she would cry I would give her the microphone and then she’d be ready to talk or do something else. It would calm her down. Let her listen to herself in a way."

"But other times," he went on, "Calming her down would be sitting her in front of the TV and letting her watch Barney. My biggest communication is making sure I listen and be loving. You can do it in so many ways. It’s the best way to communicate with anybody.”

Warner Brothers pulled out all the stops to recreate the film.

A few reporters asked the actors about the songs they recorded for the film. Tatum, who we all know can dance, also warms up his vocal chords for two songs. He talked about what it was like to step out of his comfort zone and record a couple songs. He said at first he was told he was just singing one line of the opening song "Perfection." As time went on, he ended up singing the whole song.

"It turns out I'm really easy to trick into doing things," he joked. 

But, he said he was proud of what he had achieved. He even teased that he's going to drop a "Channy Wonder" album next year, featuring Common.

Everyone's favorite question during our interview came from the young man who asked Common, "Stonekeeper, so like, how many stones do you have?" Tatum doubled over in laughter. The guys were great, playing along with the little dude's questions and not breaking character. It was awesome. 

The two superstars were just as excited about the film as the kids who screened it with the press Saturday night.

"I just love this movie!" Tatum beamed.

Smallfoot hits theaters September 28.