Published: February 8, 2012
Rachel McAdams and Channing Tatum star in this week’s big romance, The Vow. Here’s what they have to say about the film, an adaptation of a very tragic love story.
Paige (Rachel McAdams) and Leo (Channing Tatum) are a happy newlywed couple whose lives are changed by a car accident that puts Paige in a coma. Waking up with severe memory loss, Paige has no memory of Leo, a confusing relationship with her parents, and an ex-fiance she may still have feelings for. Despite these complications, Leo endeavours to win her heart again and rebuild their marriage.
Based on the true story of Kim and Krickitt Carpenter, whose story is documented in the bestseller The Vow, tabloid! speaks with the two stars of the movie with the same title, out this weekend in the UAE, to talk about love, loss and how to fall in love all over again.
Can you tell me what you think this movie says about love?
Tatum: I think Rachel did some interesting studies on traumatic brain injury and this was my sort of take on what that was. Nine times out of 10 when someone loses their memory the tapes [are] sort of erased and it’s not going to come back. They kind of generally, almost always, find their way back into who they were. The early part of their life wasn’t erased and so they just get to start again from a different place. I think that’s sort of love. If you really believe in the greater love, if you let it take its course it’ll hopefully find its place again. I think that’s what I believe in.
Do you think the idea of one great love in a life is a romantic idea, fiction that we want to believe in or is that a reality?
McAdams: I do believe that you can fall in love with more than one person, but I think that there’s that one person that comes along that you want to do that with, you want to make a different kind of commitment to them that is maybe, hopefully, forever. I think at a certain point you do make a choice when there’s someone that comes along that you want to do that with. I don’t know if there’s just one person that you can fall in love with.
Do you think that your character, Channing, gave up on Paige or do you think he had to walk away?
Tatum: I don’t even know if it’s had to walk away. He definitely didn’t give up on her. I think he realised that he was doing nothing for her here, and in this specific situation, and again I would reference some of the studies that she did, that when you keep reminding someone that they don’t remember something all that does is push them away more and more and more because it makes them feel inadequate. It makes them feel like a cripple. It makes them feel like they’re a bad person because they feel bad that they’re hurting you. It’s one of the most ultimate loves, letting someone go and be happy on their own and having to sacrifice something that’s your greatest thing.
And did you guys meet the actual couple that this story was based on?
Tatum: Yeah, we both met them. They came to [the] set. Specifically, Michael [Sucsy, writer], he didn’t really push me to read the book or to go and talk to them because Leo was very different. I wanted to experience Leo in this situation anew. I didn’t want to know what to expect. I didn’t want to have these experiences and these stories from the real couple so that I would expect something. I wanted to go in to every scene, like, ‘Okay, I’m not sure what she’s going to do and I don’t know how to deal with this,’ and then sort of deal with it in the best way that I possibly could.
This movie is centred around a man fighting for his marriage. What do you both think the value of marriage is these days?
Tatum: I’m married. I think it’s terrible that our divorce rate is way over fifty per cent. It’s sad.
McAdams: I think it’s coming down.
Tatum: Is it? Is it below fifty? We’re going to fix it all. I love love stories.
This movie is about a moment in life that changes everything. Was their a moment in your careers or lives that showed you what you wanted to do?
McAdams: I definitely thank my drama teacher, Linda Maskell-Pereira, every day of my life for intercepting me on my way to college. I was going to take cultural studies or something and our college applications were due and I hadn’t seen her all term. One day I was just walking around at lunch and I bumped into her and she said, ‘Oh, college applications are due today? What are you taking?’ I said, ‘Cultural studies. Don’t ask me what that means.’ She said, ‘I really thought that you would do theatre.’ I was like, ‘I didn’t know that I could go to college and get a degree in theatre.’ She said, ‘Of course you can. Don’t be ridiculous.’ So, I just marched right into my guidance office and I said, ‘Can I please have my application?’ I didn’t even know anything about the theatre programmes at the schools I’d applied to. I just scratched out cultural studies, put in theatre and my whole life changed.
What was your first indication that you could actually do this as a career then, that you could be a real actor?
McAdams: Well, I didn’t know. I thought that I would go to theatre school and would always do theatre and maybe I’d run a little children’s theatre company because that’s where I had started doing theatre when I was, like, eleven or twelve. My mum is still disappointed that I didn’t do that.
Tatum: It still sounds awesome. You still could. There’s time.
You two have great chemistry on the screen. You’re both athletes in real life and very close to family. What else did you two find in common when you worked together?
McAdams: Figure skating.
Tatum: Figure skating. I love figure skating.
McAdams: He did try.
Tatum: Hers is more like figure skating and dancing on ice and mine was more like break dancing and falling on ice. I like to call it break dancing on ice, but it was really just falling.
Are there any scenes from romantic movies, the cliche things like a guy standing in the rain or something that you just love seeing or being a part of?
Tatum: The silent laughing scene over music is like always in every single love story I think I’ve ever seen. Me and Jenna [Dewan, his wife] laugh about it, like, where the director’s off camera, ‘Now laugh,’ and you’re like [laughs]. Or he’ll be like, ‘Make her laugh,’ and I have one joke that I always go to and it almost works every time. Did I do it to you?
McAdams: Oh, I don’t know. Probably not.
Tatum: Okay, what colour is this?
Tatum: What colour is that?
Tatum: What do cows drink?
McAdams: Milk. No!
Tatum: See, she threw her head back. It works every time. Boom. Got you.