ByElise Jost, writer at
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Elise Jost

Channing Tatum tap dancing in Hail, Caesar! is like Channing Tatum dancing in Magic Mike: magical. What's this man's secret? Does his wife force him to rehearse all day? Do they have a secret training hall in their basement where they switch from flamenco to hip hop to ballet? Well no. He just trained like a madman, and he's not the only actor who's done that for a movie. Ahead are Tatum and 4 other actors who really had to master an unusual skill for their role:

1. Channing Tatum, 'Hail Caesar!'

As Tatum explains on Jimmy Kimmel, when he signed up to star in the latest movie of the Coen brothers, he had no idea he was going to have to tap dance... because it wasn't mentioned in the script. According to the choreographer, Christopher Gattelli, Tatum had to take “ten years of tap-dance training and crunch it into three months.”

And that doesn't even include the singing: "This was the first time I’ve ever sung in front of anyone. I’ve sung to my daughter, and she cried every time," Tatum told Vulture.

2. Robert Downey Jr., 'Chaplin'

Before he became Iron Man, Robert Downey Jr. portrayed Charlie Chaplin in Attenborough's Chaplin (1992), for which he not only had to learn to play the violin and play tennis left-handed, but had a coach who taught him to move around like Chaplin during ten weeks!

"I broke all of his posture and movement down. Robert moves like a modern guy — sort of slouchy. Chaplin was very 19th century — very aligned, economical — but also quite loose. We worked on how to sit, how to lift a spoon, everything," the coach, Mr. Karmin, explained in an interview with the New York Times.

3. Natalie Portman, 'Black Swan'

Watching Black Swan, it's quite obvious that Natalie Portman took ballet lessons for the role. But did you know that she started training a year prior to filming, eventually dancing for 8 hours a day? Even though she had a double for the film, she put herself through a hell lot of effort, and for good reason: “I think there is a credibility that lets you get lost in the story when you feel that all the details are right,” she told the New York Times. She also acknowledged how hard it was:

“It was a rude awakening to get there, and to be, like, I don’t know what I’m doing. If I had known how not close to ready I was, I never would have tried it. I’m glad I was a little ignorant slash arrogant.”

4. Jennifer Lawrence, 'Winter's Bone'

JLaw must have quite a lot of remarkable skills by now: before she practised archery for the Hunger Games, she actually learned to chop wood and to skin a squirrel for Winter's Bone. Yes, a squirrel. Her role as 17-year-old Ree Dolly, who helps her family survive without a father, earned her an Oscar nomination.

5. Will Ferrell, 'Casa De Mi Padre'

A lot of actors had to learn a new language for their movie, from Reese Witherspoon who learned Spanish for her role in Hot Pursuit, to Zoe Saldana who mastered the language of the Na'vi for Avatar. But Will Ferrell takes the cake, having accepted a lead role in Spanish in Casa De Mi Padre... without speaking any Spanish.

Which skill do you think was the hardest to learn?

Sources: The Hollywood Mag, Teen


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