Following the announcement that Channing Tatum will play the role of Gambit in “X-Men: Apocalypse,” the “Magic Mike” star revealed how grateful he was that the film’s director, Bryan Singer, finally made good on the pool party promise he made in 1999 to cast him in an “X-Men” film. According to Tatum, he was a 19-year-old male stripper and aspiring actor when he impressed the “Usual Suspects” director enough during a game of water polo that Singer told him he had the makings of a movie star, as well as the perfect bone structure to play Gambit.
“After I got out of the pool, I heard Bryan tell another young guy that he had the perfect upper body to play Colossus, so I started to doubt whether or not he was truly sincere about his promise to cast me,” Tatum told Hollywood & Swine. “But I knew Bryan would keep his word especially after he cast my chicken fight teammate at the pool party, Brandon Routh, as Superman just like he promised that night.”
Tatum admitted he was initially hesitant to accept the role as Gambit in “X-Men: Apocalypse,” since he knew it would lead to the inevitable comparisons to Taylor Kitsch’s masterful portrayal of Gambit in 2009’s “X-Men Origins: Wolverine.”
“The first person I called for advice when I got the offer to play Gambit was Roger Moore who dealt with the same pressure when took over the role of James Bond from Sean Connery,” Tatum said.