Wetumpka, AL (WSFA) - It's tough to miss him these days, but nobody would have ever guessed Channing Tatum would have been a world wide superstar. He grew up in Cullman, lived in Tampa, loved visiting his uncle's ranch and Wetumpka, and even played a little college football. But then something happened that turned the country boy Chan into a young man who's now larger than life.
"He's a country boy at heart," said his uncle Bruce from his 300 acre ranch in Wetumpka. Chan spent a lot of time here as a kid, riding horses, fishing, just having fun. And if you question how much this place means to him, he told GQ magazine to come to Wetumpka to interview him and the family for his big story.
So how'd he get here? After quitting college football, Chan did some construction, worked at a perfume counter a Dillard's, took a shot as a model, and before you know it he was in commercials. It was a big surprise to uncle Bruce when he was watching TV one night. "We were watching TV and I was like, man that's Chan." Now it's tough to miss him wherever you look. He's starring in the new GI Joe movie and has several more lined up back to back after that. Uncle Bruce believes in Chan. "As long as he keeps his feet on the ground, and he'll do that, I've never seen him not get up and take a picture or sign an autograph."
As for his love for Alabama, his whole family came out to Malibu for the big wedding in July. He tied the knot with an actress he met while filming Step Up. The first song at the wedding, Sweet Home Alabama.
His cousins think it's weird to see Chan in a movie, it's not how they'd act with him at uncle Bruce's ranch. But they've learned to separate the actor Channing Tatum from their country boy Chan. Uncle Bruce sums it up like this: "He's always Chan, and he'll always be Chan."