Jonah Hill, left, and Channing Tatum in 21 Jump Street.
Jonah Hill, left, and Channing Tatum in 21 Jump Street.

Channing Tatum: 21 Jump St was ‘a terrible idea’

CHANNING Tatum recalled being pitched a "terrible idea" by Jonah Hill that became their hit film franchise 21 Jump Street.

Tatum was honouring Hill at WSJ. Magazine's Innovator Awards as this year's Film Innovator. But Tatum said of their 2012 smash 21 Jump Street, "When (Jonah) called I think his exact words were, 'So I have a terrible idea for a movie. Wanna hear it?' And I was like, 'Yeah, I'm only in terrible movies so - shoot man.'"

The Hollywood hunk added of Hill, "So he told me about the adaptation of the TV show 21 Jump Street, and was like, 'Do you want to make it into a movie?' And I was like, 'Wow, that is a terrible idea - I'm in!'"

The film wound up making over US $200 million worldwide and spawned a sequel. These days, Hill's moved on to directing the new indie film, Mid-90s.

Jonah Hill, left, and Channing Tatum in 21 Jump Street.
Jonah Hill, left, and Channing Tatum in 21 Jump Street.

Said Tatum, "I did only have one condition on doing (21 Jump Street). I had never done a comedy before, and naturally was terrified … and I guess people laughed at my movies but probably not intentionally.

"So I made Jonah promise me that he was going to make me funny, and he promised. So I consider myself one of the first people that he's directed as Jonah Hill the director."

While Hill has emerged as a serious director, he had the crowd in stitches when he accepted the award and pretended to have accidentally been given fellow honoree Ralph Lauren's speech.

Began Hill on stage, "I was born in the Bronx in 1939, the youngest of four siblings. I left college early to work for a tie manufacturer. Who knew that all these years later, putting those little horses on things … this is definitely not my speech."

The movie was a worldwide hit.
The movie was a worldwide hit.

Tatum had also recalled that before the fateful 21 Jump Street pitch by Hill, the two didn't really know each other. "I think Jonah and I had kind of exchanged some awkward wave at each other at a restaurant one time. Like some dumb actor thing, like, 'Hey what's up fellow actor guy?'"

This story originally appeared on The New York Post and has been republished here with permission .

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