MOVIES

Zoë Kravitz Aims to Shatter Channing Tatum’s ‘Boy Next Door’ Typecasting with ‘Pussy Island’

Zoë Kravitz had one key goal by casting Channing Tatum: Unleash the “darkness” within.

Kravitz cast Tatum in her directorial debut “Pussy Island,” with Tatum set to play a sinister tech mogul who invites an unsuspecting cocktail waitress (Naomi Ackie) to his private island. The “Magic Mike” star was Kravitz’s “first choice” to portray the villain.

“I wanted to find someone who hadn’t played a dark character before, because I think that’s exciting to watch someone who’s mostly played boy next door, good guy, love interest, all of that,” Kravitz told The Wall Street Journal Magazine of “Step Up” and “She’s the Man” icon Tatum.

Kravitz continued, “I felt, even from afar, before I knew him, that he was a feminist and that he wasn’t afraid of exploring that darkness, because he knows he’s not that. That’s why I was drawn to him and wanted to meet with him. And I was right.”

Tatum revealed that Kravitz encouraged him to explore the deeper aspects of the character, something that he had been wanting to do in his career for years.

“The easy answer is it’s always really intriguing to have someone bring you something that literally no one else has ever thought of you for,” Tatum, who is also producing the film through his company Free Association, explained. “And really even allowed you to ask yourself why and can you play someone so different than what you have.”

The “Pussy Island” script was rewritten over the course of five years following the rise of the #MeToo movement.

“When we first met the movie was pretty different than its form now, but the themes were the same,” Tatum said. “All the iterations it has gone through were all pretty punk rock, to be honest.”

And as the plot shifted, one aspect of the film stayed dead-set from the beginning: Kravitz previously said she “thought of [Tatum] when I wrote this character” despite having never met him before.

Tatum also told Deadline that his character in the movie is “an extreme version of myself” and a reflection of masculinity in the modern era.

“I’m very interested to see what humans are capable of, physically, mentally, spiritually, energetically, all of it,” Tatum explained. “He wants to know what people are capable of, what they want, and what they are capable of when they want something. And how far are you willing to push yourself to get the thing you want. For me, that supersedes gender, race or religion, creed. That’s wildly fascinating to me.”

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