Channing Tatum speaks to reporter Maggie Jones at the premiere of his movie Logan Lucky at the Regal Pinnacle Theater in Turkey Creek Wednesday, Aug. 9, 2017.
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. —Channing Tatum visited Knoxville for the first time Wednesday night at a fundraiser and film premiere.
The event featured an early screening of the upcoming film Logan Lucky and appearances by director Steven Soderbergh and Tatum, who greeted fans, posed for photos and signed autographs on the red carpet.
“Just giving back I think is just — I mean anything that we can do,” Tatum said. “You know there’s way harder things to do in life than to come out with some really really sweet people.”
The event helped raise more than $580,000 for Variety, the Children’s Charity, said Carol Fusco, the organization’s Eastern Tennessee executive director.
Variety of Eastern Tennessee, sponsored by Regal Entertainment Group and founded in 2001, has raised more than $9 million for children who have special needs or who are at risk or underprivileged, according to its website.
Logan Lucky tells the story of two brothers, played by Tatum and Adam Driver, who attempt a heist during a North Carolina NASCAR race. It will hit Knoxville theaters on Aug. 18 and also stars Riley Keough, Seth MacFarlane, Katie Homes, Daniel Craig, Hilary Swank and others.
Tatum spoke about working on the film with Soderbergh. The two have collaborated on other projects, including Magic Mike and Haywire, and Tatum said Soderbergh empowers him as an actor.
“I’ve learned a lot from Steven,” Tatum said. “When I say I’ve learned from him, I mean it … I might not even be acting anymore if it wasn’t for him. He just kind of came into my life and my career at a time that I was really looking to like try to just take something and make it something that I didn’t even know what it could be.”
Tatum fans lined up early at the event hoping to interact and pose in photos with him.
Haley Fuller of Maryville said she camped out at West Town Mall two weeks ago to make sure she got tickets for the premiere for herself and her four friends.
“I got there at 10 p.m. and was the first person in line the next day, ” she said. “I was really surprised there weren’t more people doing the same thing.”
“I mean it’s Channing Tatum,” her friend interrupted.