Channing Tatum has opened up about some of the struggles he has found navigating life as a single dad to his and his ex-wife Jenna Dewan‘s daughter Everly. The Magic Mike’s Last Dance actor – who recently reunited with The Rookie star in order to cheer their nine-year-old on in a dance competition – discussed his experience as a single parent during an interview with Hoda Kotb and Jenna Bush Hager on their show, Today with Hoda and Jenna.
“I didn’t plan to be a single dad,” the 43-year-old actor admitted after he was asked about his parenting experience. “That was not in the cards [or] in my planning at the least. And I was pretty nervous,” he admitted.
The Alabama-born star continued honestly: “I was like, ‘She’s a girl.’ I was looking up on YouTube how to braid her hair. I didn’t want to be the dad who was bringing her to school looking like she had just slept on the street.”
Channing was appearing on the show to promote his latest children’s book, The One and Only Sparkella and the Big Lie. As he explained to the Today hosts, writing this series of books has greatly helped the actor with his journey as a father. “This series of books kind of came from [this nervousness],” he said. “It was me really figuring out how to talk to a little girl.”
The 21 Jump Street actor’s Sparkella book series – of which there are now three installments – have so far all been inspired by his own daughter, and this latest book (released May 30) is no exception.
As the famous father explained to Hoda and Jenna on Today, the idea for book three came from an incident when Everly took home a toy car from school, but didn’t know how to explain that she had taken it so hid the fact for a bit. Speaking to Entertainment Weekly earlier in a June 2 interview about this moment from their past, Channing explained: “It was eating her up that she took it. She was so nervous to tell me, she didn’t wanna tell me…
“She felt so bad about it,” he continued: “But then when she told me she felt better and we returned the little toy car.” This inspired the Hollywood actor to make the focus of his next book Sparkella discovering “that the burden of carrying [a lie] is worse than just accepting it and apologizing for it,” as many young children come to realize as they grow.
Revealing more about his relationship with Everly in his Today interview, Channing said: “We have a good relationship,” before later also opening up about her interests now as a nine-year-old. Explaining that Everly is a Taylor Swift fan, the actor also revealed: “[And] she’s a dancer, she loves Celtic Irish dancing…
“She just loves anything magical — fairies, elves — and when you look on YouTube, all the clip art for Celtic Irish music is fairies, so I think that’s how we started it. And then she became obsessed with Celtic music. Now we’re doing Celtic Irish dancing, so that’s all we’ve listened to for the last two years,” he finished relatably.
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