Channing Tatum Says He YouTubed How to Braid Daughter Everly's Hair When He Became a Single Dad

Two words: Girl. Dad.

Channing Tatum
(Image credit: Getty)

Yes, Channing Tatum is a super-famous Hollywood actor. But did you know he's also the author of a whole series of children's books, called Sparkella?

Tatum recently appeared on TODAY with Hoda & Jenna to discuss the new book in the series, titled The One and Only Sparkella and the Big Lie.

Speaking with the two hosts, the star explained that he had been inspired to write this story after an incident with his 10-year-old daughter Everly involving a lie. Because of this, one of the hosts asked Tatum what kind of parent he is.

"I have no idea. I don’t know. I’m just trying to get by," he admitted. "I think like every other parent, you’re just trying not to mess your kids up. But you know you’re going to."

Later on in the interview, co-host Jenna Bush-Hager said to Tatum, "You became a single dad right around the time you created this character—did Sparkella help you learn you how to parent?"

The actor told her, "One hundred percent. Because I didn't know—I didn't plan to be a single dad, that was not in the cards, in my planning at least.

"And I was pretty nervous, I was like, she's a girl. I was like looking up YouTube on how to braid hair, you know, I didn't want to be the dad that was delivering a kid to school looking like she just slept on the street."

Pause to contemplate how sweet this is.

Tatum continued, "So this series of books really came from that. I was really trying to figure out how to talk to a little girl.

"I was raised very, very different. Like, South[ern] dad, just like, 'hey, touch that again, you're gonna get a whipping' sort of a situation. And we don't spank Evy, so it's one of those gentle kind of things, but having to learn where to be strong, where to be firm but not in the way that I [was raised]."

For context, Tatum was born in Cullman, Alabama. Throughout the interview, he explained how he sets boundaries with Everly without the level of strictness he experienced as a kid.

Tatum and his ex-wife Jenna Dewan welcomed Everly in 2013, and divorced in 2019.

Iris Goldsztajn
Morning Editor

Iris Goldsztajn is a London-based journalist, editor and author. She is the morning editor at Marie Claire, and her work has appeared in the likes of British Vogue, InStyle, Cosmopolitan, Refinery29 and SELF. Iris writes about everything from celebrity news and relationship advice to the pitfalls of diet culture and the joys of exercise. She has many opinions on Harry Styles, and can typically be found eating her body weight in cheap chocolate.