Channing Tatum swaps ‘Russian bad guys’ for Americans in Comrade Detective
Tatum and Joseph Gordon-Levitt feature in Comrade Detective.
Channing Tatum has spoken about his new TV show that swaps Hollywood’s stereotypical Russian bad guys for Americans enemies in a communist state.
Comrade Detective is presented as a piece of 1980s Romanian propaganda where police hunt crooks in Ronald Reagan masks.
But it was in fact purposely filmed in Romanian so US stars such as Tatum, Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Chloe Sevigny could lend their voices to it.
Tatum, who serves as both voiceover artist and an executive producer in the Amazon Prime comedy, said the idea made him think about the Hollywood films of his childhood.
Speaking at the show’s Los Angeles premiere, Tatum, 37, said: “As a kid growing up in the South I never thought (it but) of course they were making TV shows and movies behind the Iron Curtain but it must have been Americans as the bad guys.
“Because in the 80s and the 90s every single movie, whether it be Lethal Weapon or Die Hard, every one of them had a Russian bad guy.”
Gordon-Levitt said the series, released on Friday, uses humour to examine how films and TV are used to shape national identities.
“I think this show, which is set in 1980s Romania behind the Iron Curtain in the thick of a communist regime, it definitely has a lot to say about how we form our national identity – where propaganda figures into it, how we tend to think that we are right and other nations are wrong,” he said.
“If you watch action movies or action shows like this during the Cold War, certainly there’s a heavy bent against Eastern European dudes.”