In 2015, when PEOPLE asked him how he juggles his hectic career with his family life, Tatum admitted, “Not very well,” adding, “I’m lucky to have people that care enough to make sure I’m not screwing things up.”
The Step Up actor explained that he can have trouble knowing when to slow down at work, but said having a daughter, Everly, now 4, helped him put things into perspective.
“Now, having a family and a little girl, it really makes things super clear,” he said, adding that he asks himself, “Is this worth taking time away from them?” before signing on for new roles.
He also gave his wife credit for helping him stay centered. “Jenna and I stay grounded just from each other,” he said. “We started together and that’s your responsibility in a relationship, to not lose it. You keep pushing each other to grow and be better.”
He added, “We’re a good support system for each other. I don’t think I could do it any other way.”
Still, Tatum said the pressures that come along with a high-profile career in Hollywood can make him feel “miserable.” He explained, “None of this is easy, but at the same time it’s everything I would have ever wanted to do. I really like challenge but I would like things to get a little slower; that would be nice. I wish I could slow down slightly. But I have no other option; I can’t not live in the moment.”
One of Tatum’s goals at the time was to focus on not bringing the stress of work home with him. “That’s the whole name of my game, to be present,” he said.
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Asked to describe his perfect day, he said, “Getting to walk around with my wife and daughter. Or just sitting and painting. We have sidewalk chalk and we’ll sit there for hours and just doodle. That’s truly joyful. Nobody is looking at you to do it. We’re just doing it together and there is no pressure other than to just enjoy it.”
The Tatums, who first met on the set of their 2006 movie Step Up and began dating shortly after before tying the knot in 2009, announced they were separating after nearly nine years of marriage in a joint statement that was also shared on their social media accounts on Monday.
“We have lovingly chosen to separate as a couple. We fell deeply in love so many years ago and have had a magical journey together. Absolutely nothing has changed about how much we love one another, but love is a beautiful adventure that is taking us on different paths for now,” the pair said.
“There are no secrets nor salacious events at the root of our decision — just two best-friends realizing it’s time to take some space and help each other live the most joyous, fulfilled lives as possible. We are still a family and will always be loving dedicated parents to Everly,” they added.