He subsequently signed with Page 305 (Page Parkes Modeling Agency), a modeling agency in Miami.
He was cast by Al David for Vogue magazine and soon after appeared in campaigns for Abercrombie & Fitch, Nautica, Dolce & Gabbana, American Eagle Outfitters, and Emporio Armani.
He was picked as one of Tear Sheet magazine's "50 Most Beautiful Faces" of October 2001. In 2008, Tatum co-starred in director Kimberly Peirce's film Stop-Loss, about soldiers returning home from the Iraq War, and in director Stuart Townsend's film Battle in Seattle, about the 1999 protest of the World Trade Organization meeting in Seattle.
Tatum and Dito Montiel, who worked together on A Guide to Recognizing Your Saints, reteamed on the action drama Fighting for Rogue Pictures.
Tatum starred as Sean Mc Arthur, a young man who scrapes up a living scalping tickets in New York City. Joe: The Rise of Cobra, Paramount Pictures' live-action film based on the popular Hasbro action figures.
Tatum next appeared in writer/director/producer Michael Mann's 2009 crime drama Public Enemies, playing the 1930s American gangster Pretty Boy Floyd. He was initially reluctant to take the role as he feared the movie would glorify war; however, he overcame his reluctance after reading the script.
Tatum made his film debut in the drama film Coach Carter (2005). His other films include She's the Man (2006), The Dilemma (2011), White House Down (2013), the drama Foxcatcher (2014), The Hateful Eight (2015) and Hail, Caesar! Athletic while growing up, he played football, soccer, track, baseball, and performing martial arts; he has said that "girls were always [his] biggest distraction in school." As a child, he practiced wuzuquan kung fu.
His breakthrough role was in the 2006 dance film Step Up, which introduced him to a wider audience. Tatum spent most of his teenage years in the Tampa area, and initially attended Gaither High School.