’21 Jump Street’ Characters ‘Complete One Another’

Jonah Hill and Channing Tatum talk to MTV News on New Orleans set.

You probably know Jonah Hill from his work in comedies like “Superbad” and “Knocked Up,” and Channing Tatum is more at home in action flicks like “G.I. Joe” or “The Eagle.” So, it might surprise you that together, they make the perfect police officer.

That’s how it works out in “21 Jump Street,” anyway. The hit crime show from the ’80s is headed for a big-screen reboot next spring with Hill and Tatum starring as two cops recruited to go undercover in a high school.

MTV News’ Josh Horowitz traveled to the New Orleans set to catch up with the stars about their relationship to the show and their characters’ dynamic.

“We complete one another with our flaws and strengths, basically,” said Hill, who co-wrote the script with Michael Bacall. Hill plays Schmidt, a brilliant young cop who has “a hard time with the courageous and physical issues of being a police officer.” So, he turns to Tatum’s character, Jenko, for help.

“[Jenko] is really great at all the physical elements of being a police officer, but his character is really stupid,” Hill said.

For Tatum, the experience of making the film was an entirely new one. “I’ve got to be honest: I’m about as ‘fish out of water’ as I can possibly get,” he said, adding that he knew he signed onto the role for a reason. “I signed on for Jonah, and I watched this show growing up, so this is home for me.”

Chris Miller, one of the film’s directors, explained that the film version of “21 Jump Street” takes place within the same universe as the original show. “They have recommissioned the old program from the ’80s, ’21 Jump Street,’ where they take young-looking cops, but it’s new characters in the same scenario,” he said.

As in every action/comedy, fans might be questioning whether one aspect of the film might overshadow the other. Hill said the tone is clear. “It’s definitely a comedy; you’re going to see a comedy. There’s tons of great jokes,” he said. “It’s really funny, but then, you’re going to see some sh– blow up, and it’s going to look really big and cool.”

Check out everything we’ve got on “21 Jump Street.”

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