Dancing their hearts out. Jenna Dewan, Channing Tatum and the Step Up cast never could have guessed they’d be part of such a wildly successful franchise when the first film hit theaters in 2006.
Dewan starred as Nora Clark, a privileged arts school student who finds an unlikely partner in Tyler Gage (Tatum) after he’s sentenced to complete community service hours at the studio he and his friends vandalized. The duo are forced to put their differences aside to give a show-stopping performance that changes both their lives forever.
Like their characters, the leads were also transformed by the film. The 10 Years actress and the Vow star tied the knot in 2009 after falling in love while filming. According to director Anne Fletcher, the pair’s chemistry was “instantaneous” on set.
“They were very professional. They didn’t act on it. They did absolutely nothing. They were there to get a job done,” the filmmaker, who made her directorial debut with Step Up, told Cosmopolitan in August 2016. “I never said anything to them, they just chose on their own to get the movie done first. They took it very seriously. … It was such a wonderful and romantic courting period, even though they didn’t act on it. It was very sweet.”
Dewan and Tatum welcomed daughter Everly in 2013 before announcing their separation five years later.
“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 now-exes noted in a joint statement in April 2018. “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.”
Two months prior, the former World of Dance host shared a glimpse of her audition with Tatum for the film that brought them together. “It’s really cute, and also embarrassing, and crazy but of course I want to share it with all of you. Please watch how many times I giggle and laugh, it’s very cute,” Dewan said while introducing the throwback footage in a February 2018 YouTube video.
Step Up spawned four sequels: Step Up 2: The Streets (2008), Step Up 3D (2010), Step Up Revolution (2012) and Step Up: All In (2014). The series has grossed a total of $651 million, and while plenty of stars returned for the follow-up films, Tatum and Dewan were primarily involved in the original. (The White House Down actor made a small cameo in the 2008 flick.)
In 2018, the franchise branched out with a TV series titled Step Up: High Water, which Tatum and Dewan helped produce.
Scroll down to see what the cast of the first Step Up film is doing now: