In The Eagle, Channing Tatum plays Marcus Aquila (which means "eagle" by the way), a Roman soldier whose father disappeared many years before in the mysterious Ninth Legion. Marcus decides to take his British slave Esca, played by Jamie Bell, and search for their beloved eagle symbol behind Hadrian's wall and restore his father's honor.
Channing Tatum has played a number of soldier boys in films from Dear John to G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra. In The Eagle, he plays a Roman soldier, who director Kevin MacDonald told us is not that different from G.I.'s today.
In the film, his father's legion, the mysterious Ninth, has disappeared behind Hadrian's wall in Scotland. Peopled by the fierce Celts, the place is considered to be beyond the end of the world. After what happened to the Ninth, no one goes past the wall.
Jamie Bell burst onto the scene in Billy Elliot and has been working non-stop since, appearing in King Kong, Flags of Our Fathers and Defiance. Bell plays Esca, the British slave who has the power of life and death over his master. Bell had to learn to speak Gaelic for the role and brave some pretty harsh shooting conditions. He also had to eat a silicone rat, which he tells us was pretty disgusting. Also, look for Bell in the upcoming Jane Eyre.
SheKnows got to chat with Tatum and Bell about their roles, Highland dancing, rat eating and more when we spoke at the press day for the film at the Beverly Hilton in Beverly Hills. The Eagle hits theaters on February 11.