It’s easy to forget sometimes that celebrities are people too – sure, they’re a more privileged, wealthier, more beautiful bunch, but people nonetheless.
And people change: they evolve and their lives move beyond the pages of tabloid magazines and airbrushed photoshoots and with that blurred line of fantasy vs reality comes our fascination into what causes a break-up between two people you become emotionally attached to, despite them being perfect strangers.
When people like Channing Tatum and Jenna Dewan Tatum announce their decision to “lovingly separate”, immediately declarations like “love is dead!” is declared hourly, and rarely will both parties make it out unscathed in the court of public opinion.
Last year, when Chris Pratt and Anna Faris announced their separation, much to the chagrin of fans and internet writers everywhere, every sentence of their joint statement was analysed and Faris later said the social media scrutiny made the already painful split even harder – they had enjoyed an elevated status as two of the ‘good guys’ in Hollywood.
When these announcements seemingly come out of nowhere, the initial sympathy can turn sour quickly – fans feel short-changed, as if they bought into a construct that wasn’t real.
But the signs were there for those super sleuths who spotted the same common denominators that all high profile couples feature in the months leading up to their split.
Firstly, there was the fact that Jenna attended the Vanity Fair Oscars after-party solo, a move which she said was down to the fact that Channing was on “daddy duty”. Celebrity followers weren’t buying it, and neither were entertainment publications – less than a month later, People had the exclusive about their break-up.
Then, there was the overly blubbering praise being heaped on one another. In December, Channing shared a black and white portrait of his wife, with a lengthy caption complimenting her and likening her growth as “something they only write about in books of fairytale and magic”.
“This creature is one more year beautiful. The transformation she invoked this year has been something they only write about in books of fairytale and magic. Your strength and grace ever-evolving,” he wrote. “By doing so you make everything around you grow – everything. And I am so very grateful for your lessons. Happy life day my love.”
And like the golden couples before them, she was well aware of the expectation of perfection put on them by fans, they had become a victim of the narrative they created through their continuously gushing interviews (Channing once described his wife as his “counterweight in life”) and their now infamous joint appearance on Lip Sync Battle in 2016 made them seem like a genuinely fun couple.
But Jenna’s latest interview, out this month, with Health magazine, provided some foreshadowing of what was to come.
“When people say you guys have such a perfect life, I want to scream and tell them no one’s perfect,” Jenna told Health magazine in February.
“I think there are such things as great fits. It is a great fit as long as you are growing together, and I think up until this point we’ve really grown together. Even if one starts to grow, the other catches up and vice versa.
“But I think a couple needs to be conscious and to want to do the work and be willing to look at the parts of you that need work. Both of us have been pretty aware and willing to do that,” she continued. “We’ve always had the same values. But we’re not perfect! Are you kidding? We fight like other couples, we disagree about things, we have days where we don’t really like each other.”
On Sunday, the mother-of-one was pictured wearing her wedding band still and now the watch begins as to who will take theirs off first, publicly at least, as a feeding frenzy of paparazzi activity commences over the coming months.
Just ask Justin Theroux and Jennifer Aniston, Aniston has virtually gone to ground, already overfamiliar with tabloid media’s obsession with her personal life, Theroux has already been linked to Petra Collins, Olivia Munn (she said on Instagram there’s no truth to the story) and he was pictured with former Parks and Recreation co-star Aubrey Plaza. They’ve been broken up for six weeks.
Earlier this year, footage of their audition for 2006’s Step Up was released and the chemistry was palpable – they were adorable, talented and drop dead gorgeous, both on the brink of worldwide fame with an Oscar nomination and blockbuster action career in Channing’s near future. Jenna’s career has been solid hosting tv show World of Dance, but her husband’s rise to fame has been stratospheric.
When asked by Howard Stern in 2015 about temptations outside his marriage, Channing said he’d sown plenty of wild oats when he worked as a stripper before making it big in Hollywood.
“The temptation really isn’t, I think, an aspect.. And I don’t really know how to describe that, other than if you keep the line taut between you and your lover, the person you devoted your life to, that doesn’t have any room to squeak in. I lived a crazy life before… I’ve had long term relationships, then really crazy play in between, and then a long relationship…
“Once I’ve sort of made the decision [to commit], it doesn’t ever really become a thing.”
One thing is certain – they’re committed to their four-year-old daughter Everly, with both proudly sharing pictures of their painted faces at the hands of their creative child.