Side Effects - Rooney Mara and Channing Tatum
Side Effects - Emily Taylor (Rooney Mara) and Martin Taylor (Channing Tatum) ©2013 Open Road Films

In Steven Soderbergh’s new thriller Side Effects Channing Tatum and Rooney Mara portray Emily and Martin Taylor, a successful New York couple whose life unravels when Martin is sent to prison for inside trading.

Four years later, when Martin is released, Emily falls into a deep depression. Following an attempted suicide, Emily is seen by psychiatrist Jonathan Banks (Jude Law), who prescribes a new drug to treat her anxiety, which has devastating side effects.

Channing Tatum and Rooney Mara spoke with us about their unique new drama.

How much did you know about the script when it was given to you and were you surprised by the twists in it?

Side Effects - Channing Tatum
Martin Taylor (Channing Tatum) ©2013 Open Road Films

Channing: Reading it I thought I knew where it was going, and then it took a hard right turn and I had no idea where it was going to go after that.

I thought it was going to be the Contagion of pharmaceutical movies, which would have been amazing. It kind of gives you that, and another meal as well. It was pleasantly surprising.

Rooney: I didn’t know anything about it when I read it, and I couldn’t have seen it coming. It was definitely a page-turner.

Why did you want to tell this story?

Side Effects - Rooney Mara and Channing Tatum
Emily Taylor (Rooney Mara) and Martin Taylor (Channing Tatum) ©2013 Open Road Films

Channing: I worked with Steven a couple of times before this, and he can call me for anything. Then I read this and it was refreshingly intelligent.

I have a huge admiration for everyone [in the cast] and wanted to be a part of it.

The abuse of pills and prescription pills is a real thing, and I understand that there are people that really need them, and people that abuse them, and it’s a really unfortunate gray line that has to exist.

I thought the movie really handled it well.

Rooney: I really wanted to work with Steven for awhile, I can’t remember why I wanted to work with him now that I have. I read this script and I loved it.

I thought it was really smart and interesting, and that doesn’t happen very often. With the cast that he had attached to it, it was a no-brainer.

How did making the Side Effects change you?

Side Effects - Rooney Mara
Emily Taylor (Rooney Mara) ©2013 Open Road Films

Rooney: Every job that you do changes and affects you in some way. I went into it thinking that I knew a lot about depression, and then when I started researching it I realized I didn’t really know a lot about depression.

So certainly that part of it changed me. I feel like I have a lot more compassion now for depression, as I feel like I really didn’t understand it before.

What keeps bringing you back to do Steven Soderberg movies?

Channing: I just keep coming back because Steven’s so pretty and he gives great massages on set. I just wish he would keep making movies so I could getting those massages!

Did you feel like the new kid on the block, working with Steven for the first time?

Side Effects - Rooney Mara and Channing Tatum
Emily Taylor (Rooney Mara) and Martin Taylor (Channing Tatum) ©2013 Open Road Films

Rooney: I did feel like the new kid on the block. My first day I was definitely nervous, but they were all pretty nice so they made it easy.

Channing, you have a new baby on the way, any signs of slowing down and how excited are you about your next role as a dad?

Channing: That will be the biggest role of my life, I hope I don’t screw that one up. I’m really excited and I hope to slow down a little bit once the little person comes into the world.

How did you feel about psychiatry as a profession after this movie?

Rooney: I think I’ve always had a respect for psychiatry as a profession. Certainly this movie furthered that because of all the doctors that I spoke to, to prepare for this film. I don’t know if the characters in the film left me with more faith in psychiatry.

You keep doing such intense roles, would you like to do a rom-com sometime?

Rooney: Everyone keeps asking me that, I don’t see a rom-com in my future, but maybe, never say never.

Channing: She’s not funny,

Rooney: Yeah, I’m just not funny. I think you’d be really mad and disappointed if you saw [me in a rom-com].

Channing:  She’s going to be in Jump Street 2.

Channing was asked about his recent run of successful movies. Click here to listen to his reply.

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Judy Sloane

Judy is Film Review Online's regular Los Angeles based reporter.