The "Dear John" star on getting intimate with co-star Amanda Seyfried

By Adam Markovitz
Updated January 15, 2010 at 05:00 AM EST

It’s hard to imagine that Channign Tatum and Amanda Seyfried — the stars of the Nicholas Sparks adaptation Dear John (out Feb. 5) — would have problems clicking. But Tatum tells EW that love scenes aren’t easy. At least he shot this one before his now-famous penis-scalding.

1. Tune out the Crew
In the film, which is rated PG-13, college student Savannah (Seyfried) and soldier John (Tatum) are alone in a barn when they first have sex. But in reality, the actors had a lot less privacy. ”When you do a scene like that, you have about 30 big, burly [crew members] standing around making sure the lights are right,” says Tatum, 29. (”[The actors] have me to deal with, too,” adds director Lasse Hallström. ”It’s me shouting, ‘Slower! Faster! And don’t move your head so much!”’) When the camera rolls, Tatum says, ”you have to let go of the really awkward circumstances. You have to just look at each other and be in that moment.”

2. Communication is Key
To keep things comfortable, Tatum, who married actress Jenna Dewan last July, developed a frank rapport with Seyfried, who has been linked to her Mamma Mia! costar Dominic Cooper. ”We just talked it out. Like, ‘Look, you’re in a relationship. I’m engaged. So we’re each in love with somebody else,”’ says Tatum. ”There’s a safety net, knowing that there’s very comfortable boundaries that aren’t going to be crossed and make things weird.”

3. Have a Sense of Humor
”It’s never going to be the easiest scene,” says Tatum. But it’s less awkward playing opposite a pal like Seyfried. ”The only thing that you can really do when you’re friends is point out the hilariousness of the situation. We laughed a lot that night.”
Reporting by Adam B. Vary