Channing Tatum Reveals The Stupid Question He Asked When He Met Matt Damon

Channing Tatum panicked when he met Matt Damon and asked him, "where are you from?"

By Phillip Moyer | Published

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White House Down actor Channing Tatum isn’t good at talking to people. He admitted as much in an interview with People, telling them an embarrassing tale about the first time he met Jason Bourne actor Matt Damon. According to Tatum, he sat down next to Matt Damon at a hotel bar, and the only thing he could think to say was, “Hey, man…where are you from?”

“Everyone on the planet knows where Matt Damon is from, and he obviously knows that I know where Matt Damon is from, and I almost didn’t recover,” Tatum told People.

This incident happened right after Channing Tatum spent a hard day filming the 2011 action film Haywire. Matt Damon had apparently come to the hotel to visit director Steven Soderbergh, who worked with Damon on Ocean’s Eleven and was just about to start filming another 2011 film, Contagion, in which Matt Damon was the star. Tatum says that he’s always been a huge Matt Damon fan, making the incident even more mortifying for him.

“[…]I still think about it today,” Tatum said. “Every once in a while, I’ll just have a cold sweat and feel like, I can’t believe….”

Making things all the worse was the fact that Channing Tatum was still something of a budding celebrity at the time. He’d made waves with 2006’s dance-focused film Step Up and its 2008 sequel, and he starred in the 2009 sports action film Fighting, but he wasn’t quite a household name. He was far from getting top billing in Haywire, which starred Gina Carano and featured Ewan McGregor, and Michael Fassbender as co-stars.

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It’s not just Matt Damon that brings out this sort of foot-in-mouth in Channing Tatum. Tatum says that he panics when talking to people. Despite being a celebrity himself, he always is afraid to talk to famous people he admires for fear of getting himself into a similarly embarrassing situation.

Haywire itself was a modest success, scoring 80% on Rotten Tomatoes and making $34.5 million on a $25 million budget. This was on par for the course for Channing Tatum movies at the time — Fighting made $25 million on a $32.4 million budget, and 2009’s G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra returned similar percent returns with a higher budget earning $302.5 million on a $175 million budget. 

Tanning’s status as a star was finally solidified after the huge successes of 21 Jump Street and Magic Mike. Both films spawned similarly successful sequels, leading to an explosion of roles throughout the mid-to-late 2010s. This includes roles in Jupiter AscendingThe Hateful Eight, and Hail, Caesar!

It seems that Channing Tatum came close to starring in a film with Matt Damon in 2017. He had a leading role in Logan Lucky, a 2017 heist comedy that was also directed by Steven Soderbergh. Matt Damon was initially reported as a co-star in the film, though it was soon after confirmed that he would not be involved.

Channing Tatum recently starred in another Magic Mike sequel, Magic Mike’s Last Dance, which was released in theaters on February 10. The film has so far made $12 million in theaters — the top-grossing movie of Super Bowl weekend. 

Channing Tatum has three other projects underway: the 1960s space race film Project Artemis, the comedy musical Wingmen, and the thriller Pussy Island.