Channing Tatum Recalls The Embarrassing Comment He Made When He Met Matt Damon, And Why He 'Almost Didn't Recover' From It

From left to right: Matt Damon in Air and Channing Tatum in Magic Mike's Last Dance
(Image credit: Amazon and Warner Bros)

Let’s start here: If I met Channing Tatum or Matt Damon I would not be OK; they are two fabulous actors at the top of their games, and they seem like pleasant folks to be around. Well, it turns out Channing Tatum is in a similar boat, as he recently admitted he was extremely nervous the first time he met Matt Damon, and said he was so embarrassed by what he said he “almost didn’t recover.” 

This interaction happened back in 2011, so before 21 Jump Street and Magic Mike, Tatum was working with Damon on one of Steven Soderbergh’s movies called Side Effects. The actor recalled the story about meeting the Oscar-winning actor and writer, noting how funny it was, but also how embarrassing it was for him at the time. Tatum told People:

We're in Albuquerque, and we've shot for the day. We're all just hanging out at the hotel bar and Matt Damon comes by to hang out with Soderbergh. I'm just beside myself. I'm such a fan, and still am. I sat down next to him, and I was like, 'Hey, man. Where are you from?' — and I was like 'I just asked Matt Damon where he's from.'

He makes a good point, it’s hard to not know where Damon is from. The Good Will Hunting star and his BFF Ben Affleck are famously from Boston, and Tatum knew that, however, he asked the question anyway. The Magic Mike star continued the story, recalling how mortified he was in the moment, saying:

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. I don't think I said anything for the next maybe two hours or so, and I still think about it today. Every once in a while, I'll just have a cold sweat and feel like, I can't believe....

I feel you man, I also would have said something silly like this if I met any member of the Ocean’s Eleven cast, especially Matt Damon. Luckily, The Martian actor was very friendly, and he didn’t question Tatum’s silly quandary. The Logan Lucky star continued the story, explaining:

He knew I was freaking out and just didn't even acknowledge it. Because he's such a personable guy. He just took care of me in that moment and answered me. It was like nothing ever happened. He was just like, 'Oh, I'm from Boston. Where are you from?' and I was like, 'I'm from Florida.' In my head I just kept screaming: 'I'm sorry. I'm sorry!'

Tatum finished the story by saying he still talks to Damon from time to time, and he “sort of [keeps] it together today.” 

It’s fun to know that actors also get nervous around other actors they look up to. Considering both men have made massive marks in the film industry, and they both have big releases on the 2023 movie schedule, it’s funny to think Tatum would be so gobsmacked by meeting Damon. However, it makes total sense, and I wouldn't be shocked if The Bourne Identity also had some stories about being starstruck, and saying something like his Side Effects co-star did. 

Lucky for us, both Damon and Tatum have exciting movies coming out this year, with the third installment in the Magic Mike trilogy hitting theaters this weekend (the other two are available with an HBO Max subscription), while Damon and his pal Ben Affleck’s movie Air released its first trailer with a release date of April 5. Hopefully, we’ll get to see the two actors in a movie together sometime in the future, and maybe this time Channing Tatum will be able to play it cool with Matt Damon. 

Riley Utley
Weekend Editor

Riley Utley is the Weekend Editor at CinemaBlend. She has written for national publications as well as daily and alt-weekly newspapers in Spokane, Washington, Syracuse, New York and Charleston, South Carolina. She graduated with her master’s degree in arts journalism and communications from the Newhouse School at Syracuse University. Since joining the CB team she has covered numerous TV shows and movies -- including her personal favorite shows Ted Lasso and The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel. She also has followed and consistently written about everything from Taylor Swift to Fire Country, and she's enjoyed every second of it.