Over the years, the Fast & Furious franchise has made outstanding choices when it comes to extending its cinematic "family" on screen. Everyone from Dwayne Johnson to Kurt Russell has been added as a cohort with each passing Fast & Furious chapter, which has helped expand the audience and keep the movies feeling fresh. But not everyone who goes out for a Furious role wins the part… especially when they have a disastrous audition like the one that Channing Tatum endured.
The man also known as Magic Mike has been making the rounds promoting his role in Hail, Caesar!, the latest from the Coen Brothers. But when asked by Jimmy Kimmel about his worst audition, Channing Tatum surprised most of us (OK, maybe just me) by admitting that he once went out for a role in Fast & Furious: Tokyo Drift -- mainly because he wanted to visit Tokyo. However, he tanked his audition. Hard. As he puts it:
I stopped in the middle of the audition. I blocked it out mainly, so I don't remember the specifics. I think it was a combination of probably me being just bad, not remembering the lines, like totally freaked out, probably sweating a lot. They didn't even try to stop me—they were like. 'Alright, it's probably a good idea.'
As Jimmy Kimmel points out, and rightfully so, sometimes it’s good to just cut and run when things aren’t going as well as planned. Channing Tatum knew that he was bombing, so he bailed on the audition. It wasn’t meant to be. The franchise is doing fine without him. He’s doing fine without a Fast & Furious role. It’s really a win-win all around.
Who do we think Channing Tatum was trying out for? The third Fast & Furious movie, Tokyo Drift, came out in 2006. When they were casting the film, Tatum hadn’t yet broken out in the Step Up series, though it’s possible that he was reading for the part of Sean Boswell, which eventually went to Lucas Black. Sean’s a teenager who gets caught up in the world of street racing, and we easily could have seen Tatum in that part.
Personally, I love these stories of failed auditions by successful actors. It doesn’t really hurt Channing Tatum that he’s not in Fast & Furious. But it’s fun to wonder what the series might have looked like if Tatum was trading lines with Vin Diesel, Paul Walker and The Rock.