Saturday, March 21, 2009

CTU EXCLUSIVE FAN ENCOUNTER: Channing Tatum and Cung Le with Fans at the Fight Expo

Channing Tatum and Cung Le at the 'Fighting' Booth at the Fight Expo

Today's Fab Fan Encounter is an awesome, indepth, and CTU exclusive account of today's autograph signing at the Fight Expo with Channing Tatum and his 'Fighting' co-star Cung Le. It was submitted by Fabulous Channing Tatum Fans Becca and Dia and includes tons of photos from the event.

Here's what Becca had to say about their encounter...

Hey there, CTU readers!

Channing Tatum and Fan Dia at the Fight Expo for 'Fighting'My "sista from another mista", Dia, and I had the absolute HONOR of meeting and speaking with Channing today at the FightExpo, in Del Mar, California. I don't believe that either of us were expecting it to be such an incredible encounter! I am really excited to share about it here on CTU!

I made a call to the FightExpo people beforehand to find out what time Channing would be appearing, and was told that he would be interacting with the Make A Wish Foundation kids at 11am, and that the autograph signing would be taking place at Noon. It was a little disconcerting when things hadn't started yet, and it was already nearing Noon!

I was standing near the cage area, watching the kids interact with the famous fighters who were in attendance, when I turned around to see where Dia had run off to. Instead of Dia, however, I saw Channing walking toward me! Now, I'm ALWAYS really happy to see my best friend, but I have to admit...I was a little more impressed with Chan. He went into the cage, and Dia found her way over to the cage with me. We watched while he interacted with, and took photos with the kids from the Make A Wish Foundation, and I tried to take a few photos as well. They came out blurry, as I'm a little too overzealous with the zoom, though.

Channing Tatum and Fan Becca at the Fight Expo for 'Fighting'On his way out of the cage, I was able to get his attention for a moment, and Dia snapped a picture of Channing and I together. That picture, and the ones of Dia with him and with Cung Le are now three of my favorite pictures in the whole world! (I'm the one in the pale blue shirt and Dia is in black, for anyone wondering.) I was also able to get some really good photos of Chan and Cung Le during the interview he did! Dia and I weren't able to hear the entirety of the interview, but we do have a few highlights to tell you about that we were able to hear! (THANK YOU, D, for helping me remember!)

Channing Tatum and Cung Le Getting Interviewed at the Fight Expo for 'Fighting'

  • Channing described his weaknesses as "Chocolate Cake and Coors Light".

  • He described his fitness style, he said, "When I'm on, I'm 100% on. When I'm off, I'm 100% off." (Aren't we all, though? HA!)

  • What are the healthiest foods to eat? According to Channing, "Chicken and Brocolli."

  • Cung Le told a story about the filming of the movie "Fighting". He said that at one point, Channing told him to actually hit him, (instead of faking it for the camera) and that he took it because Channing is "a fighter".

After the interview, I was able to catch up with him before he got to the autograph table. In a silly little sentimental move on my own part, I bought Chan an early birthday card. (I wrote "Happy (Ridiculously Early) Birthday, Channing!" on the envelope, with a little note inside, mocking my own earliness.) I pulled him aside momentarily, and presented it to him. He then proved to me that every word Q, and the other CTU fans have written about how down-to-earth, and kind he is are completely true. He thanked me, told me how much it meant to him, and asked me my name. That would have been enough, but then, he gave me a huge hug, and a light kiss on the cheek, and sent me sprawling full speed into that look of awe that can only be described as "A deer caught in headlights". I was able to snap out of it quickly enough, and mentioned to him that I would be sending photographs and a write up here to Q. He asked me to pass on a message to her, which I did via email just as soon as I got home and to my computer!

Channing Tatum and Cung Le with Fighters and Make a Wish Kids at the 'Fighting' Booth at the Fight Expo

The kids from Make A Wish were allowed first autographs at the table, and then were gathered behind the table to take pictures with Channing and Cung Le. It was fun watching them flex, and grin, and goof off for the camera. I've included a photo of a couple of them showing off their muscles. It was evident that this was a big deal for them, and it was so touching to see them have such a good time.

After the kids had their turn, the few people ahead of us got to go get their copy of the "Fighting" poster autographed. I think it's awesome how Channing personalized each autograph he signed. I've been fortunate enough to meet several celebrity-type people and acquire autographs, but very rarely do they take the time to ask each person their name - a lot of them have been downright stiff and mechanical. Not Channing, he greeted each and every person who walked up to the table with a friendly hello, and chatted animatedly.

At one point, a woman just ahead of us paid him a compliment, to which he responded by grinning and telling her that she was going to make him blush. (Between us, I think that he did blush...just a little.) And when a kid approached the table with an anime-style caricature of Cung Le, Channing seemed highly impressed/amused, and asked if he could have a copy for himself. He got one! Watching all this was merely further proof of the easy going, totally approachable nature that Channing possesses. This guy is a class act.

Channing Tatum's Huge 'Fighting' Poster Behind the 'Fighting' Booth at the Fight ExpoWhen I reached the table, he asked me how to spell my name, and signed my "Fighting" poster before passing it over to Cung Le. I then took a little something extra I had brought along out of my purse. You see, I work at Blockbuster, and we have these sturdy cardboard "backer cards" that sit on the shelves behind the DVD cases so the shelves don't look quite so barren when things are checked out. I had nabbed a "Step Up" backer card for myself, and a "She's The Man" card for Dia to have signed. I explained to Channing where I had gotten the card from, and he then proceeded to tell me that he always thought he would like to work at Blockbuster. He then said that he would love to have access to all the movies, which, I must admit is a nice little perk.

I then asked if I could please take a photograph of the two of them especially for CTU! Both Channing and Cung Le obliged, and I have to say, it came out great! I really hope that you all enjoy it!

The funniest moment, however, came when he signed Dia's backer card for "She's The Man". He announced, "I'm going to write on Robert's face!" and proceeded to give Robert Hoffman a handlebar moustache, and a pair of horns. It also looks as though he added an extra dark eyebrow to Robert's face. Dia was thrilled with her little piece of original Channing Tatum artwork, and I made sure to photograph it so we could show it to you guys as well!

Channing Tatum, Fan Dia, and Cung Le at the 'Fighting' Booth at the Fight ExpoThe other cool moment involving Dia was when she first told him her name. See, the name Dia is rather unique, and some people even pronounce it wrong. (I just prefer calling her Deeeeyah to eliminate any confusion.) The moment that Channing heard her name, he looked at her and filled her in on a little bit of movie trivia in regards to her name! Unbeknownst to Dia, her name was also the name of a character in the movie "The Blood Diamond". I think she'd agree that it's not only cool to know that, it's even cooler that she was informed of it by Channing Tatum!

All in all, it was an experience that I will never forget. Having simply met him this one time, Channing has charmed me into so much more respect and admiration for him as an actor, and as a human being, than I had before even. And to think that this day would have never happened had I not seen the announcement for the FightExpo right here on CTU! So thanks to you as well, Q!

HUGE thanks to Becca for passing Chan's wonderful message along, for offering to be the CTU on the scene reporter for this event, and for sending in the great photos (which you can check out in the slideshow below)!!! And to Chan...right back at you kid. ;-)

'Fighting' will hit theaters on April 24, 2009 and fans can CLICK HERE to get a current list of international release dates for the film.

If you happen to run into Channing Tatum or Jenna Dewan, send your photos and fan encounter stories to fanencounters@channingtatumunwrapped.com. I will post them on the blog to share with envious fans all around the globe! ;-)

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