Why Puppy Love Named Lucy Hale’s Dog Channing Tatum (& Not “Mutt Damon”)




  • Lucy Hale explains why her character’s dog is named Channing Tatum in the rom-com Puppy Love.
  • Other options for the dog’s name were Mark Ruffalo and Mutt Damon.
  • Puppy Love, starring Hale and Grant Gustin, premiered on Freevee on August 18 and follows dog lovers Nicole and Max as their dogs fall in love, forcing them to interact more often.

Puppy Love star Lucy Hale has explained the name of her character’s dog in the new rom-com. The movie, which also stars The Flash‘s Grant Gustin, premiered on Freevee on August 18. The story follows dog lovers Nicole (Hale) and Max (Gustin) after they have a bad first date and decide not to meet again. However, Nicole’s dog, who is named Channing Tatum, falls in love with Max’s dog, forcing the pair to reluctantly interact more often.

TVInsider sat down with Lucy Hale to discuss Puppy Love 2023 in an interview that took place before the ongoing SAG-AFTRA strike. During the conversation, Hale was asked why her dog’s character was named Channing Tatum, and she revealed the name was chosen out of quite a few potential celebrity-themed monikers. The other options “ranged from Mark Ruffalo to Mutt Damon,” but Channing Tatum was the final choice, partially because it fueled several dialogue gags in the movie. Read Hale’s full quote below.

So we had a lot of names that we went through, but there were a couple of scenes that unfortunately didn’t make the cut of the movie that fill in that blank. But it’s kind of funny that the first time you hear, it is Grant saying, “Oh, this must be Channing Tatum,” when we meet.

And you’re like, “Wait, what?” But some of the other ones ranged from Mark Ruffalo to Mutt Damon. Mutt Damon is really good. I don’t know who eventually decided on Channing Tatum, but it’s pretty funny. There are a lot of one-liners with the name that makes it hysterical.

Puppy Love’s Dog Name Calls Back to a Hollywood Tradition

Puppy Love
Lucy Hale and Grant Gustin in Puppy Love

While Channing Tatum may seem like an unusual name for a pet, it hearkens back to a longstanding tradition in Hollywood. Especially in romantic comedies, leading ladies have a habit of giving quirky or unusual names to their pets. One of the most memorable examples of this comes in The Ugly Truth, in which Katherine Heigl’s character Abby has a cat named D’Artagnan, after one of the key characters in The Three Musketeers.

Specifically naming animals after celebrities is another longstanding tradition over the years. This spans all kinds of genres, including Steven Spielberg’s 1989 fantasy romance Always, in which Holly Hunter’s character names her cat Linda Blair. Iconic Sex and the City and And Just Like That character Charlotte York-Goldenblatt (Kristin Davis) similarly owns a dog named Richard Burton.

Puppy Love‘s Channing Tatum is likely an homage to iconic onscreen pets like these. However, the dog’s name also offers insight into Nicole’s character. She is irreverent and pop culture savvy, and her ability to not take things too seriously may help her realize exactly how much of a mistake she made when originally turning down a second date with Max.

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