In the world of celebrity interviews, one would hope that most stars understand the boundaries and professionalism required when interacting with hosts. However, as evidenced by a recent sit-down on The Cari Champion Show, it seems that not all celebrities got the memo. Power star Gianni Paolo, in particular, found himself playfully “shooting his shot” with former ESPN host Cari Champion during a live interview. Though unconventional, Champion skillfully handled the situation with ease and humor, leaving both the audience and Paolo in good spirits.
The incident in question took place during Champion’s Amazon Prime Video Sports Talk series back in May. However, it was Paolo himself who brought attention to the encounter by posting a clip from the interview on his TikTok account. In the caption, he humorously questioned, “Why am I like this?” And as viewers would soon discover, there was indeed a delightful reason behind Paolo’s jesting.
Referencing Paolo’s role as Brayden on the popular Starz crime drama and its spinoff, Power Book II: Ghost, Champion playfully acknowledged his character’s daring nature, remarking, “Y’all [Gianni Paolo] was ready… BRAYDEN is about that life. Very kind.”
Champion admitted that Paolo had tried to make a move during the interview after realizing that they both attended Kobe Bryant’s final game with the Lakers in 2016, before his retirement. Paolo, gesturing towards Champion, expressed regret that he didn’t have the chance to “shoot his shot” back then, as he was not as recognizable at the time.
Unfazed and witty as ever, Champion swiftly responded, wanting to know if Paolo’s flirtatious behavior was a regular occurrence. “Is this your thing?” she quipped, curious about his flirty approach. Paolo, laughing, assured her that this wasn’t his typical style. He explained, “I just actually got here, and I was like, ‘Wow, she’s stunning,’ you know?” The playful banter between the two celebrities added an unexpected twist to the interview.
Before the video cut off, Champion looked off-camera and humorously remarked, presumably to her producer, “Colleen, you didn’t tell me I was gonna have someone flirting with me—”
The fact that Cari Champion shared the video on her own account, albeit a few months after the interview took place, shows her lighthearted and humorous approach to the situation. It seems that she took the unexpected flirtation in stride, embracing the moment as an amusing anecdote. In a world where interactions with celebrities are often carefully orchestrated, Champion’s candid response endeared her even more to her audience.
As for Paolo’s advances, it remains to be seen if Champion will give him a chance eventually. Their meet-cute moment certainly made waves on social media, and fans of both stars eagerly await any further developments.
In the end, this entertaining episode serves as a reminder that celebrities, like all individuals, are not immune to spontaneous moments of flirtation. And while some might expect a more rigid demeanor during live interviews, Cari Champion’s humorous handling of Gianni Paolo’s advances showcased her ability to maintain professionalism while sharing a good laugh. The incident stands as a testament to the power of wit and charm, even in unexpected situations, leaving us all with a smile and an appreciation for these endearing human moments that bring levity to the world of celebrity interviews.