James Corden Dishes on How Star-Studded Dodgeball Game With Michelle Obama Came About (Exclusive)

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James Corden did his best to defeat Michelle Obama.

During The Late Late Show's London week, ET's Keltie Knight caught up with the 40-year-old late-night host, who revealed how his U.K. vs. USA dodgeball match came to be. The game featured Corden and the 55-year-old former first lady as team captains, with the USA eventually coming out victorious.

"It was kinda ludicrous, really. Michelle Obama got in touch with the show and [asked]... 'Is there something fun we could do?' And we were like, 'Yes, of course,'" Corden told ET of the game's origins. "And then we thought, 'Well, what if we played dodgeball?' That seemed a silly idea, so then we asked some other friends and got this ridiculous cast list of people to come and do it... It's so silly."

That cast Corden mentioned featured Harry Styles, Benedict Cumberbatch, John Bradley and Reggie Watts on his team, and Allison Janney, Mila Kunis, Melissa McCarthy, Lena Waithe and Kate Hudson suiting up for Obama. While it may have initially felt weird to try and hit the Becoming author with a dodgeball, Corden quickly got past his reservations.

"It was her idea. She wanted to play it. She played the game," Corden said of Obama. "... You have a real moment when you go, 'I can't throw a ball at Michelle Obama. It's Michelle Obama.' And then before you know it she throws one in your face and you go, OK. It's on."

The Late Late Show
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The outcome of the best-of-three series, which the USA won 2 to 1, aired on Corden's show Monday night. While it began as Corden's Carpool Karaoke segment, which Obama has previously done, the video quickly became an argument about whether the USA or the U.K. is the superior country. The pair decided to figure it out once and for all with the not-so-friendly game of dodgeball.

"I've called some of my best friends to help me out and I'm pretty confident that Team U.K. is, I don't want to say 'demolish' Team USA, but we're going to demolish Team USA," Corden boasted. 

"I've made some calls and let's just say, this team is going to eat them for breakfast. For breakfast! The most important meal of the day," Obama quipped. "... You would not believe how easy it was to get people to do this. All I had to say was, 'You're gonna throw a ball at James Corden.'" 

Prior to the first game, which Team USA won, Obama even pumped up her group with a pep talk.

"I want you to know that I am proud of each and everyone of you. Strength is not measured on how you throw the ball, it is measured in here," she said. "When they go low, we also go low because that's how dodgeball works. Am I right?"

Team U.K. lamented their game one loss with a tea party, before coming out victorious in game two and celebrating by getting their copies of Becoming signed by Obama. It was the USA who walked away with the tie breaker, though, something Corden would simply rather forget.

"At the end of the day, what's important is that we showed kids that exercise can be fun. That's the big thing, honestly," he said. "I can't even remember who won or lost." 

"Oh no, you lost. We won," Obama corrected proudly.

Watch the video below for more on Corden. 


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