The Hail, Caesar! actors joke about the "steamy" circumstances surrounding their first meeting

By Kara Warner
February 04, 2016 12:40 PM

It should come as no surprise to learn that Hollywood heartthrobs George Clooney and Channing Tatum are good friends in real life.

The Sexiest Man Alive alums star in the new Coen brothers comedy Hail, Caesar!, but how exactly did these two meet?

“At the baths, wasn’t it? The Turkish bath,” Clooney jokes to PEOPLE of his meet cute with Tatum, who is seated next to him in this exclusive video.

“It was at the baths,” agrees Tatum. “I passed him the little peppermint leaves.”

“Oh, those peppermint leaves were nice,” says Clooney, before giving up the joke and admitting the truth. “We met maybe on a red carpet, was the first time I saw you. Like ‘Hey man,’ but he’s been to the house in Como.”

George Clooney (left) and Channing Tatum
Todd Williamson/Getty

But how has the friendship evolved now that they’ve been in a movie together?

“Not good,” jokes Clooney. “There’s a restraining order.”

“This is about as close as we’ve sat in a very long time,” adds Tatum. “But I have not slapped him like Josh [Brolin] did.” (In Hail, Caesar!, Brolin and Clooney share a scene that required the former to slap the latter on the face several times).

“I would never do that to you,” Tatum says to Clooney.

“I know. I did it for the film,” adds Clooney. “I did it for the art.”

All joking aside, Clooney says his friendship with Tatum was easily forged because the Magic Mike star is a nice, fun guy.

“[He has] a great sense of humor,” Clooney told PEOPLE at the Hail, Caesar! premiere in Los Angeles on Sunday. “[He] gets it. Understands that a little bit of luck always plays into why you get to walk up and down this [red carpet]. But mostly, he’s also somebody that I really enjoying hanging with. He’s fun.”

Hail, Caesar! opens in theaters Friday.

With reporting by SCOTT HUVER