Don Cheadle Dishes on Damon, Charity and His Dark Secrets
By Bryan Alexander Posted Oct 30th 2009 11:27PM
Matt Damon might have set a new standard for over-the-top celebrity charity wrangling on his recent viral video and 'Entourage' episode, but Don Cheadle says he has no need to go to the zealotry extremes of his 'Ocean's' pal. "I don't have to call you and berate you on the phone," Cheadle tells PopEater of his fundraising success. "I'm the king of secrets. I just threaten to drop the stuff about you."
Judging from the celebs he managed to wrangle at his "Ante Up For Africa and San Manuel To Help Darfur" Thursday night, Cheadle clearly has a lot of videotape. The fundraiser featured poker professionals and celebs such as co-host Annie Duke, comedian George Lopez, Marlon Wayans and Mekhi Phifer all driving to a casino 80 miles from their LA homes to play poker for charity. The event raised more than $500,000 for Darfur, including a generous donation by the San Manuel Band of Mission Indians.
Don Cheadle Pics
Actor Don Cheadle and professional poker player Annie Duke attend the 2nd Annual Ante Up for Africa poker tournament to benefit Darfur at San Manuel Indian Bingo & Casino.
AP IMAGES FOR SAN MANUEL
Cheadle admits that Damon's fundraising turn on 'Entourage' was "one of the most brilliant pieces of acting he's ever done. I think he should forget all that 'Bourne' stuff and just focus on yucking it up."
Fortunately his fellow "Ante Up For Africa" member has never hit him up for charity cash with that intensity. "Matt and I are part of an organization together, so we don't have to resort to such things," says Cheadle.
Running the charity event does has its perks for Cheadle. Co-host Annie Duke called him the best celebrity poker player in the world, which brought guffaws from 'Celebrity Poker Showdown' host Phil Gordon ("she was sucking up to him," he whispered loudly to Popeater.)
Even Cheadle agreed there might be ulterior motives for the compliment. "Annie has to say that," says the poker-faced Cheadle. " I have a lot of secrets on her. She doesn't want any of those out. I'd tell you, but then I'd lose all my leverage."
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