Even though Alex Pettyfer is Channing Tatum, son, it turns out Channing Tatum is not a fan of Alex Pettyfer. On Bret Easton Ellis’ podcast this week, Pettyfer shared that Tatum thinks he’s kind of a dick (which is likely why he wasn’t asked back for Magic Mike XXL, though he won’t say as much). “Channing Tatum does not like me,” Pettyfer told Ellis. “For many reasons. Many being my own fault.”
How and why does Channing Tatum dislike Alex Pettyfer? Let us count the ways:
First off, our boy Pettyfer has something of a shady past. You may recall the time he terrified his ex-girlfriend Dianna Agron so profoundly that she allegedly checked into a hotel under an alias. Or the time his house mysteriously caught fire on the same night of his Beastly premiere. Or the time an “insider” told THR that “he was a nightmare and irrational,” on his movie sets, with “no body of work to remotely justify his behavior.” (I really like the last part of that thought, which implies that if you’re a good enough actor, you can be a nightmare and irrational ad infinitum). All of these factors caused Tatum to doubt Pettyfer right off the bat, but director Steven Soderbergh disagreed, insisting on casting the young actor as “The Kid” in Magic Mike. “I had a very negative past relating to the things that I had done on movies and promotion of movies. And Channing Tatum is an extraordinarily smart businessman,” Pettyfer said. “I think he probably didn’t want to get into a conflict with Steven, and so I was cast.”
Fearful of Tatum’s beefy wrath, Pettyfer said he was closed off and quiet during filming. “I didn’t speak on the movie [set]. I was scared to speak,” he said. “I did my work and then I sat in the corner and listened to music because I’d been told that anything I do was wrong by my reps and I was very insecure as a human being. That also gave me a bad rep because they said, ‘Oh Alex thinks he’s f*cking better than everybody else because he doesn’t speak to anyone.’ And that’s not true. I was genuinely nervous and scared to be myself.”
But wait! There’s more. After the movie wrapped, said Pettyfer, he rented an apartment in New York that was owned by one of Tatum’s friends, apparently forgetting the old adage, “Never mix business with Channing Tatum’s friends’ apartments.” But the apartment was full of mold and dust, which made it hard for Pettyfer to breathe, and then Pettyfer’s cousin died, so he forgot to pay four months of rent? (This is where things start to get particularly bizarre on the part of Pettyfer.) Naturally, Tatum was pissed. “I all of a sudden got a very negative email from Channing, rightfully so, saying, ‘Don’t f*ck my friends. You owe money. Pay the f*cking money. Don’t be a clown,’ ” said Pettyfer, who was clearly being a clown.
Though Pettyfer claims he initially told Tatum, “I’m in a very negative situation, negative head space, can you respect me for a minute?”, Tatum and Co. “hounded” him, and ultimately he decided not to pay the rent. Ever. Just like a clown wouldn’t. Pettyfer explained this terrible choice thusly: “By the end of it I just basically said, ‘F*ck them. What is money when life is so much more?’ ” Which is a fair point, to be sure, when you are the one who would have to part with the money and not the one receiving it. To Pettyfer’s credit, he does admit some wrongdoing: “I should have just paid.” But then he totally upends his own pseudo-apology by proclaiming that Tatum had it out for him from the start. “I think he was looking for an excuse to not like me.”
If you can believe it, the sum total of this weird and vaguely awful behavior was that Tatum returned to the Magic Mike set for reshoots and told everyone that Pettyfer was a rent-dodging clown, and then everybody went around treating Pettyfer like a rent-dodging clown. “[Channing] had already told everyone he didn’t like me,” Pettyfer told Ellis. “What Channing says goes because he’s a movie star.” Though it’s been a few years since the Tatuming, Pettyfer’s clearly still not over what happened — nor is he over the fact that Tatum has since skyrocketed to stardom, while he, well, hasn’t. “He’s incredible,” added Pettyfer of Tatum. “He’s done so well for himself.”
This would almost be a sadly poetic tale of two talented young men at the behest of fickle fate, of two roads diverging in a wood, except that Pettyfer clearly burned his road down and then went and clowned all over it.