Channing Tatum "Does Not Like Me," Co-Star Claims
Alex Pettyfer confirmed that the two actors didn't get along on the Magic Mike set.
In the 2012 movie Magic Mike, Channing Tatum's Mike Lane takes Alex Pettyfer's character Adam under his wing, but, according to the latter, the actors' real-life relationship didn't look anything like that. The dramedy, loosely based on Tatum's own pre-fame career, revolves around a group of male exotic dancers in Tampa, Florida, with Mike as the star and Adam as the new blood. Pettyfer has said, however, that there was very little of a student-mentor dynamic with himself and Tatum. In fact, he has been open about their personal issues and claimed that The Lost City star just plain "does not like" him. Read on to find out why Tatum and Pettyfer didn't get along.
Alex Pettyfer says Channing Tatum was wary of him from the start.
In 2015, Pettyfer opened up about the tension between himself and his Magic Mike co-star on an episode of author Bret Easton Ellis' podcast. He said he believes it started because Tatum was aware of his reputation before he was cast.
It's unclear exactly what Pettyfer thinks worried Tatum about him, but he did raise some eyebrows in a 2011 VMAN interview in which he called the film industry "a factory" and Los Angeles "socially … disgusting." It was also reported that year that he had "threatened" his ex-girlfriend Dianna Agron amid their breakup—an accusation he has always denied.
He told Ellis that Magic Mike director Steven Soderbergh was interested in him for the part, but that Tatum's role not just as star but also a producer of the movie made him think twice about agreeing.
"I had a very negative past relating to the things that I had done on movies and promotion of movies," he said on the podcast, per The Hollywood Reporter. "And Channing Tatum is an extraordinarily smart businessman. I think he probably didn't want to get into a conflict with Steven and so I was cast."
He feels like his attitude on-set was misunderstood.
Pettyfer explained to Ellis that he was walking on eggshells during the filming of Magic Mike because he didn't want to step out of line and be reprimanded by his team.
"I didn't speak on the movie [set]," he said. "I was scared to speak. 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."
He said his behavior was misinterpreted by his co-stars. "That also gave me a bad rep because they said, 'Oh Alex thinks he's [expletive] better than everybody else because he doesn't speak to anyone,'" Pettyfer said. "And that's not true. I was genuinely nervous and scared to be myself."
He and Tatum had a much more personal falling out later.
When the initial Magic Mike shoot ended, Pettyfer spent some time in New York City, renting an apartment from a friend of Tatum. He moved out, due to what he claimed was a severe mold and dust issue. But when he failed to pay months of back rent to Tatum's friend, it was his co-star who angrily reached out.
"I all of a sudden got a very negative email from Channing, rightfully so, saying, 'Don't [expletive] my friends. You owe money. Pay the [expletive] money. Don't be a clown,'" Pettyfer said on the podcast.
The actor said he had intended to pay, but a sudden death in his family distracted him. When Tatum continued to ask him for the money after he explained this, Pettyfer decided not to settle up at all. He told Ellis that he regrets it now.
"By the end of it I just basically said, [expletive] them. What is money when life is so much more?' and, 'I'm not dealing with this, and I'm not paying,'" he recalled. "I should have just paid. I think he was looking for an excuse to not like me."
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Pettyfer took responsibility for the bad blood.
In his interview with Ellis, Pettyfer said that "many of" the reasons Tatum supposedly doesn't like him are Pettyfer's "own fault."
The apartment issue in particular made the Magic Mike reshoots that happened later even more awkward. Pettyfer claimed that Tatum had gotten the rest of the cast on his side of the rift before those reshoots began. "[Tatum] had already told everyone he didn't like me," Pettyfer said. "And what Channing says goes because he's a movie star. He's incredible. He's done so well for himself."
While Tatum hasn't publicly responded to Pettyfer's claims (and declined to comment for The Hollywood Reporter article about the podcast), what perhaps says it all is that Pettyfer is not in the 2015 sequel, Magic Mike XXL, his character's absence explained in one line.
One of their co-stars did comment on the situation later.
During a 2017 appearance on Watch What Happens Live, Matt Bomer, who plays Ken in both Magic Mike movies, was asked by a fan whether the feud between Pettyfer and Tatum was noticeable on the set.
"Truth be told, no. On set in the first film, everybody was really professional. Channing is one of the most fun people I've ever worked with; he set a great tone. They both came to work on time, did great work, and there was never any undercurrent of tension that I witnessed," he said, according to E! News.
But he did add the caveat that he may have been too preoccupied with his own exotic dancer duties to pick up on any awkwardness. "I was a little nervous about what I was wearing at the time," Bomer joked, "so maybe I wasn't noticing these undercurrents."