Alex Pettyfer Reveals Story Behind Channing Tatum 'Magic Mike' Feud

Alex Pettyfer and Channing Tatum in Magic Mike (2012) - H 2015
Warner Bros./Photofest

The two co-starred in 'Magic Mike' but Pettyfer says that his bad reputation and his not paying rent he owed contributed to Tatum not liking him.

One-time Hollywood bad boy Alex Pettyfer stopped by Bret Easton Ellis' podcast to clarify some of the rumors about his past behavior. Pettyfer reveals that he didn't, as was reported, burn his house down, or have an outburst on set when he found out he wasn't being paid as much as his co-stars. (He walked a mile away and screamed but says it was apparently so loud that people on set heard.) But he says that rumors that he and his Magic Mike co-star Channing Tatum didn't get along on set are true.

"Channing Tatum does not like me," says Pettyfer. "For many reasons. Many being my own fault."

The actor goes on to explain that after reports surfaced of his bad boy behavior, including some of the incidents above, he was approached by Steven Soderbergh to star in Magic Mike. Even though Soderbergh wanted to cast him, Pettyfer thinks Tatum, who had invested his own money into the film, saw casting him [Pettyfer] as too much of a business risk. 

"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," says Pettyfer. "I think he probably didn't want to get into a conflict with Steven and so I was cast."

On the set, perhaps aware of Tatum's attitude, Pettyfer was standoffish.

"I didn't speak on the movie [set]. I was scared to speak," he says. "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—ing 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."

After the movie wrapped, he rented an apartment in New York owned by a friend of Tatum's. But he left shortly after arriving, claiming that terrible mold and dust allergies made it difficult for him to breathe. When he left, he stilled owed four months of back rent, which he realizes now and says repeatedly in the podcast, he should have paid.

But Pettyfer's cousin died suddenly and he forgot to pay the rent, he says.

He adds: "I all of a sudden got a very negative email from Channing, rightfully so, saying, 'Don't f— my friends. You owe money. Pay the f—ing money. Don't be a clown.' "

He says he initially responded with an email saying something to the effect of "I'm in a very negative situation, negative headspace, can you respect me for a minute?" But after getting repeatedly "hounded" for rent money while he was grieving for his cousin, Pettyfer said he ultimately decided not to pay them.

"By the end of it I just basically said, 'F— them. What is money when life is so much more?’ and, ‘I’m not dealing with this, and I’m not paying,' " says Pettyfer. "I should have just paid. I think he was looking for an excuse to not like me."

When he returned to work with his Magic Mike co-stars, for reshoots, Pettyfer says the tide had turned against him.

"[Channing] had already told everyone he didn't like me," he explains. "And what Channing says goes because he's a movie star. He's incredible. He's done so well for himself."

While Pettyfer doesn't get into what happened with Magic Mike XXL and why he wasn't in the sequel, The Hollywood Reporter revealed in March that he wasn't asked back.

A rep for Tatum has not yet responded to The Hollywood Reporter's request for comment.

Listen to Pettyfer's full chat with Ellis below. The Magic Mike discussion begins about an hour in.