Did you miss Alex Pettyfer’s “The Kid” in this summer’s male stripper sequel Magic Mike XXL? Pettyfer might have just revealed why: Turns out there’s some XXL-sized baggage between him and his Magic costar Channing Tatum.
“Channing Tatum does not like me, and for many reasons — many being my own fault,” Pettyfer tells Bret Easton Ellis on Monday’s episode of the latter’s “B.E.E.” podcast. While Ellis thinks Pettyfer “dodged a bullet” when he was not asked to return for the “very dismal” XXL, the actor expresses regret for some of his behavior on the set of Magic Mike and dealing with Tatum, whom he calls “an incredible influence on me.”
Tatum initially disagreed with director Steven Soderbergh’s choice to cast Pettyfer in 2012’s Magic Mike because of Pettyfer’s difficult reputation. “Channing Tatum is an extraordinary, smart businessman,” Pettyfer says on the podcast. “He looked upon me as being a risk.”
Pettyfer, of course, got the part, but “because I had been told that anything that I do was wrong by my reps,” he felt very insecure and “scared to speak” on the set, which he says made him feel that he came across as thinking he was better than everyone else. “That’s not true,” he insists to Ellis. “I was just genuinely nervous and scared to be myself.”
After production wrapped, Pettyfer moved with his then-fiancée Riley Keough into an apartment in New York that belonged to one of Tatum’s friends. They moved out soon after, however, because Pettyfer had an allergic reaction to mold and dust in the apartment, and Tatum’s friend asked him for the full month’s rent.
“I should have paid then and there,” Pettyfer says as he recounts the story. But then his cousin suddenly and unexpectedly passed away, and he says, “I was devastated and was dealing with family trauma and forgot about the situation.”
So Tatum stepped in. “I all of a sudden got a very negative email from Channing — rightfully so,” Pettyfer says. “I really took that the wrong way, which I shouldn’t have … 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.’”
“I should have just paid,” Pettyfer admits before adding, “but he was looking for an excuse to not like me.”
Regarding the rumors that he’s difficult on the set, Pettyfer says, “I would own up if I thought they were true” — but he doesn’t. “My problem doesn’t come when I’m on a film. My problem comes after the film, because of promotion, because I am terribly afraid of flying.”
Listen to the entire interview on the “B.E.E.” Podcast (the Magic Mike section starts around the 1:06:30 mark).