While most of the stars were going on about how all the uninhibited dancing and walking around in thongs created a certain camaraderie on set, Pettyfer said that he wasn’t feeling the brotherly love.
According to the actor, Tatum—who also served as a producer—was wary about casting him in the first place “because he looked upon me as a risk, and rightfully so,” the beastly star said in 2015 on Bret Easton Ellis‘ BEE podcast. Pettyfer pointed to his “very negative past relating to the things that I had done on movies and promotion of movies.”
So lest he risk rocking the boat, Pettyfer hardly talked to anyone at all. “I actually did and I sat in the corner and listened to music,” he recalled, “because I was told that anything I do is wrong by reps…I was very insecure as a human being and that also gave me a bad rep because they said, ‘Oh, Alex thinks he’s f—ing better than everyone else because he doesn’t speak to anyone,’ and that’s not true. I was just genuinely nervous and scared to be myself.”
The bad blood boiled over a few months after they wrapped when Pettyfer and then-fiancée Keough rented a New York apartment that belonged to friends of Tatum, but then moved out after only four months. According to Pettyfer, his allergies were flaring up due to alleged dust and mold in the unit.
Afterward, he continued, he got a “very negative” email from Tatum saying, “‘Don’t f–k my friends. You owe money. Pay the f–king money. Don’t be a clown.'”
At the same time, Pettyfer said, his cousin had just died and he took Tatum “the wrong way, which I shouldn’t have, and emailed him back saying, ‘I’m in a negative headspace, can you respect me for a moment, and blah blah blah.’ And I just got hounded through this time of grieving for money, and by the end of it I just basically said, ‘F–k them. What is money when life is so much more? ‘m not paying.’ And I should have just paid.”
This remains a one-sided story, as Tatum has never said a public word about it.
“I was never difficult,” Pettyfer reflected to Variety in 2018. “I was always on time and knew my lines. But I think it’s the aura you put out in the world that people can sense. I probably did not have the appreciation I should have had for the position that I was in. “