Channing Tatum and Shia LaBeouf became fast friends before filming 2006's A Guide to Recognizing Your Saints. In fact, just before cameras rolled, the young co-stars enjoyed a wild night of debauchery.
"Me and Shia, I think we had just met that day," Tatum, 34, says in a just-released GQ excerpt. "We were, like, 'What shall we go out and do?' We were drinking. And I think our initial thing was 'Alright, let's go out and try and get in a fight!' This was just young, dumb idiot actors thinking that that's going to bond us. Because we'll shed blood together, blah, blah, blah. I've never seen him since then."
In a 2008 GQ profile, LaBeouf opened up about his night with Tatum and co-star Peter Tambakis. "We were walking around the Upper East Side in this rebel mind-set, trying to be like street kids," he said.
"Channing was supposed to be the head honcho in the movie, so he goes, 'All right, you see that bookstore? Somebody throw a rock. Let's break in and steal a Spider-Man bookmark.' And Peter and me look at each other like, 'Dude, what? Are you f--king kidding me?'" According to LaBeouf, Tatum then broke the plate-glass window, setting off the security system. "He grabs the bookmarks and jets," LaBeouf told the magazine. "So now you got these little actor kids running down the street in New York, freaking out." At the time, Tatum's rep said that LaBeouf's version of the story was "inaccurate."
Tatum now admits to committing an act of vandalism. "I definitely kicked in a window that night. But it wasn't Barnes and Nobles. Just a window," he says, adding clarity to LaBeouf's story. "I was running."
"We were just running and being hoodlums and throwing trash bags down streets and just being stupid. We were trying to be like '80s hoodlums," the 22 Jump Street star says. "And I think as we were running I kicked this thing, not thinking that it would ever shatter. And everything just went raining down. And I was like, 'Oh, s--t.' And then we just took off running. We all split up. I think Shia even punched a cop car—we weren't even sure if the cop was in the car, he punched the window of a cop car. It was pandemonium. It was just one of those nights that the volume just keeps getting turned up, turned up, turned up. And we all split up. We all just ran in opposite directions. I didn't hide under a car, I dove in some trash bags: 'I'm sitting here for a little while.'"
"In hindsight it's the funniest thing in the world—just typical actors trying too hard," says the Foxcatcher star, now a married father and possible Oscar nominee. "It's only fun because we didn't get caught…that I can have perspective on it now and know it was stupid. I don't think we were thinking."
LaBeouf's antics continued to make headlines for all the wrong reasons in the following years, but Tatum would never deny his co-stars talent. "The kid's an incredible actor…I just wish that he would just act. Just act, man!" he says.