Channing Tatum Recalls Insane Night: I Kicked In Store Window and Shia LaBeouf Punched Cop Car

Truth rating: 10
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By Daniel Gates

(Getty Images)

Channing Tatum and Shia LaBeouf got drunk and vandalized a store during a wild night several years ago, shortly after they met while working on A Guide to Recognizing Your Saints.

LaBeouf first told the story to GQ in 2008, and at the time Tatum’s rep called his version of events “inaccurate.”

Now, as part of his own (new) interview with the magazine, Tatum opens up for the first time about what really happened.

The 22 Jump Street star reveals:

“Me and Shia, I think we had just met that day. 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. Just stupid actors thinking that they have to try and be method.”

“I’m not saying anything about method actors, but to go and try to fight somebody to become the character? I think that’s a little immature, in hindsight. But it felt real and sort of visceral at the time. But I don’t have any problem saying that I don’t know what the hell story he was telling in his interview. I really don’t. I’ve never seen him since then. The kid’s an incredible actor…I just wish that he would just act. Just act, man!”

Apparently, at the time when LaBeouf first shared the story, Tatum took issue with the alleged detail that he’d suggested they throw rocks at a Barnes & Noble window and then had stolen, of all things, bookmarks.

Not that Tatum didn’t vandalize a store that night.

“I definitely kicked in a window that night,” he tells GQ. “But it wasn’t Barnes and Nobles. Just a window. I was running.”

He explains, “I didn’t think I was going to kick through it. We were just running and being hoodlums and throwing trash bags down streets and just being stupid. We were trying to be like eighties hoodlums. 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 sh*t’. And then we just took off running.”

It didn’t end there.

“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,” remembers Tatum. “It was pandemonium. It was just one of those nights that the volume just keeps getting turned up, turned up, turned up.”

He adds, “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. 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.”

Their recklessness was supposed to be a kind of way of getting into character for the dark A Guide to Recognizing Your Saints, but Tatum now realizes how foolish the whole thing was.

“It was more of just us being so young and not having any real clue of how to do what we were trying to do in this movie,” he tells the outlet. “I think actors always sort of feel fake, for a lack of better words. You always sort of feel like a fraud. And I think that was us trying to be like ‘oh, we’re tough… I’m tough.'”

What do you think of Tatum’s story?

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