“We all make mistakes as individuals, especially in our youth, and it’s just about ownership and owning up to the mistakes I had made, and moving forward into a positive direction,” Pettyfer tells PEOPLE.
The 25-year-old Brit starred alongside Tatum in 2012’s Magic Mike, but did not reprise the role in the 2015 sequel, Magic Mike XXL. Speaking abut his relationship with Tatum, Pettyfer said candidly, “[He] does not like me,” in a recent interview on writer Bret Easton Ellis’s podcast, B.E.E.
Pettyfer took ownership for much of the tension, blaming his own reclusive nature on set and an incident involving unpaid rent to a friend of Tatum’s for the uneasiness. “Those mistakes are a great thing to move forward from, because as long as you learn from those experiences and move forward in a positive way to actually learn from those and not making them again,” he says of his decision to bring the issues to light.
With that drama behind him, Pettyfer is moving on to a plethora of new projects, including founding his own publishing company, Upturn Publishing. With the goal of “reinventing the way stories reach audiences and the way books reach readers,” he explains, “We believe in shifting the publishing landscape to help incredible stories get told. We upturn the status quo in order to bring the undiscovered to light.”
The idea came to him when a writer, Ashley Mansour, who was writing movie scripts for his production company, came to him with a finished manuscript for a novel. Instead of finding a third party to publish the young adult title, Pettyfer, who has some experience in the genre with his work on films like I Am Number Four, decided to take on the challenge himself.
“The book is about a world where the written word is the cause for war and there are no more books, they don’t exist,” he explains of the dystopian novel. “They believe that if you can read that is a danger to society. There’s also a love story that’s so beautiful, so unique, something I’ve never seen before.”
In addition to entering the publishing, Pettyfer is also testing his directing chops. “I actually directed the book trailer to Blood, Ink & Fire,” he says proudly. “That was a great experience for me because that’s the first time I’ve ever directed anything,” he says, admitting that, “It was kind of nerve wracking.”
Pettyfer hopes that many of his titles, including Blood, Ink & Fire, will one day be adapted for the screen. “We spent two days out in the California dessert and it’s actually quite spectacular,” he says of filming the trailer, hoping that the finished product “will give a good image of what the film can be like.”
And that’s not the only passion project the actor has in the pipelines. He’s currently co-producing a feature script based on the best-selling novel, Back Roads by Tawni O’Dell. Look for Pettyfer to produce and star in the film sometime in 2016.