The world watched with delight as Channing Tatum and Jenna Dewan fell in love as young semi-unknowns in Step Up, then with sadness as they announced their split after almost a decade together. Now a household name and a producer-writer-author in addition to being an actor-dancer, Tatum is opening up about the split, both the pain and the growth that followed.

“In the beginning, [the split] was super scary and terrifying,” he told Vanity Fair in a recent profile promoting the upcoming Magic Mike’s Last Dance. “Your life just turns on its axis. This whole plan that you had literally just turns into sand and goes through your fingers and you’re just like, ‘Oh, shit. What now?’”

Channing Tatum and Jenna Dewan arrive for the 71st Annual Golden Globe Awards held at the Beverly Hilton Hotel on January 12, 2014.Christopher Polk/NBC/Getty Images

Tatum and Dewan finalized their divorce in 2019, giving no reason more dramatic than having grown apart. “I think we told ourselves a story when we were young, and we just kept telling ourselves that story, no matter how blatantly life was telling us that we were so different,” he said, adding that the pair “fought for [their marriage] for a really long time, even though we both sort of knew that we had sort of grown apart.

“But when you’re actually parents, you really understand differences between the two of you,“ he said. “Because it is screaming at you all day long. How you parent differently, how you look at the world, how you go through the world.”

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