Alex Pettyfer Biography
Alexander Richard "Alex" Pettyfer (born 10 April 1990) is an English actor and model. He appeared in school plays and on television before being cast as Alex Rider, the main character in the 2006 film version of Stormbreaker. Pettyfer was nominated for a Young Artist Award and an Empire Award for his role. He has been seen as a model in several advertising campaigns for Burberry.His next starring role is in Beastly, a modernized retelling of Beauty and the Beast.
Pettyfer was born in Stevenage, Hertfordshire, the son of Lee Ireland (née Robinson), a former model, and Richard Pettyfer, an actor. He has a younger half-brother, James Ireland, a junior tennis player, from his mother's re-marriage to Michael Ireland, a property developer.Pettyfer was raised in Windsor, and began his career as a child fashion model at the age of seven, for the Gap, after meeting Ralph Lauren in a toy store in New York City. He also did advertisements for some yogurt brands. His first commercial was at age six.As a schoolboy, he performed in plays, including in the role of Willy Wonka in a production Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. Pettyfer was educated at two junior independent schools: The Mall School, a small school in Twickenham, followed by the Lambrook Haileybury school in Berkshire. He subsequently attended two other independent boarding schools: Millfield School in Street in Somerset and Shiplake College near Henley-on-Thames in Oxfordshire. After GCSEs, he left Shiplake College to attend the independent Sylvia Young Theatre School.
In 2005, Pettyfer, after ending his modelling career, made his professional acting début in the British television production of Tom Brown's Schooldays, playing the lead character, Tom Brown; he received positive reviews for the role. In June 2005, he was cast in his most prominent role so far, that of teenage MI6 spy Alex Rider in the film Stormbreaker, based on the novel by Anthony Horowitz. He was one of 500 who auditioned for the role. Pettyfer chose to appear in the film over a role in the film Eragon, noting that he preferred Stormbreaker because it would be filmed in Britain, in the Isle of Man, while Eragon would film in the Czech Republic; Pettyfer is afraid of flying, and he liked the looks of the cast for Stormbreaker. Stormbreaker was released on 21 July 2006 in the United Kingdom, on 6 October 2006 in the United States and on 21 September 2006 in Australia.One review of Pettyfer's performance described him as playing the role with an "earnest intensity", although another noted that he "isn't quite at ease as an actor". Media reports specified that the film was expected to make Pettyfer a "teen idol".Pettyfer will not reprise the role if there is another Alex Rider film because he is too old.
He next appeared in Wild Child, a film set in California, Kent and Yorkshire part of which took place at Cobham Hall Girl's School in Kent. He played school boy Freddie Kingsley and he co-starred with Emma Roberts. In 2009, he played the callous ringleader of a group of cool but cruel teenagers who are picked off one by one by the ghost of one of their former victims, in the horror-comedy, Tormented.He will star in the film Beastly, based on the novel by Alex Flinn, alongside Mary-Kate Olsen, Vanessa Hudgens and Neil Patrick Harris which will be released in 2011. He finished filming on 13 August 2009, according to the film's Twitter account. Pettyfer returned to modelling in 2007. His recent modelling jobs include ad campaigns for Burberry in 2008 and 2009.
Pettyfer will portray the main character in I Am Number Four, to be released in 2011. The film will co-star Timothy Olyphant, Dianna Agron, and Teresa Palmer, and is directed by D. J. Caruso, produced by Michael Bay, and executive produced by Steven Spielberg.
On 14 June 2009, Pettyfer was voted #35 on the Britain's top 50 most eligible bachelors by UK women's magazine Company. In August 2009 the UK magazine Glamour ranked him at #21 on their list of the sexiest men on the planet, as determined by a poll of 2000 British women.
After Pettyfer completed filming Stormbreaker, he did not discuss the film with anyone at his school, citing the advice of his Stormbreaker co-star, Ewan McGregor, who told him to keep his personal and professional life separate. Pettyfer has since decided to leave school and concentrate on his film career, whilst studying drama at college, saying that "When you have already experienced going out and working in the real world, and you come back to school, you just see it as a playground and you don't want to be there any more".
Pettyfer has seven tattoos, including a Celtic cross on his chest, Arabic script on the inside of his right arm, the words, "What Goes Around Comes Around" on his right shoulder, a Kanji script on his lower waist, and the letters "ER," the initials of his now ex-girlfriend Emma Roberts inside interlinking hearts on his right wrist. When Contactmusic asked him about the "ER" tattoo he said "I don't know how to say it, she's a lovely, lovely girl, we had a spell of something that is over now, but we're on good terms. She's beautiful, she's great; we're really good friends." The actor had gotten Roberts' name tattooed on his wrist while the two were dating. "I'm going to get asked about this, aren't I? I thought it was just between me and her," he said when asked about the tattoo.