“I think you have to be very secure as an actor to escape yourself – to revisit someone’s past, whether you’re portraying another person or creating someone, and then to come back to who you are and not bring those emotions with you” states actor Alexander Pettyfer. Alex’s story began in 1990 in Hertfordshire, England to a mother who was an interior decorator and father who was an actor.
Pettyfer grew up in Slough, Berkshire and was first noticed by Ralph Lauren in a toy store in New York. He began his acting and modeling career shortly thereafter, starring in his first commercial at age 6 and modeling for the Gap at age 7. While not modeling, Pettyfer attended various private schools where he took an interest in acting. He played such roles as Willy Wonka, Jack from “Jack and the Beanstalk” and Robin Hood. Pettyfer graduated from high school in 2006 at the age of 16.
Wanting to pursue acting even further, he auditioned for and received a part in the British television production of “Tom Brown’s Schooldays,” which is based on a book of the same name. Two years later at the age of 15, Pettyfer headed to Los Angeles and won the role of Alex Rider in the movie “Operation Stormbreaker,” for which he was nominated for a Young Artist Award and an Empire Award. He chose this movie over a starring role in “Eragon” due to his fear of flying.
His next role came with “Wild Child,” where he played Freddie Kingsley alongside Emma Roberts. “Tormented” was his next big project in 2009. In “Tormented,” Pettyfer played the ringleader of a group of cruel teenage boys who were murdered one-by-one by the ghost of a former victim.
Acting along with Mary-Kate Olsen, Neil Patrick Harris and Vanessa Hudgens, Pettyfer played Alex Flinn in the novel-turned-movie called “Beastly,” which was released in the spring of 2011. He dated fellow costar Dianna Agron for a year after they met while filming the 2011 movie, “I Am Number Four.”
Pettyfer turned down roles in several movies including “The Seventh Son,” “The Paperboy” and “The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones.” He did not, however, turn down the role of a 19-year old stripper in the 2012 film “Magic Mike.” This was after his role of Fortis in the 2011 film “In Time.”
“The Butler,” starring John Cusack, Cuba Gooding, Jr., Alan Rickman, Mariah Carey, Forest Whitaker and Oprah Winfrey, came out in 2013. The film was directed by Lee Daniels and is a historical fiction drama about a butler who witnessed 34 years of events at the White House. Alex Pettyfer plays Thomas Westfall, the plantation owner who ends up killing one character after raping another.
Pettyfer’s 2014 movie, “Endless Love,” is based on a novel by Scott Spencer. Pettyfer plays a working-class young man with a troubled past who is the love interest of privileged teen Jade Butterfield, played by Gabriella Wilde. Their affair intensifies after their parents disapprove of the relationship.
In 2007, Alex Pettyfer was nominated for a Young Artists Award in the category of Best Performance in an International Feature Film – Leading Young Actor or Actress and for the Best Male Newcomer Empire Award for the movie “Stormbreaker.” He won a Male Star of Tomorrow ShoWest Award. In 2011, he was nominated for three awards. His role in “I Am Number Four” put him up for the MTV Movie Awards Biggest Badass Star category. The Teen Choice Awards nominated Pettyfer and Vanessa Hudgens for Choice Movie: Liplock for “Beastly,” and he won a Teen Choice Award for Choice Movie: Breakout Male for both “Beastly” and “I Am Number Four.” The Screen Actors Guild Awards nominated Pettyfer for Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture for “The Butler.”
In 2009, Pettyfer made the list of a British women’s magazine most eligible bachelor list. He was also listed on “Glamour” magazine’s 2009 list of sexiest men on the planet.
Besides dating Dianna Agron, he also dated and had a tattoo inked on his right wrist for Emma Roberts. In 2012, news spread that Pettyfer was engaged to Elvis Presley’s granddaughter, Riley Keough, whom he met while filming “Magic Mike.”
His good looks, charm and modeling abilities helped Alex Pettyfer get his foot in the door for acting. With his first big screen appearance in “Stormbreaker” after beating out over 500 acting hopefuls, Pettyfer has been able to push forward with his career and never look back.