Alexander Richard Pettyfer 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. Take a look below for 28 more fun and interesting facts about Alex Pettyfer.
1. He has been seen as a model in several advertising campaigns for Burberry and has starred in a number of other films, including “I Am Number Four,” “Beastly” and “Magic Mike.”
2. Pettyfer was born in Stevenage, Hertfordshire, the son of Lee Robinson, an actress and Richard Pettyfer, an actor.
3. Both parents met while performing in London’s West End in “West Side Story,” “Cats” and “Miss Saigon.”
4. He has a younger half-brother, James Ireland, a professional tennis player and regional coach, from his mother’s remarriage to Michael J. Ireland, a retired builder and property developer.
5. Pettyfer was brought up in Esher and then Windsor, Berkshire, and began his career initially being managed by his mother as a child fashion model at the age of seven, for Gap, after meeting Ralph Lauren in a toy store in New York.
6. He did advertisements for some yogurt brands.
7. His first commercial was at the age of six.
8. As a schoolboy, he performed in plays, including in the role of Willy Wonka in a production of “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory”, Jack in his school play “Jack and the Beanstalk” and Robin Hood in the adaption of “The Adventures of Robin Hood.”
9. Pettyfer was educated at two junior independent schools: The Mall School, a small school in Twickhenham, following by the Lambrook Haileybury school in Winkfield, Berkshire.
10. He subsequently attended two other independent boarding schools: Millfield School in Street, Somerset and Shiplake College near Henley-on-Thames in Oxfordshire.
11. Before his GCSEs, he left Shiplake College to attend the independent Sylvia Young Theater School in London.
12. In 2005, after a modelling career, Pettyfer made his professional acting debut in the British television production of “Tom Brown’s Schooldays,” playing the lead character, Tom Brown.
13. 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.
14. In 2018, Pettyfer starred as Stephen Underwood, a journalist who uncovers the horrific murder of 22,000 Poles under Stalin’s instructions, in the post-World War II thriller “The Last Witness.”
15. In the same year, it was announced that Pettyfer had been cast in the main role of Brody on the Netflix science fiction series “The I-Land.”
16. In June 2009, Pettyfer was voted number 35 on British women’s magazine Company’s list of the top 50 most eligible bachelors.
17. In August 2009, the British magazine Glamour ranked him number 21 on their list of the sexiest men on the planet.
18. After Pettyfer completed filming “Stormbreaker,” he didn’t discuss the film with anyone at his school, citing the advice of his “Stormbreaker” star Ewan McGregor, who told him to keep his personal and professional lives separate.
19. Pettyfer decided to leave school without any qualifications and concentrate on his film career, 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.”
20. Pettyfer was briefly engaged to Elvis Presley’s granddaughter, the actress Riley Keough, in 2012.
21. Pettyfer and Keough met on the set of their film, “Magic Mike.”
22. Pettyfer was also in a short relationship with “I Am Number Four” co-star Dianna Agron.
23. Pettyfer has seven tattoos, including a Celtic cross on his chest, Tibetan script on the inside of his right arm, the words “What Goes Around Comes Around” on his right shoulder, a Katakana script on his lower waist, and the letters “ER,” the initials of ex-girlfriend Emma Roberts inside interlinking hearts on his right wrist.
24. In a 2011 Vman interview, he said, “I felt like the industry was just a factory. You hear a lot of people say they want to make art in this industry, but so few people actually fucking do it. I was disillusioned by Hollywood at the time, but now I’ve come to accept that’s just the way things are: it’s called show business, not show art.”
25. He appeared in “Wild Child,” a film set in California, Kent and Yorkshire part of which took place at Cobham Hall Girls’ School in Kent.
26. 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.”
27. He starred in the film “Beastly,” based on the novel by Alex Flinn, alongside Mary-Kate Olsen, Vanessa Hudgens and Neil Patrick Harris.
28. In 2014, he starred in the romantic drama “Endless Love” alongside actress Gabriella Wilde, where they play love interests.