A photogenic young actor whose successful modeling career no-doubt helped to set him at ease in front of the camera before he was bitten by the acting bug, handsome Alex Pettyfer had essayed only one role on the screen before being launched into what has been referred to by some as the most physically demanding performance for a young actor ever attempted -- the role of teenage super-spy Alex Rider in the high-flying 2006 adventure Stormbreaker. Pegged by industry insiders as the next Brad Pitt thanks to a winning combination of good looks and promising talent, the rising star appeared in widely seen advertising campaigns for such well-known companies as The Gap before following actor father Richard Pettyfer to the silver screen. Educated as a border student at Shiplake College in Oxfordshire, England, Alex commuted between his school and his Windsor home while completing his secondary education. The procurement of an L.A. agent quickly resulted in the casting of Pettyfer in a British ITV production of Tom Brown's Schooldays, a fateful turn which found the burgeoning actor developing much the same relationship with co-star Stephen Fry off screen as his character shared with Fry's friendly but bemused headmaster onscreen. Subsequently beating out over 500 hopefuls to land the role of adolescent secret agent Alex Rider in Stormbreaker, the big-budget screen adaptation of author Anthony Horowitz's popular series of teenage adventure novels, Pettyfer began the grueling training process to get in shape for the role of a lifetime. He went on to appear in the Beauty and the Beast redo Beastly, the sci-fi film In Time, and the action film I Am Number Four. In 2012 he appeared in the Steven Soderberg male stripper film Magic Mike.
Biography by Jason Buchanan
- Was encouraged to pursue modeling by Ralph Lauren after a chance encounter with the designer in a New York store as a child.
- Played Willy Wonka in a school production of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.
- Made his big-screen debut in the 2006 film Alex Rider: Operation Stormbreaker, starring as the titular schoolboy-turned-spy.
- Named one of Britain's 50 most eligible bachelors at age 19 by Company magazine.
- Designated the Male Star of Tomorrow at ShoWest in 2010.