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Alex Pettyfer

Pettyfer in July 2006
Born Alexander Richard Pettyfer
10 April 1990 (1990-04-10) (age 19)
Stevenage, Hertfordshire, England, UK
Occupation Actor, Model
Years active 2005–present
Official website

Alexander Richard "Alex" Pettyfer (born 10 April 1990) is an English actor and model.[1] 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.[2] He appeared in the 2008 film Wild Child. He has been seen as a model in several advertising campaigns for Burberry.[3] In May 2009 he appeared in the film Tormented alongside April Pearson.


Family background

Pettyfer was born in Stevenage, Hertfordshire, the son of actor Richard Pettyfer and Lee Robinson; he has a younger half-brother, James Ireland, a junior tennis player, from his mother's re-marriage to Michael Ireland, a property developer.[4][5]


Pettyfer began his career as a child fashion model at the age of seven,Gap, after meeting Ralph Lauren in a toy store in New York City.[4] He also did advertisements for some yogurt brands. His first commercial was at age six. He attended The Mall School, a small private school in Twickenham and as a schoolboy performed in plays, including in the role of Willy Wonka in a production Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. He then went on to attend Lambrook Haileybury school in Berkshire.[citation needed]

In 2005, Pettyfer, after ending his modeling career,[4] 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.[6]There are reports, however, which cite that he was tormented by the Rugby School pupils with whom he was on set with, especially during the scenes in which rugby was being played.[7] 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.[5] 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.[4] 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",[8] although another noted that he "isn't quite at ease as an actor".[9] Media reports specified that the film was expected to make Pettyfer a "teen idol".[6] Pettyfer will not reprise the role if there is another Alex Rider film because he is too old.[10]

He next appeared in Wild Child, a movie set in California and Yorkshire. He played school boy Freddie Kingsley and he co-starred with Emma Roberts. He will star in the film Beastly, based on the novel by Alex Flinn, alongside Mary-Kate Olsen, Vanessa Hudgens and Neil Patrick Harris to be released in 2010.[11] 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.[citation needed]

Public image

On 14 June 2009, Pettyfer was voted #35 on the Britain's top 50 most eligible bachelors by UK women's magazine Company.[12] 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.[13]

Personal life

Pettyfer was raised in Windsor, Berkshire, and attended Shiplake College boarding school near Henley-on-Thames in Oxfordshire and Lambrook Haileybury School in Windsor.[4] He initially attended Millfield School in Somerset, before Shipklake College, and then left after GCSEs to attend drama college. When not working, Pettyfer's hobbies include skiing and hockey. He also attended Sylvia Young Theatre School.

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,[14] whilst studying drama at college,[6] 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".[15]

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, [16] 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.[17]


Year Title Role
2005 Tom Brown's Schooldays Tom Brown
2006 Stormbreaker Alex Rider
2008 Wild Child Freddie Kingsley
2009 Tormented Bradley
2010 Beastly Kyle Kingson



  1. ^ England & Wales, Birth Index: 1984-2005
  2. ^ Alex Pettyfer awards
  3. ^
  4. ^ a b c d e "The New York Times". He Was a Teenage spy, Surrounded by Treacherous Adults.. Retrieved 2006-07-20. 
  5. ^ a b "". Calm amid the storm. Retrieved 2006-07-20. 
  6. ^ a b c "". Going down a storm. Retrieved 2006-07-20. 
  7. ^
  8. ^ "". Stormbreaker. Retrieved 2006-07-20. 
  9. ^ "The Independent". Stormbreaker (PG). Retrieved 2006-07-22. 
  10. ^ "The Sunday Mail". Young star cruising.,23739,20457262-5003420,00.html. Retrieved 2006-09-23. 
  11. ^ "E!Online". Vanessa Hudgens' New British Import. Retrieved 2009-04-21. 
  12. ^ Alex Pettyfer #35 on Britain's 50 most eligible bachelors
  13. ^ "". 'Twilight' star Robert Pattinson is 'Sexiest Man on the Planet'. 
  14. ^ "ContactMusic". PETTYFER PUTS McGREGOR'S ADVICE INTO PRACTICE. Retrieved 2006-07-20. 
  15. ^ "PRInside". STORMBREAKER STAR QUITS SCHOOL. Retrieved 2006-07-20. 
  16. ^ Barker, Andy (15 August 2008). "Alex The Great". Evening Standard Magazine. 
  17. ^

External links



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