Alex Pettyfer talks about starring in I Am Number 4
ALEX PETTYFER (Number 4/John) began his acting career in 2005 in ITV's adaptation of "Tom Brown's Schooldays," co-starring Stephen Fry and Jemma Redgrave. His big break came at age 15 when he beat out hundreds of young actors to score the title role in "Alex Rider: Operation Stormbreaker" for the Weinstein Co., opposite Mickey Rourke and Alicia Silverstone. Following "Stormbreaker," Pettyfer went on to play the lead in "Wild Child," opposite Emma Roberts, about a rebellious girl shipped off to boarding school in the UK.
Last year, Pettyfer shot the lead role in the feature film "Beastly," a modern and darker take on the classic fairy tale "Beauty and the Beast" told through the male perspective, opposite Vanessa Hudgens and Neil Patrick Harris. Daniel Barnz ("Phoebe in Wonderland") directed for CBS Films, and the movie is set to release March 2011.
Born and raised in the UK, Pettyfer currently lives in Los Angeles.
There's a lot of action in this thriller. What was your favorite action moment that you participated in?
A. I really loved all of it. I mean, from day one where I got the movie, to training for a couple of months before, to actually doing it. I'm twenty years of age and I'm just a big kid. Not many guys get to experience what I've experienced. To go on a movie set and run around, and play with guns and jump off cliffs, that was really fun.
The director, D.J. Caruso, talked about the vulnerability in your character. Could you tell us a little bit about that?
A. My character, John Smith, is at a point in his life where I think every human being comes to, where he has a choice. And his choice is that he wants to be a normal kid and just would like to stay in the same area, with the same family, and have the same friends and grow up and grow old and marry and die. But the destiny that he has been given is to become this warrior. And it's not what he really wants at all. He just wants to be normal and he finds out throughout the movie that he's not normal. He has these internal gifts and that's where he is; that's the track that he's meant to go down. Essentially, however, as much choice as we have, destiny is a big part of our lives.
Can you tell us about your character John and his relationship with Sarah?
A. Everything my character John goes through starts triggering all these different emotions for Sarah [Dianna Agron], which then trigger his powers. Sarah represents this real sense of normality for him; the possibility that his life could be normal with her. Yet as he's falling in love with her, all the things he doesn't want to happen start happening. He starts getting his powers, and jealousy triggers him to become stronger and to have his telekinesis and his light powers.
What kind of super powers, or natural powers, would you like to have?
A. In the movie I've got telekinesis and I've got lumen, which is a source of light that I can use. But there are so many things I would want in real life--one power would definitely be the ability to fly.
Was starring in the movie a lot of pressure for you?
A. No, because everyone is phenomenal in this movie, and we all make it count--Teresa, Dianna and Callan. Everyone feels the pressure together because we're all so proud of it, and we want it to succeed.
Why did you become an actor?
I love movies so much. I'm such a movie buff. As a kid I used to watch hundreds of movies from Hitchcock to Stanley Kubrick to all movies that influenced me to come to where I am now. And I just really wanted to experience that feeling of being on a movie set and making something like "I Am Number Four," that I'm proud of.
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