What can you tell me about Alex Pettyfer from the movie “Magic Mike”?
—Alicia Morales, Alhambra, Calif.
Pettyfer, 22, landed his first paying job—a commercial in the United Kingdom—when he was 6 years old. The following year he was “discovered” by Ralph Lauren in a toy store in Manhattan and launched a modeling career that began with ads for Gap.
Born in Hertfordshire, England, and raised in Windsor, Pettyfer’s decision to become an actor was at first a matter of staying in the family business as his father Richard was an actor. He started by performing in a variety of student products while in school. His professional acting career actually began in 2005, in ITV’s TV movie adaptation of “Tom Brown’s Schooldays,” but his big break came the following year when, at age 15, he beat out hundreds of others to win the title role in the action thriller “Alex Rider: Operation Stormbreaker,” opposite Mickey Rourke and Alicia Silverstone.
Other recent credits include the title character in last year’s thriller “I Am Number Four;” the sci-fi thriller “In Time,” with Justin Timberlake and Amanda Seyfried; the romantic drama “Beastly;” and the leading role in “Wild Child,” opposite Emma Roberts.
Of his role as the young male stripper Adam in “Magic Mike,” he says, “I think there’s a period in many peoples’ lives when they kind of jump off the deep end for awhile. Adam’s at that stage where he doesn’t want to be at home anymore; school didn’t work out and neither did the jobs his sister lined up for him. He’s looking for something to excite him and that’s when he meets Mike and falls into this crazy world. It’s perfect, it’s freedom, it’s everything he wants. And he takes off with it at 120 miles an hour.”
Pettyfer is engaged to Elvis Presley’s granddaughter Riley Keough, who plays Nora in “Magic Mike.”