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Alex Pettyfer

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Alex Pettyfer
Pettyfer in 2006
Alexander Richard Pettyfer

(1990-04-10) 10 April 1990 (age 34)
Stevenage, England
Alma materSylvia Young Theatre School
  • Actor
  • model
Years active2005–present
(m. 2020)

Alexander Richard Pettyfer (born 10 April 1990) is a British 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.[1]

Pettyfer has been seen as a model in several advertising campaigns for Burberry[2] and has starred in a number of other films, including I Am Number Four, Beastly, and Magic Mike. He starred as Brody in the Netflix science fiction miniseries The I-Land.

Early life


Pettyfer was born in Stevenage, Hertfordshire, England, the son of Lee Robinson, an actress and Richard Pettyfer, an actor. Both parents met while performing in London's West End in West Side Story,[3] Cats and Miss Saigon.[4][5] He has a younger half-brother, James Ireland from his mother's remarriage to Michael J. Ireland, a retired builder and property developer.[4][6]

Pettyfer was brought up in Esher and then Windsor, Berkshire and began his career initially being managed by his mother as a young fashion model at the age of seven, for Gap, after meeting Ralph Lauren in a toy store in New York.[4] He also did advertisements for some yogurt brands. His first commercial was at age six.

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 adaptation of The Adventures of Robin Hood (1938). Pettyfer was educated at two junior independent schools: The Mall School, a small school in Twickenham, followed by the Lambrook Haileybury school in Winkfield, Berkshire.[7] He subsequently attended two other independent boarding schools: Millfield School in Street, Somerset and Shiplake College near Henley-on-Thames in Oxfordshire.[4] Before his GCSEs, he left Shiplake College to attend the independent Sylvia Young Theatre School in London.[8]



In 2005, Pettyfer 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.[9] 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.[6] 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 Hungary; Pettyfer has a fear of flying, and he liked the looks of the cast for Stormbreaker.[4] In 2006, Stormbreaker was released on 21 July in the United Kingdom, 6 October in the United States, and 21 September in Australia.

One review of Pettyfer's performance described him as playing the role with an "earnest intensity",[10] although another noted that he "isn't quite at ease as an actor".[11] Media reports specified that the film was expected to make Pettyfer a "teen idol".[9] In September 2006, it was reported that Pettyfer would not reprise the role if there was another Alex Rider film because he had become too mature for the role.[12]

At around age 17, due to his earlier acting success and to supplement his income, Pettyfer started modelling, notably in some advertising campaigns for Burberry.[13]

He next appeared in Wild Child, a film set in California, Kent and Yorkshire part of which took place at Cobham Hall Girls' School in Kent. He played schoolboy Freddie Kingsley.[14] 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.[15]

He starred in the film Beastly, based on the novel by Alex Flinn. He finished filming on 13 August 2009,[16] and the film was released on 4 March 2011.[17] Pettyfer portrayed the main character in I Am Number Four, released in February 2011[18] and directed by D.J. Caruso.[19]

He was offered the part of Jace Wayland in the film adaptation of Cassandra Clare's best selling book, City of Bones. Jamie Campbell Bower was later cast as Jace Wayland.[20][21] Pettyfer had also been offered a part in a film adaptation of Joseph Delaney's The Spook's Apprentice, but he declined the role.[22] He was in line to star in The Paperboy, based on the Pete Dexter novel of the same name, but was dropped for the role. In 2012, he played Adam, a 19-year-old who enters the world of male stripping in Magic Mike.[23]

In 2013, Pettyfer had a small role as Thomas Westfall in The Butler.[24] In 2014, he starred in the romantic drama Endless Love.[25] In 2016, Pettyfer played the role of Jerry Schilling in the biography film Elvis & Nixon.[26] In 2017, he starred as Nick in the indie thriller The Strange Ones directed by Christopher Radcliff and Lauren Wolkstein.[27] 2018 saw Pettyfer making his directorial debut in Back Roads where he also played the lead role of Harley Altmyer.[28]

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.[29] In the same year, it was announced that Pettyfer had been cast in the main role of Brody on the Netflix science fiction miniseries The I-Land.[30] The miniseries was released on 12 September 2019.[31]

Personal life


In June 2009, Pettyfer was voted number 35 on British women's magazine Company's list of the top 50 most eligible bachelors.[32] In August 2009, the British magazine Glamour ranked him number 21 on their list of the sexiest men on the planet.[33]

Pettyfer completed filming Stormbreaker, but he did not discuss the film with anyone at his school, citing the advice of his costar Ewan McGregor, who told him to keep his personal and professional lives separate. Pettyfer subsequently decided to leave school without any qualifications and concentrate on his film career,[34][9] 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."[35]

In a 2011 interview, he stated "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."[36] In the same interview, when asked about how he liked living in Los Angeles, he stated, "LA is growing on me a little bit, but it's still a shit-hole. I think it's this insidious pool where nearly everyone lives in fear. Geographically it's fantastic: in a half hour, you can be on the beach in one direction, go snowboarding in another, or go out into the desert. But socially it's disgusting. I wish they'd just run all the cunts out."[36]

Relationships and marriage


Pettyfer was briefly engaged to actress Riley Keough in 2012. They met while filming Magic Mike.[37]

On 24 December 2019, he became engaged to German model Toni Garrn after ten months of dating.[38] They were married in Hamburg, Germany, on 2 October 2020.[39] They have a daughter, born in 2021.[40]

On 22 April 2023, Garrn announced through her Instagram account that the couple were divorcing.[41]

Allegations of domestic violence


In July 2010, Pettyfer began dating actress Dianna Agron, his I Am Number Four co-star. He was reportedly controlling and paranoid throughout their relationship, but they began cohabiting in 2010. The couple broke up in February 2011, the day after the film was released, with reports that Pettyfer threatened Agron over the phone and had a "heated confrontation" with actor Sebastian Stan, someone with whom Agron was close in early 2011. She temporarily moved to a hotel under a false name so that Pettyfer would not be able to find her,[42][43] and he was instructed [by whom?] to not attend an event where she would be present.[44]




Year Title Role Notes
2006 Stormbreaker Alex Rider
2008 Wild Child Freddie Kingsley
2009 Tormented Bradley White
2011 I Am Number Four John Smith
Beastly Kyle Kingstone
In Time Fortis
2012 Magic Mike Adam
2013 The Butler Thomas Westfall
2014 Endless Love David Elliot
2016 Elvis & Nixon Jerry Schilling
2017 The Strange Ones Nick
2018 Back Roads Harley Altmyer
The Last Witness Stephen Underwood
2020 Echo Boomers Ellis Beck
2021 Collection Brandon
Warning Liam
2022 The Infernal Machine Dwight Tufford
2023 Black Noise Jordan
2024 Sunrise Fallon
5lbs of Pressure Leff[45]
The Ministry of Ungentlemanly Warfare Geoffrey Appleyard
2024 Chief of Station John Branca


Year Title Role Notes
2005 Tom Brown's Schooldays Tom Brown Television film
2018 Urban Myths Tony Curtis Episode: "Marilyn Monroe and Billy Wilder"
2019 The I-Land Brody Main role
2020 Family Guy Troy (voice) Episode: "The Movement"


Year Title Notes
2018 Back Roads Directorial debut


  • 2008: Burberry – Spring/Summer
  • 2008: Burberry – The Beat For Men eau de cologne
  • 2009: Burberry – Spring/Summer

Awards and nominations

Year Award Category Nominated work Result
2007 Young Artist Awards Best Performance in an International Feature Film Leading Young Actor or Actress[46] Stormbreaker Nominated
Empire Award Best Male Newcomer[1] Stormbreaker Nominated
2010 ShoWest Award Male Star of Tomorrow N/A Won
2011 MTV Movie Awards Biggest Badass Star[47] I Am Number Four Nominated
Teen Choice Awards Choice Movie: Liplock (shared with Vanessa Hudgens) Beastly Nominated
Choice Movie: Breakout Male[48] Beastly and I Am Number Four Won
2014 Acapulco Black Film Festival Best Ensemble Cast The Butler Nominated
Screen Actors Guild Awards Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture[49] The Butler Nominated
Brasov International Film Festival and Market Best Lead Actor Endless Love Won


  1. ^ a b "Empire Readers Awards 2007". Empire Online. 2007. Retrieved 15 April 2014.
  2. ^ "Burberry.com". Burberry. Retrieved 13 July 2010.
  3. ^ "West Side Story Steven Pacey Jan Hartley Lee Robinson Richard Pettyfer | #276952369". Worthpoint. Retrieved 8 August 2018.
  4. ^ a b c d e Lyall, Sarah (18 July 2006). "He Was a Teenage Spy, Surrounded by Treacherous Adults". The New York Times. Retrieved 1 November 2010.
  5. ^ "I Am Number Four Alex Pettyfer Interview". Movies.about.com. 18 February 2011. Archived from the original on 7 July 2011. Retrieved 9 June 2011.
  6. ^ a b "Scotsman.com". Calm amid the storm. Archived from the original on 21 August 2006. Retrieved 20 July 2006.
  7. ^ Matthews, Emma. "Alex Pettyer: The New Movie Hero". Portrait Magazine. Retrieved 8 July 2012
  8. ^ "Alex Pettyfer Biography" Archived 19 June 2013 at the Wayback Machine. Glamour Magazine. Retrieved 8 July 2012
  9. ^ a b c "ICWales.co.uk". Going down a storm. Archived from the original on 19 April 2013. Retrieved 20 July 2006.
  10. ^ "ScreenDaily.com". Stormbreaker. Retrieved 20 July 2006. [dead link]
  11. ^ Quinn, Anthony (21 July 2006). "The Independent". Stormbreaker (PG). London. Retrieved 22 July 2006.[dead link]
  12. ^ Hudson, Fiona (24 September 2006). "Young star cruising". The Sunday Mail. Archived from the original on 11 August 2011. Retrieved 23 September 2006.
  13. ^ "Full Q&A at the Oxford Union". YouTube. 20 January 2018. Archived from the original on 11 November 2021.
  14. ^ Felperin, Leslie (16 August 2008). "Review: 'Wild Child'". Variety. Retrieved 19 March 2017.
  15. ^ "Alex Pettyfer set to be 'Tormented'". Variety. 6 August 2008. Retrieved 19 March 2017.
  16. ^ @BeastlyMovie (13 August 2009). "That's a wrap! Had fun sending you tweets from the set! Stay tuned for more updates on BEASTLY!". Twitter.
  17. ^ "E! Online". Vanessa Hudgens' New British Import. 21 April 2009. Archived from the original on 22 April 2009. Retrieved 21 April 2009.
  18. ^ "Timothy Olyphant Joins I Am Number Four". reelzchannel.com. 13 May 2010. Archived from the original on 21 October 2010. Retrieved 5 June 2010.
  19. ^ "Alex Pettyfer confirmed for I am Number Four". Coming Soon. 1 July 2010. Retrieved 13 July 2010.
  20. ^ Brodesser, Claude (29 February 2012). "Alex Pettyfer Offered Another Young-Adult Movie Franchise, The Mortal Instruments". Vulture. Retrieved 14 March 2012.
  21. ^ "Alex Pettyfer Reportedly Offered Jace Wayland Role In 'Mortal Instruments'!". MTV. 20 January 2011. Archived from the original on 10 June 2012. Retrieved 14 March 2012.
  22. ^ "Alex Pettyfer Likely Won't Star In 'Mortal Instruments'". MTV. 28 January 2011. Archived from the original on 6 March 2012. Retrieved 23 February 2020.
  23. ^ Gallagher, Brian (18 February 2011). "The Paperboy Eyes Sofia Vergara, Bradley Cooper, and Alex Pettyfer". MovieWeb.com. Archived from the original on 28 April 2011. Retrieved 9 June 2011.
  24. ^ Finke, Nikki (18 June 2012). "Alex Pettyfer Joins Lee Daniels' 'The Butler'". Deadline. Retrieved 1 December 2016.
  25. ^ Kroll, Justin (21 March 2013). "Alex Pettyfer and Gabriella Wilde Find 'Love' at Universal (EXCLUSIVE)". Variety. Retrieved 1 December 2016.
  26. ^ "Colin Hanks, Alex Pettyfer, Johnny Knoxville Join 'Elvis & Nixon' (Exclusive)". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 1 December 2016.
  27. ^ "Cannes: Vertical Entertainment and DirecTV Nab Alex Pettyfer Film 'Strange Ones' (Exclusive)". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 31 December 2017.
  28. ^ Mitchell, Robert (14 April 2017). "Alex Pettyfer to Make Directorial Debut With 'Back Roads' (EXCLUSIVE)". Variety. Retrieved 18 April 2017.
  29. ^ "AFM: Alex Pettyfer to lead Katyn thriller 'The Last Witness'". Screen. Retrieved 10 June 2018.
  30. ^ Andreeva, Nellie (28 September 2018). "'The I-Land' Starring Kate Bosworth, Natalie Martinez & Alex Pettyfer Among 3 Sci-Fi Series Ordered By Netflix". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved 28 September 2018.
  31. ^ Ramos, Dino-Ray (20 August 2019). "'The I-Land' Teaser: Netflix Sets Release Date For Kate Bosworth Sci-Fi Series With Fyre Fest Flair". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved 20 August 2019.
  32. ^ "Alex Pettyfer No.35 on Britain's 50 most eligible bachelors". US Post Today. 10 December 2009. Archived from the original on 26 March 2010. Retrieved 13 July 2010.
  33. ^ "50 Sexiest Men". Glamour. CondéNetUK. Archived from the original on 20 July 2011. Retrieved 11 July 2011.
  34. ^ "ContactMusic". Pettyfer Puts McGregor's Advice Into Practice. 20 July 2006. Retrieved 20 July 2006.
  35. ^ "PRInside". Stormbreaker Star Quits School. 18 July 2006. Archived from the original on 19 February 2007. Retrieved 20 July 2006.
  36. ^ a b "VMAN / The Miserable Life Of Alex Pettyfer In Los Angeles – OHLALAmag". Archived from the original on 7 August 2018. Retrieved 6 August 2018.
  37. ^ "Alex Pettyfer Engaged to Riley Keough, Granddaughter of Elvis Presley [PHOTOS]". International Business Times. 15 March 2012. Retrieved 15 March 2012.
  38. ^ Murphy, Helen (31 December 2019). "Alex Pettyfer and Model Toni Garrn Are Engaged After Surprise Christmas Eve Proposal". People. Retrieved 16 July 2022.
  39. ^ Pettyfer, Alexander (4 October 2020). "Mr & Mrs Pettyfer". Archived from the original on 26 December 2021. Retrieved 4 October 2020 – via Instagram.
  40. ^ Cardoza, Riley (19 July 2021). "Toni Garrn Gives Birth, Welcomes 1st Child With Husband Alex Pettyfer". US Weekly. Retrieved 16 July 2022.
  41. ^ "Alex Pettyfer's Wife Toni Garrn Announces They Are Divorcing After 2 Years of Marriage". People.com. 22 April 2023. Retrieved 22 April 2023.
  42. ^ Young, Eleanor (23 February 2011). "Dianna Agron 'terrified' of Alex Pettyfer after split". Marie Claire. Archived from the original on 1 July 2018. Retrieved 21 August 2020.
  43. ^ "Alex Pettyfer & Dianna Agron Split: What Went Wrong?". E! Online. 22 February 2011. Archived from the original on 21 August 2020. Retrieved 21 August 2020.
  44. ^ Lee, Ben (3 March 2011). "Alex Pettyfer 'has become a liability'". Digital Spy. Retrieved 27 October 2020.
  45. ^ "5lbs of Pressure (2024) - Full Cast & Crew". IMDb. Retrieved 9 March 2024.
  46. ^ "28th Annual Young Artist Awards". Archived from the original on 27 June 2014. Retrieved 15 June 2010.
  47. ^ "2011 MTV Movie Awards | Biggest Badass Star". MTV. Archived from the original on 22 May 2011. Retrieved 9 June 2011.
  48. ^ "Teen Choice Awards winners". Forbes. 8 August 2011. Retrieved 8 August 2011.[dead link]
  49. ^ "Nominees and Recipients - 20th Annual Screen Actors Guild Award - Cast in Motion Picture". SAG. Retrieved 21 January 2014.