Early lifePettyfer was born 10 April 1990 in Stevenage, Hertfordshire, the son of Lee Ireland (née Robinson), an interior decorator, and Richard Pettyfer, an actor. He has a younger half-brother, James Ireland, a junior tennis player, from his mother's re-marriage to Michael Ireland, a property developer.
Pettyfer was raised in Windsor, and began his career as a child fashion model at the age of seven, for Gap, after meeting Ralph Lauren in a toy store in New York City. 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 Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. Pettyfer was educated at two junior independent schools: The Mall School, a small school in Twickenham, followed by the Lambrook Haileybury school in Berkshire.. He subsequently attended two other independent boarding schools: Millfield School in Street in Somerset and Shiplake College near Henley-on-Thames in Oxfordshire. After his GCSEs, he left Shiplake College to attend the independent Sylvia Young Theatre School.
CareerIn 2005, after a modelling career, 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. 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. 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. 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", although another noted that he "isn't quite at ease as an actor". Media reports specified that the film was expected to make Pettyfer a "teen idol". Pettyfer will not reprise the role if there is another Alex Rider film because he is now too mature for the role.
He next appeared in Wild Child, a film set in California, Kent and Yorkshire part of which took place at Cobham Hall Girl's School in Kent. He played school boy Freddie Kingsley and he co-starred with Emma Roberts. 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.
He starred in the film Beastly, based on the novel by Alex Flinn, alongside Mary-Kate Olsen, Vanessa Hudgens, and Neil Patrick Harris. He finished filming on 13 August 2009, and the film was released on March 4, 2011. Pettyfer portrayed the main character in I Am Number Four, released in February, 2011. The film co-starred Timothy Olyphant, Dianna Agron, and Teresa Palmer, and was directed by D. J. Caruso, produced by Michael Bay, and executive produced by Steven Spielberg.
It has also been announced that he will portray racing car driver James Hunt in the formula 1 biopic Shunt. He will also serve as producer on the movie.
Sources also say that he has been offered the part of Jace Wayland in the upcoming portrayal of Cassandra Clare's best selling book, City of Bones. Jamie Campbell Bower was later cast as Jace Wayland.
He has also been offered a part in an upcoming film adaption of Joseph Delaney's The Wardstone Chronicles. There have also been no news if he has accepted the part as well.
He has also been offered a role in a future movie entitled 'The Paperboy' based on the Pete Dexter novel of the same name.
Personal lifeOn 14 June 2009, Pettyfer was voted #35 on the Britain's top 50 most eligible bachelors by UK women's magazine Company. 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.
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, whilst studying drama at college, 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".
|2005||Tom Brown's Schooldays||Tom Brown|
|2008||Wild Child||Freddie Kingsley|
|2011||I Am Number Four||John Smith/Number Four|
- 2008: Burberry – Spring/Summer
- 2008: Burberry – The Beat For Men eau du cologne
- 2009: Burberry – Spring/Summer
Awards and nominations
|2007||Young Artist Awards||Best Performance in an International Feature Film |
Leading Young Actor or Actress
|Alex Rider in Stormbreaker||Nominated|
|Empire Award||Best Male Newcomer||Nominated|
|2010||ShoWest Award||Male Star of Tomorrow||Won|
|2011||MTV Movie Awards||Biggest Badass Star||John Smith/Number Four in I Am Number Four||Nominat|