Alex Pettyfer Discusses Being Number Four
Alex Pettyfer was director D.J. Caruso’s first pick for the title role in DreamWorks’ adaptation of I am Number Four. The film, coming to home video tomorrow from Walt Disney Home Entertainment, the role propelled the 20-year-old actor onto the global stage. Here, he talks about the film’s production and his life up to now.
What can you tell us about your new movie?
I Am Number Four is an action-packed adventure entwined with a romantic story – and I play the role of John Smith. John wants to be a normal kid, but he is from a different planet and he has been given this destiny of becoming a warrior. John tries to find out who he is and what he wants to do with his life, but he has a bit of a tough time with it all. I think a lot of people are going to relate to what he goes through in the story because it’s about an outsider trying to fit in. We’ve all been there.
When were you an outsider?
Well, I think we’ve all been in that scenario where we’ve felt like we were alone or different. Everyone goes through that.
What was it like to work with Dianna Agron on the movie?
It was great. Dianna has an old-school movie star quality to her and I had an amazing time working with her, but I also had a great time working with the rest of the cast. Everyone on the set was amazing.
Who else stars in the movie with you?
An actress called Teresa Palmer is a young ball of energy and we also have a guy called Callan McAuliffe who is great. Working with everyone on the movie was phenomenal. We all fit together really well.
You can live a very normal life here. Los Angeles is a very magical place when you take the entertainment industry out of it. You have beautiful beaches and amazing mountains here. I’m a big rock climber. I head out into the mountains whenever I have free time. It’s amazing.
What else do you like about California?
There’s so much to explore here – and I love exploring. There are not many places in the world where you can get to the beach in an hour, the desert in two hours and snowboarding or skiing in three hours. You can do all that in California.
It sounds like you’re a very active, outdoors guys… Did you enjoy tackling such a physical role in I Am Number Four?
I loved it. I jumped off a cliff backwards for I Am Number Four, which was pretty cool. I’d never done that before. It took seven takes from different angles and luckily there were no injuries. I came close, though. My head nearly hit the rock at one point.
How high was the cliff dive?
The cliff was 60 feet high and it was extremely memorable. You know what? I’m a big kid at heart. Not many guys get to experience what I’ve experienced. I get to run around a movie set with guns and I get to jump off cliffs. It’s amazing. I had the time of my life shooting the movie.
How much training did you do for the role?
I spent months preparing for the stunts in the movie. It was a really physical role, but it was also a lot of fun. We practiced and practiced and practiced – but it was still a very nerve-wracking experience. I loved every minute of it.
Why did you sign up for the movie?
I was really excited to work on the movie for a number of reasons. First of all, I really wanted to work with the director, D.J. Caruso. He’s incredible. Plus, I really liked the premise of the movie. It’s been amazing.