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Alexander Richard Pettyfer is an English actor. The son of an actor and former fashion model, he appeared onstage and in television before being cast as Alex Rider, the main character in the film version of Stormbreaker.
Alex Pettyfer was born on April 10, 1990, in Stevenage, Hertfordshire, the son of actor Richard Pettyfer, and former model Lee Robinson (currently known as "Lee Ireland"). He has a younger half-brother, James Ireland, a junior tennis player, from his mother's remarriage to Michael Ireland, a real-estate developer.
Stormbreaker author Anthony Horowitz described Pettyfer as coming from "an astonishing gene pool".
Pettyfer began his career as a child fashion model at the age of seven, modelling for labels such as GAP, after meeting Ralph Lauren in a toy store in New York City. He also did adverts for some yogurt brands. His first commercial was at age six. He attended The Mall School, a small private school in Twickenham and as a schoolboy, performed in plays, including in the role of Willy Wonka in a production Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.
In 2005, Alex Pettyfer, after ending his modelling career, made his professional acting debut 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 upcoming 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" especially his co-star Kassandra Stelmaszek. Stormbreaker was released on July 21, 2006 in the United Kingdom, on October 6, 2006 in the United States and on September 21, 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 have specified that the film is expected to make Pettyfer a "teen idol". Pettyfer will not reprise the role if there is another Alex Rider film because he is already too old.
Pettyfer, who has described himself as "athletic but also very artsy", lives in Windsor, Berkshire, and attended Shiplake College boarding school near Henley-on-Thames in Oxfordshire and Lambrook Haileybury School in Bracknell. He also attended Millfield School in Somerset, before he left to attend Drama College. When not working, Pettyfer's hobbies include skiing, dancing and hockey.
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.
So after finishing school in July 2006, at the age of sixteen, after passing eleven GCSEs, Pettyfer decided to concentrate on his film career, as well as study drama full-time 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 (as Tom Brown)
2006: Stormbreaker (as Alex Rider)
2008: Wild Child (as Freddie)
2009: Tormented (as Bradley)
2011: I am Number Four (as Number Four/John Smith)
2012: Magic Mike