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Alex Pettyfer: Alex Rider grows up

Youth Impact Report 2010: Up Next

Most young thesps land their first role after a traditional audition. Brit Alex Pettyfer took an unconventional route.

“When I was 13 years old, I was on a school trip (touring) the headquarters for ITV,” recalls Pettyfer. “I went off to the toilet, opened a closed door and walked into an audition in progress. I ended up reading for a part, and they called my mum later to say I got it.”

The part Pettyfer nabbed was the lead in ITV’s critically acclaimed telefilm “Tom Brown’s Schooldays.” That led to a pair of showy roles: playing teenage MI6 spy Alex Rider in the U.K. film “Stormbreaker” and Emma Roberts’ love interest in “Wild Child.” The onetime model then beat out a band of young Hollywood hopefuls for the titular character in DreamWorks’ “I Am Number Four.” The D.J. Caruso-helmed pic, produced by Steven Spielberg and Michael Bay, is envisioned as the first installment in a sci-fi franchise. That film bows Feb. 19, one month before he will be seen onscreen opposite Vanessa Hudgens in CBS Films “Beastly,” a modern spin on the classic “Beauty and the Beast” tale.

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