Alex Pettyfer is about to have a moment. The 20 year old thesp has a major star vehicle, “I Am Number Four” hitting next week and “Beastly” in March, and has a handful of projects on his potential plate including “The Seventh Son,” which Jeff Bridges recently boarded. But apparently he’s ruffled a bit too many feathers, leading to a near-scolding piece from THR about his somewhat difficult reputation.
Of course, stories like this are strictly meant to discredit the person they are about, possibly as a negotiating tool, as Pettyfer reportedly requested a staggering $10 million upfront pay for “Mortal Instruments” (a film he’s apparently since turned down). But that’s not all that’s being said about Mr. Pettyfer. Apparently the actor had more than a few disagreements with director D.J. Caruso on the set of “I Am Number Four,” and it got bad enough that DreamWorks CEO Stacy Snider had to intervene. We like the idea of Pettyfer ragging on Caruso’s “Two For The Money” and Caruso wondering, “Who the hell is this kid?” Additionally, once he learned his quarter-million fee for the film was dwarfed by another actor (likely Timothy Olyphant) he demanded a pay raise, switching his agent and, possibly, inspiring co-star/girlfriend Dianna Argon to do the same. Pettyfer protested his pay by refusing to cash his checks for the film up until the end of last year; only recently has he gone to the bank and finally deposited his earnings.
Pettyfer is also being chastised for arriving two hours late to a marketing meeting with the CBS Films executives — including CEO Amy Baer — regarding “Beastly,” though his “car troubles” are said to be the cause. But with all this drama, the bigger question is….seriously, who is Alex Pettyfer? While Hollywood is ready to bank on this kid as their next A-lister, the public has yet to weigh in, and if “I Am Number Four” or “Beastly” under-perform, the actor’s supposed hubris (and we stress supposed) will be somewhat comical. There is probably a good mix of truth and exaggeration to whatever tales are being spun about Pettyfer and you kind of have to wonder what the real motive is for dragging the young thesp’s name through the mud. And really, with DreamWorks developing a biopic of race car driver James Hunt for the actor, clearly fences have been mended and they have faith in the guy.
“Pick your words: ambitious, hungry, cocky, very ahead of himself. But if he delivers, he’ll be worth it,” said an anonymous producer who’s worked with Pettyfer. But, doesn’t that apply to pretty much every actor on the rise in Hollywood who wants to make it?