[“I] really don’t give two shits about what any other actor or popstar is doing. I just love making movies,” says actor Alex Pettyfer. He may not care what his peers are up to, but the world certainly has its eyes on him. Known mostly to a teen market before Magic Mike – Steven Soderbergh’s ode to male strippers – threw him into the mainstream, Alex has been quietly racking up roles since 2006, while amassing a fan base obsessed with his every move. He’s even got the dedicated Tumblrs to prove it, our favourite being the subtly-titled Alexfuckmeharder. And his next role as the lead character in the remake of 1981’s Endless Love will do little to dampen the attraction – shirtless gifs of Alex have been doing the rounds since October.
With a don’t-give-a-damn, James Dean-esque attitude, and a string of starlet girlfriends in his past (Emma Roberts, Dianna Agron and Riley Keough, in case you’re wondering), 23-year-old Alex was previously labelled a Hollywood bad boy. But he’s quick to dismiss these labels as a by-product of seeing out his teenage years in the spotlight, and after feeling at odds with his future as an actor for a time, he’s now ready to focus his attention fully on his craft. Watch out world.
SO ALEX, TELL US WHEN YOU FIRST CAUGHT THE ACTING BUG…
To be honest I never really wanted to be an actor, but my mum suggested I do it as an extra curricular activity, and I just happened to fall into it, very unwillingly. I wanted to be a racing driver, but I did this movie, which was my first ever TV movie, called Tom Brown’s Schooldays, and I had an amazing time, as clichéd as that sounds. I don’t think I considered acting to be a serious career until about two years ago. It’s such a weird, unstructured profession. You never know when you’re going to work next, and I’m the kind of guy who likes structure, so I never wanted to call acting a career, as it’s so unstable.
WELL, YOU KIND OF HAVE TO NOW.
I guess I’m in a bit too deep, yeah.
YOU STARTED ACTING WHILE YOU WERE STILL IN SCHOOL. WERE YOUR FRIENDS JEALOUS?
They were pretty cool and nonchalant about it. I guess they didn’t really care. But then again I usually completely lied about what I was doing when I wasn’t at school, so no one ever really knew. Then as soon as I turned 15, I left.
YOU LEFT LONDON FOR LA, BUT YOU WERE FAMOUSLY QUOTED AS SAYING, “LA’S A SHITHOLE.” WAS IT A CASE OF AMERICA NOT GETTING THE BRITISH SENSE F HUMOUR?
I was actually very misquoted on that. I think the reporter was fucking pissed out of his mind, and didn’t hear anything I said. That is not something that came out of my mouth. Why would I choose to live here if I hated it? I actually really like LA, but I still don’t feel like I truly live here, as I travel so much for work. I’m never in one place for more than a few months.
WHAT HAS BEEN THE BIGGEST ADJUSTMENT TO LIFE IN LA?
Having In-N-Out Burger. It’s unbelievable. When I go back to England I crave it, but then when I’m in LA, I crave an English fry-up. You just can’t find one here – that and good TV; I miss EastEnders and just sitting in front of Channel 4.
YOU DON’T DRINK AND YOU’RE NOT INTO PARTYING. SO WHAT DO YOU GET UP TO FOR FUN?
I race cars. I hang out with my friends, and I love bowling and going to the beach. My God, I sound so LA right now, don’t I? But truthfully I’m one of the most boring human beings you’ll ever meet. I mostly do nothing. I should probably work more.
DO YOU GET HARASSED IN HOLLYWOOD?
You know what? Not really. I’m not like Rob Pattinson. People don’t follow me around. I can walk down the street, and no one gives a shit, and they probably don’t even recognise me because I look like a mess half the time.
SO YOU DON’T CRAVE FAME?
Absolutely not! I really love what I do, but it gets a little difficult for me when I have to do publicity. Luckily though, once I finish a film I only have people interested in me for about a month, and then it’s over.
IS IT SCARY WHEN IT’S HAPPENING, THOUGH?
It’s a little weird when you open your door, and there are three guys standing there taking your picture. They’re just doing their job, though. You have to remember that. At the end of the day magazines are going to run whatever pictures they want, and print whatever they want, and ninety percent of the time it’s going to be negative, because it’s negative press that sells. I think the root of the problem is not the invasion of privacy – you can avoid that if you try – but the fact that people get upset about what’s written about them.
To read the rest of Alex’s interview buy Hunger Issue 6 here!