Alex Pettyfer discusses his upcoming movie, which is based on the sci-fi book of the same name
You may not know the name Alex Pettyfer now, but by this time next year you will! The young actor has two highly anticipated new movies coming out in 2011, Beastly with Vanessa Hudgens and Mary-Kate Olsen, and I Am Number Four. The latter, is scheduled for release on February 18th and is directed by D.J. Caruso (Disturbia), and produced by directors Steven Spielberg and Michael Bay. The film, which is based on a popular book, is about a group of nine infant aliens sent to Earth to hide from their enemies. The nine aliens can only be killed in numerical order and with the first three already dead, John Smith (Pettyfer) just found out that he is Number Four. Now, along with his new girlfriend, Sarah (Agron), they must team up with Number Six (Palmer) and learn how to unlock his secret powers, if they have any chance of survival. We recently had a chance sit down and speak with Alex Pettyfer about his exciting new film. Here is what he had to say:
To begin with, from the trailer the film seems to have some resemblances to the classic Superman story because its about a boy from another planet with incredible powers learning to fit in on Earth. Can you talk about your character's powers and how he is different from Superman and other aliens that we've seen depicted in movies in the past?
You know, what's great is that you don't have that cheesy 80's ...he gets his powers, he kind of learns along the way and basically act three is when the shit hits the fan. He basically is put, bang, in the center of it and has to basically learn on his own. It's funny that you say that and that you bring up Superman. Superman is an alien, you know, he comes from another planet. But the difference between what you're saying is that we have a character that has a choice and Superman is someone who knows his destiny, wants it, and fights it. He kind of endures the fact that he has all these powers and blah, blah, blah, all that bullshit. But we have a guy that has a situation where he has a choice where he doesn't really want any of his powers. He wants the normality. It's kind of like that Jason Bourne feeling of not knowing who you are. He wants the normal life where he is in the same place as the same people around him. He wants everything to be normal. That's not who he is and that's not what his destiny is. That's why our movie is so sophisticated and so fascinating to watch. Because you're watching a guy basically enjoy his destiny, but he doesn't want it. He's going along on this journey not wanting it. But he realizes halfway through, when everything is happening that he has to do this to get anything that he's ever wanted on his other path. That's what's fascinating is that you get this guy halfway through the movie who is now having these things triggered by essentially love for another human being. You know, he starts forming a love and it's described that when he falls in love he imprints on that one person, he only falls for that girl. That he will love her for the rest of his life. Through that comes jealousy and that triggers his powers, you know. For him to have her and have that normal life, he realizes this other journey that he is destined to go onto to unite with the rest of the five that are left is essentially to save this place that he calls Earth, home.
So the film is really about your character's struggle with his destiny, is that right?
Yeah, I mean, why everyone fell in love with Jason Bourne is because he didn't know what he was and he didn't know what he was capable of. That's why D.J. Caruso is such an amazing filmmaker is because you fall in love with the vulnerability of every character, you fall in love with each character and their journey. Everyone in this world has their own path and it's about bringing all these parts together. Number six (Palmer), Sarah (Agron), Kevin Durand who plays the villain, myself and Henri (Timothy Olyphant), we all integrate together to make this phenomenal story about basically fighting against what you want. Yeah, at the same time, you have to do it to get what you do want, you know. You have Henri who doesn't really want to be that. You know, his choice wasn't this. He had a family. His family died because he was saving me and now they have a father/son figure element.
What are some of the powers that your character uses in the film?
Yeah, I have telekinesis and I have lumen, which is, you know, this powerful source of light. It's fascinating because he gets all these powers, yet they're only stronger when he's around the others. That's what the basis of the story is, finding the others to bring together to create this essential warrior.
Finally, how is this character different than other roles that you've played before?
I think it's different because you can relate to it more. I think everyone who has a choice and comes to that point in his life can relate. I think we all have that point in time where we come to a situation where we either have one choice or another. You know, it's different because all the other people that I've ever played are arrogant and have to go through life lessons to learn not to be arrogant. The other characters I've played are just plain evil or cheesy. But this guy is amazing because he wants normality, yet he has to go through this lesson to realize that it's not his destiny. It's got this very Rebel Without a Cause feel.