I’m always kind of interested in how people become “stars,” whatever you take that to mean. And the nerdier I get about the pop culture machines (i.e. the more I read the Hollywood Reporter), the more I can sort of watch the process unfolding, as the people in charge of these things throw ‘up and coming’ actors up and tell us how important and huge they’re going to be, and how we should all care, right now. Like Alex Pettyfer.
Alex Pettyfer has starred/is starring/is in talks to star in no fewer than seven movie adaptations of popular young adult novels. They really think this guy is it. He was in the Alex Rider movie, which, ask your 10-year-old cousin about, I think. Right now – literally, right now, as you read this – he is in two big(ish) movie adaptations in theaters, I Am Number Four, with his (ex?) girlfriend, the pregnant blond girl from Glee, and Beastly, with, hilariously, Vanessa Hudgens.
No reference to V. Hudge would be complete without this video. If you have never seen it you should watch it and then laugh and laugh and laugh.
He is gonna be in this kinda-actually-awesome-looking movie called “Now” (really) with Justin Timberlake and Olivia Wilde and Cillian Murphy where the plot summary starts “In the not-too-distant future the aging gene has been switched off,” and I don’t really know what to say about that yet, because, hmm, parts of that sounds kind of great? And Alex Pettyfer is “rumored” to be “in talks” to play Peeta in The Hunger Games movie (eesh?) and the lead in an Orson Scott Card movie and Jace in The Mortal Instruments trilogy, which, whoa do I have a lot of feelings about that, but that is an (embarrassing) post for another time. Point is, for serious, Alex Pettyfer is supposed to be staring sultrily into the bedrooms of teenage girls all over the place.
But! IAN4 and Beastly got terrible reviews, which, duh, but also neither of them has made back even their production budget (yet). (IAN4’s failure to make a lot of money is particularly gratifying given that it was the ‘success story’ from James Frey’s soul-destroying YA fiction factory. YA readers are better than that! Man!). Not only that, the pop culture machine has now been churning out, uh, different stories – stories about how AP (I can’t worry about how to spell Pettyfer anymore people, we’re several paragraphs in) is difficult to work with and “defiant,” and how one producer said that if he pans out as a great actor it won’t matter, but if he doesn’t, well, then. And then US Weekly wrote about his breakup with Diana Agron, the chick from Glee who was in Number Four with him, by calling him “psycho” and “terrifying,” thereby casting him out of the pool of friendly, cute stars you wanna hang out with and into the pool of insane dudes you want to salaciously hear about and feel horrified. Diana Agron was like a perfect gf for him to have on his way up, exactly matched to him – cute, blond, not quite famous yet, aimed at the tween set – but now that she is as famous as she ever was and he is, apparently, nuts and not gonna be a movie star, US Weekly can report on his ostracization.
Which is not to say that he’s like, gone forever, or won’t rebound, but, like, of course those movies were going to do terribly and of course he is not as famous as he thinks he is. You have to wonder what the Hollywood powers that be (THPTB) were thinking. I mean I guess he is cute enough, in a abs-and-hair way, but he’s just so…blond. Maybe he is Peeta (I still havent finished the last Hunger Games book so I don’t know if Peeta turns out to be a huge douche, per se). Nonetheless, nice try, Hollywood.