Meeting Alex Pettyfer (Plus a Second “Endless Love” Review!)

Thoughts on “Endless Love” and proof that Alex Pettyfer is just like the rest of us.

Part I: The Review

On Wednesday, Feb. 5, Audrey Sheehy and I were asked to go to a pre-showing of this Valentine’s Day romance starring Alex Pettyfer and Gabriella Wilde. The hype surrounding the release of the film ultimately overshadowed the movie itself, which wasn’t as fabulous as we were expecting.

The film is a typical “boy-meets-girl, girl-loves-boy, parents-hate boy” romantic movie. Gabriella Wilde plays the female love interest, named Jade Butterfield, and is your average, blonde, girl-next-door type. I kept wishing that her character would develop as the movie progressed, but sadly, it regressed towards the end until she was the flattest character in the film. Pettyfer played the male protagonist, David Elliott, yet another clichéd male role – the rugged auto-shop worker, son of a single parent, falls head over heels for the innocent Jade, and ta-dah! Pettyfer’s character did gain some depth, however, relative to Wilde’s at least, as the film went on.

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While the movie was overly clichéd and almost too action-packed, it did convey a nice message of love. Alex Pettyfer even admitted in his interview Friday that he was a hopeless romantic himself and that the movie’s message is to never give up on love. From that standpoint, the film got that message across in a very sweet, cheesy, Valentine’s Day-ey way.

My favorite parts of the movie were those that focused on the best friend character, Mace, played by Dayo Okeniyi. He graciously provides some much-needed comic relief after the numerous love scenes. My only regret about Mace was that he didn’t appear on camera nearly as often as I would have liked.

All in all, “Endless Love” was everything I was expecting when it comes down to it. Being a Valentine’s Day movie with a subpar plot and hot actors, what more can you truly expect?

Part II: The Interview

On Friday, I had the opportunity to interview Alex Pettyfer, the star of the new film “Endless Love.” The interview room I sat in was located in the depths of the Mall of America. Pettyfer walked in, exuding a confident and affable disposition. He went around and shook each of our hands. The most impressive part of the whole interview, for me, was the professionalism and straightforwardness that each student showed him.

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What I noticed mainly during the course of the interview is that Pettyfer is just an average guy. Sure, he may be famous, but apart from being on a screen watched by millions, he’s pretty normal. He wanted to be a racecar driver as a kid and has a dog named Salem.

Just as we all have our embarrassing moments, Pettyfer recalled sitting courtside at a Lakers game, spilling his nachos and cheese all over himself. “I just wanted to be at a basketball game. And all of a sudden the players were looking around. Like, ‘What, what is going on?’ on national TV.”

Pettyfer credits his acting career to luck and said he had to have a dialect coach in order to secure his parts in American movies because of his English accent. As an actor, Pettyfer said he has struggled with the unstructured time that comes with making a movie. Before his film “Magic Mike,” Pettyfer had nothing to do. “I didn’t feel like I was an actor until ‘Magic Mike.’ I know, of all movies. It wasn’t a job… I felt it was going to end. There’s no structure to making films. It’s not like you get up every day and go to work.”

Pettyfer said that for himself, as a twenty-four-year-old playing the part of an eighteen-year-old, the care-free and naïve mindset was hard for him to grasp. “I really enjoy making these films. As I grow older it might be a little harder unless I have Michael J. Fox’s looks and can be thirty and still play eighteen in ‘Back to the Future,’” said Pettyfer.

On the set, Pettyfer said the cast becomes your family for the months of filming. It is through trust and friendship that Pettyfer and Gabriella Wilde, his co-star, were able to have chemistry on set. The two, both English actors, had a month before filming to get to know each other. The movie was filmed in Georgia, where “…allergies are crazy. So, every five minutes, I’m sneezing and grabbing tissues and Claritin… Apart from me looking [terrible], I had a lot of fun,” said Pettyfer.

The message of the movie, Pettyfer said, is “that you find someone that will treat you with respect, and is chivalrous and gentlemanly, and loves you for who you are.”

Compared to the current remake of “Endless Love,” Pettyfer believes that in the original film, David lusts more for Jade. And according to Pettyfer, this recent version is less about that and more about two people falling in love and the experiences of young, first love. David is a lot more intense and in love in his version. “As a character, I don’t want to copy anyone else,” said Pettyfer.

“Hopefully, halfway through, you’ll be kissing the guy next to you and then you can come back to the movie five minutes late and it will still be the same,” said Pettyfer as he laughed.