The handsome actor made his big screen debut in 2005 in the title role of "Tom Brown's Schooldays." Since then, he's starred in the sci-fi drama, "I Am Number Four," the modern-day "Beauty and the Beast" adaptation "Beastly," and strutted his stuff alongside Channing Tatum in "Magic Mike." Now, he's making us swoon once again in "Endless Love."
toofab's Rachel Hoffman caught up with Pettyfer at a press conference to promote the romantic flick, where he talked about everything from kissing his beautiful co-star Gabriella Wilde to his memories of his first true love.
Tell us about your first love.
Alex: I think your first love defines you and your relationships for the rest of your life. I had a great first love. I had my heart ripped out of my chest, but I think that happens to everyone. When you fall in love for the first time, you're naïve to every feeling that you're feeling. You're almost obsessed with that person, you're addicted. Everything you want to do revolves around them. As you get older, I think that's why people get cynical because of your bad experiences. You have good and bad relationships, and sometimes, you just have to roll with it and believe in love. I wanted to make this movie because I truly believe in love, and every relationship should start the way your first love started.
What was it like to work with Gabriella?
Alex: She's very easy going. We're both English. It was important to become friends first.
How did you prepare for kissing scenes?
Alex: Filming these scenes is so awkward! You think these scenes are romantic and sensual. But you walk in and get ready for this romantic scene, and this big burly man tells you to move to the right. So, it's not romantic and the nerves go away pretty quickly.
In "Endless Love," you see the curse of a very attractive woman. How do you think Gabriella handled that?
Alex: Before I signed onto the movie, I sat down with the studio heads and said, 'Whoever wouldn't go out with that woman is f****** nuts because she is beautiful! How is she going to play someone who's awkward?' But, Gabriella does it to a tee -- she's very awkward and shut off in the movie.
How did you set the tone of romance for this movie?
Alex: You know what I love about this movie? It's about two people falling in love for the first time. The naivety that they have was very inspiring for me. It's about pure love and the consequences that come with being a young man and a young woman. I'm 23, and I think when you're my age, you want to be a man. To do this film, I had to go back and become a child again.
What's your favorite romantic movie?
Alex: I love "Love Actually" and "Bridgett Jones" – please don't judge!
Are you brave and bold when you approach a beautiful woman?
Alex: When I was 18, I was at a party. I had just done a movie and didn't know what it was like for someone to recognize you. This tall brunette comes up to me and asks about the movie, and I couldn't speak! I'm so terrible when it comes to talking to women, I'm the worst! I don't know what to say and I come across very geeky.
In the original version of "Endless Love," the character of David is a little more unstable. Was it difficult to tone that down and make him more accessible so audiences have empathy for him?
Alex: We wanted to start this movie where David makes a conscious decision to change his life for the better. We access the movie when he's already falling in love with Jade. When they meet at the valet, that's a moment that he's been waiting to happen for four years. We didn't want to focus on the past. You see David in one of the best times in his life. Being with this woman only wants to make him strive to be a better man.
In the movie, David throws punches for Jade. Do you think men should stand up for their women?
Alex: I'm a hopeless romantic. I am very proud of that. We live in a world where it's so accessible to date now. Romance, taking someone on a date, being a gentleman – I think it's becoming rarer and rarer. All the men in my life have been gentlemen and have looked after their women, and we would definitely stand up for our ladies.
Since you're a hopeless romantic, what's your ideal Valentine's Day date? Who is your Valentine this year?
Alex: My mom is going to be my date for Valentine's Day. She wants to go to the Grove and see “Endless Love.”
She's one lucky lady!
What do you think of Alex's candid comments about love? Tell toofab in the comment section below, and click "Launch Gallery" above to see more cute celebrity couples!
Check out "Endless Love" in theaters on Valentine's Day, February 14.