Alex Pettyfer is said to be close to landing the highly-sought after role of Christian Grey in the big screen adaptation of erotic best-seller 50 Shades of Grey. According to numerous reports, the actor has already shot a steamy screen test for the part, and is now widely tipped to take the lead.
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Should he take the role, it will bolster an already diverse career for the English actor who has already appeared as an alien, school-boy spy, elderly mob boss and an enthusiastic stripper. But who is this talented youngster? Here are five facts you should know about Alex Pettyfer.
1. He has already swept some of Hollywood's leading ladies off their feet. In the past, Alex has dated Emma Roberts — he has an ER tattoo inside interlocking hearts on his right wrist — and Glee's Dianna Agron. Most recently, he has been romantically linked to actress Riley Keough, Elvis Presley's granddaughter.
2. He has a number of tattoos. Along with his ER inking, Alex's body art includes a Celtic cross on his chest, Tibetan script on his right arm, 'What Goes Around Come Around' on his shoulder, and Katakana script on his lower waist.
3. He was a child model. A chance encounter with Ralph Lauren helped convince Alex to get in front of the camera when he was just eight. "This weird-looking guy in the lift said to me, 'You're quite good-looking; you should model for me," he recalled in an interview in 2008. It wasn't until he appeared in a Ralph Lauren campaign that he realised just who had discovered him.
4. He found it hard transforming into his bald and tattooed character Kyle Kingston for Beastly. "I had to shave all of my goldilocks, which was one of the hardest things for me mentally," he admitted in 2009. "And then physically I put in about 12 to 15 pounds, because I'm actually quite a skinny guy."
5. He was practically handpicked by Anthony Horowitz, the author of Alex Rider: Stormbreaker, to play the lead role in the film adaptation. Anthony was reportedly impressed with Alex after seeing him in the UK TV movie Tom Brown's Schooldays in 2005.