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This story first appeared in the April 10 issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine.
On Feb. 24, 2011, Pettyfer’s whirlwind romance with Hollywood went up in flames — literally and figuratively. A fire broke out at the rising actor’s Beverly Hills home as he attended the premiere of Beastly, his second Hollywood film after I Am Number Four, which had opened in theaters only days earlier (the origin of the blaze has remained a mystery). The England-born actor, then 20, had been surly, arrogant and disrespectful when making both films.
“He was a nightmare and irrational. He had no body of work to remotely justify his behavior,” says one insider who worked with him. So despite strong buzz for his performances, Pettyfer quickly was sidelined. When CBS Films cast the former teen model in Beastly, which began shooting in summer 2009, the filmmakers had been tipped off that he was trouble and assigned him a handler. But there still were fits on the set, according to another insider. Later, tensions between Pettyfer and I Am Number Four director D.J. Caruso ran so high that Stacey Snider, then DreamWorks CEO, was forced to intervene.
Those close to the actor, who played a significant role in Magic Mike, insist he’s mended his ways, but he wasn’t asked back for Magic Mike XXL, which opens July 1. Pettyfer recently wrapped the indie Elvis & Nixon. “We’re so lacking in leading guys, he’ll have another day in the sun,” says one agent. “He’s only 24.”
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