North Texas Daily

Q&A: Alex Pettyfer on ‘Endless Love,’ being romantic

Q&A: Alex Pettyfer on ‘Endless Love,’ being romantic

Q&A: Alex Pettyfer on ‘Endless Love,’ being romantic
February 13
00:39 2014

Preston Barta // Film Critic

Valentine’s Day is fast approaching, which means a slew of romantic movies will be coming to the big screen. Whether you’re spending the day alone or with someone special, it’s always a great time to see a sappy love movie.

Out to steal audience’s hearts this weekend is the contemporary adaptation of “About Last Night” with Kevin Hart and the star-studded “Winter’s Tale.” But also opening tomorrow is the Daily-approved film that you should take your valentine to — “Endless Love.”

“Endless Love” follows Jade Butterfield (Gabriella Wilde), a privileged young woman with a promising future and David Elliot (Alex Pettyfer), a charismatic boy from the other side of the tracks, whose instant desire sparks a love affair. But the passion is too consuming for Jade’s father, played by an excellent Bruce Greenwood (“Star Trek,” 2009), as he tries to keep them apart.

On paper, while the plot seems like the oldest love story in the book, this film offers a relatable narrative with engaging characters that are portrayed by a talented cast, making it a must-see over the Valentine’s weekend.

The North Texas Daily had the chance to sit down and chat with its star Pettyfer (“Magic Mike,” 2012) in Dallas about the film’s themes of love and free spirit along with what college course he would teach to students at UNT.

There’s a great theme of free spirit in “Endless Love.” Jade leads a very structured and sheltered life, until you come along. Her mother, played by the great Joely Richardson (“The Patriot,” 2000), in the film had a line about how Jade lost her teen years because her father kept her on such a short leash. Since you started in this business so early, do you feel like you missed out on your teen years?

Alex Pettyfer: “Oh, no. Making movies is a privilege. It’s so hard to make a movie nowadays. To be a part of something like this— I’m the luckiest guy. I’m a lover of film. Even before I was a part of the film industry, just to watch film— it is an escape for me. But there’s nothing in my life that I’ve regretted or would change.”

You mentioned you’re a lover of film. Are there any movies that you saw growing up that made you kind of understand what love is?

Pettyfer: “Yeah. Romantic films are a heightened experience. One film that I love is ‘Love Story’ (1970) with Ali MacGraw and Ryan O’Neal. I also really love ‘Love Actually’ (2003). Even though it’s a romantic comedy, it explores some of the things that we deal with and the reality of love. I think a lot of people will be able to relate to this movie, ‘Endless Love,’ due to everyone’s experience with their first love. Whether it worked out or didn’t, it will be a good film for them.”

I believe people are going to go see this and connect with it. They’re going to say, “I’m David” or “I’m Jade.” What kind of advice do you have for filmgoers who are going through a situation that is similar to the one portrayed in the film?

Pettyfer: “Ooh, I am the worst person for advice. So I won’t give any. But I was actually doing a press junket in Los Angeles and there was a woman who came up to me – and this is why I love making films – she said, ‘I cried from the moment the film began until the moment it stopped.” I said, ‘Really?’ I was shocked that she said that, so I asked why. She said, ‘because I have a story that is very similar to this film and it didn’t work out well. It reminded me of my first love and the faith that I had in that. I just want to say thank you for making this film.’ That is why I make films. As a fan myself, I thank so many people for the influences that they have given me.”


What in your opinion makes love last through all its ups and downs?

Pettyfer: “Trust and growing together as partners.”

There’s a line that I really liked in the film said by Robert Patrick, who plays your father in the film. He said, “Embarrass yourself because it builds character.” Do you think that’s a true statement?

Pettyfer: “Yeah, that scene where he is doing my tie before I go to Jade’s party. That’s funny. I completely forgot that one. But yes, I do. But not in the sense of embarrass yourself and go out and make a fool of yourself. More like take a chance or a risk. Trust how you feel.”

Any experiences?

Pettyfer: “The most embarrassing thing for me in the film – well, not exactly embarrassing – was going back and being 18 again and having that mentality. There were a lot of things that I did when I was 18 that I wouldn’t do now. Going back into that childlike state of mind was very liberating.”

You have many great moments in this movie, as well as your other films, that people could say, “I wish that could happen to me.” What’s a moment in one of your movies that you wish would genuinely happen to you in real life?

Pettyfer: “Well, I wish I had superpowers [Laughs], like in ‘I Am Number Four’ (2011). I wish I had light beams and telekinetic powers. I think every guy wants to be a superhero.”

Lastly, if you could teach a college course at UNT, what do you think you would teach?

Pettyfer: “Oh, it would have to be physical education— some sport like tennis.”

“Endless Love” opens tonight at 8 p.m. at Cinemark Denton.

Feature photo: Alex Pettyfer leads an a talented cast in “Endless Love.” Photo courtesy of Universal Pictures.
Center Photo: Alex Pettyfer stars as David Elliot and Gabriella Wilde stars as Jade Butterfield in “Endless Love.” Photo courtesy of Universal Pictures.

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