Three are dead. He is Number Four. D.J. Caruso (“Eagle Eye,” “Disturbia”) helms a suspense-thriller about an extraordinary young man, John Smith (Alex Pettyfer), who is a fugitive on the run from ruthless enemies sent to destroy him. Changing his identity, moving from town to town with his guardian Henri (Timothy Olyphant),
John is always the new kid with no ties to his past. In the small Ohio town he now calls home, John encounters unexpected, life-changing events-his first love (Dianna Agron), powerful new abilities and a connection to the others who share his incredible destiny.
In theatres February 18, 2011
Here at Ones2Watch4, we’re always on the lookout for fresh, talented new faces, and 15-year-old Callan McAuliffe is no exception. This young Australian actor is the star of Rob Reiner’s new film, FLIPPED, a sweet coming-of-age tale that chronicles the ups and downs of first love. Adapted from Wendeline Van Draanen’s young adult novel of the same title, the film recounts the ins and outs of Juli’s (played by Madeline Carroll) unrequited crush on Bryce (McAuliffe). It’s only after six years of begrudgingly putting up with Juli’s seeming peculiarities that Bryce begins to grow up and realize how special the girl next door truly is – the only problem is that he may be too late.
In our exclusive interview with the FLIPPED star, Callan discusses his dissimilarities with Bryce, his nerve-wracking kissing scene, his acting background, his musical tastes and even his sweet tooth. With a wise maturity beyond his years, a solid ambition to be a versatile actor and unmistakable natural talent (which you’ll experience firsthand when you catch FLIPPED in theaters), Callan makes one excellent Actor2Watch4. Read on to see why we’ve completely flipped for Callan McAuliffe.
What initially attracted you to the role of Bryce?
Definitely the fact that it was my first American audition and that it was a Rob Reiner film.
Have you seen his previous work?
I have. Definitely a favorite of mine is Stand by Me. I think that’s a classic.
I think you and Bryce were probably around the same age when you were filming. Could you relate to him at all?
Yes, I was 14 and I think I was supposed to be playing Bryce around 13 or 14. Other than the fact that he’s a boy, and I’m a boy, it’s pretty different because of the period setting of the late 50s, early 60s. I’m a bit lazy, so I’m into the technology and stuff, and I sit around and play Xbox with my friends all day. They didn’t have that sort of stuff back then so everything was a lot more active, and everyone was a lot more open. It’s a pretty different experience.
Flipped is a really great coming-of-age story that has touched a lot of readers, and I think the film will do the same for audiences as well. Are there any books or films that have had a huge impact on your life?
There aren’t any films or books that I’ve based my life on, but I actually really enjoyed the book. Out of respect once I had gotten the role, I felt obliged to read it, and it’s not really my genre of book that I would read, but I thought it was fantastic. It was a beautiful book. And they kept really true to the book as well, which I think fans will be really, really happy with. I know that in most movies, especially the big action-y ones, you can’t speak to everything because you can’t turn a whole book into the film. Other than the fact that my eyes aren’t blue and that my hair isn’t black, they stayed really true to [Flipped], so people should be happy about that.
So I love the basket boys scene in the film, and I was wondering if you were to make your own basket for the auction, what would you include in it to impress the bidders?
I would definitely include junk food. Lots of junk food. [Swedish] chocolate or something like that. Because that’s what I like. And, if the girl didn’t like that as well, then it wouldn’t work out [laughs].
Was this your first kissing or, I guess, almost-kissing scene on-screen?
That was really nerve-wracking because there were a lot of other kids in the room, and so part of their role to play was to make fun of me after I did it, so they were really making fun of me. It was really nerve-wracking…I had to lean in and almost kiss Madeline with all these people watching. It was kind of fun though.
She seems really lovely. Did you and Madeline get along well?
She’s fantastic. She’s a really beautiful girl too, and she’s a really good actor. She’s a pleasure to be around.
I hear you’re currently working on a film called I Am Number Four. (Callan co-stars in the film alongside fellow One2Watch4 Alex Pettyfer).
I am. In Pittsburgh.
How is that going? Can you tell us a little bit more about the film and the character you play in it?
Well, I can’t divulge too much information, but it’s going fantastic. I play a character called Sam, and it’s a classic, alien sci-fi modern day film. I think people will really enjoy it. It’s loads of fun. It’s definitely a stretch from Flipped as well. It’s good to get a bit of contrast in [my] career, so I’m not typecast.
In the future, is there any sort of specific role that you’d like to pursue?
I would love to have a film with Johnny Depp. He’s my role model. If there’s anyone I look up to, it’s Johnny Depp. Just the diversity of his roles is fantastic.
And just a little bit about your background. Did you study acting, or did you fall into it?
I’m really not a fan of acting classes. I really did just fall into it…almost literally. I dislocated my kneecap falling in a sports game, and so I needed to find something to do on the weekends. So I joined an agent and got into commercials and things like that to put some money in my pocket so I could buy my own things and be a little more responsible. And, eventually, somehow it led to this.
Your official website also mentioned that you are actually quite involved with a lot of musical theater, and that you’re quite a singer. Is that something you enjoy doing?
I used to do it before I was a teenager and before I got super lazy. I did a bit of musical theater for my school, and I really enjoyed that, but I think I much prefer acting for screen because it’s way easier, for one, and you can do it as many times as you want. You can screw up and then you can do it again. For theater, it’s all one shot, and you’re in front of an audience, which is really nerve-wracking. I used to be able to sing, but I’m not sure if I can anymore.
I was Oliver in my school musical, and I think we had to drop the entire musical down an octave illegally for me, about three years ago. That was fun. I really enjoyed that.
Since, we’re on the subject of musicals, I’m going to ask you some quick questions about music if that’s all right.
Favorite band or musical artist?
Definitely Hans Zimmer. He’s the composer from Pirates of the Caribbean and all that sort of stuff. I’m really into that.
He just worked on Inception. You should see that if you haven’t yet.
I’m really looking forward to seeing that film. It looks absolutely fantastic.
Yeah, it’s really great. Okay, favorite song of the moment:
That’s a tough one. I don’t really have a favorite. I don’t pick specific things when I download things onto my iPod. I just have a whole bunch of crap, and so I just put it on shuffle, and I’m usually happy with whatever comes on, as long as it’s not rap. I’m really not into rap. [Actually], I honestly despise rap. When it comes on, I ask people to turn it off.
And you mentioned you were in Oliver! Do you enjoy watching musicals yourself?
It’s not as bad as when I’m playing it, but I always feel really nervous when I’m watching musicals because I really don’t want anyone to screw up. I don’t want them to feel bad or anything like that. And so I never really liked going to musicals because I feel like my presence is going to make them mess up or something like that.
Earlier on, you mentioned that you were really into technology and things like that. I know a lot of young actors are involved with social media, like Facebook and Twitter. Are you into that at all? Do you have any official accounts that your fans can follow?
I do have a Facebook account, but I have a secret alias.
Finally, we’re really looking forward for Flipped to hit theaters. I think everyone’s going to love it. What would you say to tell someone to go see it?
It’s a beautiful little teenage coming-of-age romantic comedy almost, and it’s about these two confused, scared teenagers falling in and out of love. It’s a great film that pretty much all kids can relate to, and it’s also a really good date movie too. If you’re a guy, you should take your girlfriend to it.
FLIPPED opens in select cities (Los Angeles, Sacramento and Austin) on August 6th, 2010 and nationwide on August 27th, 2010.
Gallery for Flipped:
Timothy Olyphant is riding high these days with the success of his show, Justified, in its second season on the FX network. As Deputy U.S. Marshall Raylan Givens, a no-nonsense, Stetson-wearing, gun-at-his-hip lawman sent back as punishment to do hometown duty in Kentucky, he has become a household staple for television viewing audiences.
Hawaiian born of Scottish descent and California raised, he was a competitive swimmer in his early years before moving to New York. Since then, he married Alexis Knief and progressed into his acting career. He won the Theatre World Award for his stage performance in The Monogamist and debuted in film as Brett Artounian in The First Wives Club (1996). He appeared in films Gone in Sixty Seconds (Nicolas Cage), Live Free or Die Hard (Bruce Willis), Stop-Loss (Ryan Phillipe), and Catch and Release (Jennifer Garner). His television credits include appearances in The Office, Damages, Samantha Who, and Sex in the City (episode 4 of season one as Sam with whom Carrie hooks up and ditches because he has no toilet paper in his grungy apartment).
As Agent 47 in the 2007 film, Hitman, Olyphant drew you in with his dead stare, unwavering glance and clean athleticism. He played a strong, silent, robotic character with dangerous moves alongside Bond girl, Olga Kurylenko. You wondered what made him tick, and by the end of the film, you realized he’s more than just a killing machine with his empathy and protectiveness.
In A Perfect Getaway (Milla Jovovich, Steve Zahn), a film that EyeWeekly.com stated as the ‘most underrated American film of 2009,’ Olyphant played a more relaxed role, albeit a somewhat creepy half of a vacationing couple who liked to kill dinner and scare others with his knife. The creepiness was an example of his great acting skills, though, as the story took on a surprising twist and ultimate resolution. His rugged good looks amidst the beautiful Hawaiian scenery made for perfect contrasting eye candy.
With a swagger and southern drawl, Olyphant landed sheriff roles in recent years. From 2004 through the show’s end in 2006, he played the lead role as Sheriff Seth Bullock in HBO’s Deadwood, the story of an American frontier town in 1876 struggling for stability amidst violence and lawlessness. In the film The Crazies, released in 2010, Olyphant starred as Sheriff David Dutton in this remake of George Romero’s 1973 horror flick about a small town transformed when a biological weapon enters its water supply.
Olyphant’s seeming cockiness landed him roles as rugged lawmen or ambivalent creepy guys but his talent is diverse. He played a bisexual romancing both Andy Dick’s and Cynthia Nixon’s characters in the 1999 film, Advice From a Caterpillar. His role as a sexy drug dealer in Go (Katie Holmes, Taye Diggs) won him the Best Bad Boy of 1999 in the Young Hollywood Awards.
Olyphant continues to dazzle onscreen this year with his forthright sexiness and distinct smile. In I Am Number Four, Olyphant plays a father figure assigned to protect alien teenager Alex Pettyfer’s character. He is the voice of Spirit of the West in Rango (Johnny Depp), an animated western about a chameleon. His most entertaining role this year, however, is as Dellwood Butterworth in Elektra Luxx, a comedy about a former adult film star (Carla Gugino) struggling with the consequences of her pregnancy. Yet, honestly, any role that has a shirtless scene of him is automatically entertaining.
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I know a lot of you are scratching your heads and wondering “where did this kid come from? He’s EVERYWHERE!” And you’re right. 2011 is not only the year of the Rabbit but it as The Year of the Pettyfer as well. With two starring roles and even more high-profile films in the works I think this handsome British lad’s face is going to become even more commonplace among the ever burgeoning list of One2Watch4 leading men.
Now of course Alex Pettyfer didn’t exactly come out of nowhere. While his work hasn’t been extensive, it’s been significant in building a legitimate base for this young actor. As a youngster Alex was a model. A funny story is how when Alex was 8, Ralph Lauren suggested Alex come model for him as Alex was shopping with his mom in the Lauren New York City store. Alex’s mom had no idea they were talking with the designer himself and quickly dismissed the offer as insincere (and probably a little creepy). It was years later, when Alex was doing an actual ad for the fashion house, that Alex recognized Lauren and his mom’s mistake.
Modeling was all well and good for a while but what teenage Alex really wanted to do was act. He’s the son of a working actor (Richard Pettyfer) and had been in the odd production at school. The first big break came in the form of a TV series called Tom Brown’s Schooldays (also starring Stephen Fry). The critically acclaimed show helped propel Alex to the top of the list of 500 hopefuls for the big-screen adaptation of the popular young adult series Alex Ryder as well as the Hollywood version of another popular book Eragon. Talk about your wealth of choices! Alex (Pettyfer) decided to take the Alex (Ryder) project for the simple reason that he has a fear of flying and Eragon was being filmed in Hungary. Oh fate has a funny way of shinning on the lucky few. Ever hear anything again about the kid who ended up being the lead in Eragon? I’m just saying.
Since the Alex Ryder books take place in quick succession, Pettyfer was already too old, by the films release, to play the character in any subsequent sequels. Not that any were going to be made since it did so poorly at the box office. But that didn’t really affect him. Alex was quickly growing out of the awkward, gangly, early teens into his matinee idol looks. Next up were two films set in proper British schools – the American fish out of water comedy Wild Child, starring Emma Roberts (Alex’s rumored ex and the inspiration behind his “ER” tattoo) and zombie revenge flick Tormented, where Alex plays a bully who gets his what’s coming to him. Then, in 2009, Alex shaved off all his golden locks, put on about 15 pounds of muscle and donned heavy prosthetic make-up to become Beastly – a retelling of Beauty and the Beast with Vanessa Hudgens of High School Musical fame. Release of Beastly has been delayed several times and will finally hit theaters March, 2011. All this on the job training almost prepared him for what was next – a blockbuster science fiction flick produced by none other than Steven Spielberg.
Alex was called in by the casting director to audition for the next in the long list of young-adult novels being turned into films: I Am Number Four. The story is about aliens with special abilities living amongst us, being hunted and killed by a race known as Mogadorians. The film was being produced by Hollywood powerhouses Michael Bay and the aforementioned Spielberg and the part was the lead. Pettyfer was understandably feeling the pressure (though at that time he was blissfully unaware of Speilberg’s participation) and literally walked out of the room before reading one line. He was convinced he was not right for such a weighty role and that he would ruin it for all involved. It took some major negotiating from the casting director and film director D.J. Caruso to get Alex in and on tape. But whatever it took, worked. Alex landed the part (with Speilberg’s final thumbs up) and I Am Number Four went into production co-starring Glee’s Diana Agron and fellow O2W4’s Tim Olyphant and Callam McAuliffe. It opens Friday, February 18th.
Pettyfer is hot right now. We’re talking Pattinson hot. He’s been getting work hand over fist. Currently in production (as of press date) is another Sci-Fi flick, Now, with and all-star cast. After that there is the bio-pic that Pettyfer is actually producing, about the tragic life of Formula One driver James Hunt. And the rumor going around today is that Alex is passing on The Mortal Instruments and signing up to be The Last Apprentice. Talk is that Jeff Bridges and Winter Bone’s nominated actress Jennifer Lawrence will star in that one. Not hard to see why an up and comer like Alex would jump at that opportunity, eh? Love him or leave him, Alex Pettyfer is going to stay in the collective consciousness for the foreseeable future.