At age 26, actor-model Alex Pettyfer has built a high-profile resumé (Lee Daniels’ The Butler, Magic Mike). The multi-talented Brit admits he’s “always wanted to be in control.” Now he’s accomplishing that goal with his newly founded Upturn Publishing, an independent, L.A.-based publisher that aims to spotlight undiscovered writing talent. Pettyfer discusses this new creative challenge in our video series Momentum: A Day in the Life, which offers viewers a glimpse into the busy lives of influential young celebrities.
Pettyfer launched Upturn after reading Ashley Mansour’s manuscript for young-adult dystopian sci-fi novel Blood, Ink, and Fire. He decided to help the writer realize her dream. “A lot of books don’t get the recognition for years because the publishing houses feel like they need to have a certain momentum behind the book before they give it a push,” he says. “I just want to give an unknown author the kind of voice in that sense.”
He also highlights his prominent role in comedy-drama Elvis & Nixon, in which he co-stars as Elvis Presley’s best friend, Jerry Schilling. Pettyfer took first-hand on-set advice from the real-life Schilling, who co-produced the film. “He lived it,” Pettyfer says. “It’s not like you can play the guy and then research him, and then he goes away. He was there every day, but he was very supportive. I actually preferred the fact that he was there. It’s the unknown that’s hard, where you don’t know what you’re going to do next.”
While Pettyfer’s schedule is daunting, he thrives on the excitement of new opportunities. “I always like accepting a challenge,” he says.