Played Willy Wonka in a school production of Charlie And The Chocolate Factory when he was younger. The son of actor Richard Pettyfer and former model, Lee Ireland. During term time over his secondary school years, Alex was a boarder at Shiplake College, a prestigious boarding school located in Henley-on-Thames. Over the holidays, he lived with his family in the center of Windsor, Berkshire. His mother, Lee Ireland, and his stepfather, Michael Ireland, have lived in the town for the past six years. Anthony Horowitz, the author of Alex Rider: Operation Stormbreaker (2006), practically handpicked Alex Pettyfer out of hundreds of other young actors, for the role of Alex Rider in the film version of the book after seeing his impressive performance in Tom Brown's Schooldays (2005) (TV). Has a younger half-brother, James Ireland. He attended Shiplake College, a prestigious boarding school located in Henley-on-Thames.
Briefly attended Millfield School, one of the largest and most prestigious private schools in England.Has had renal kidney problems since his early childhood. Was offered the title role of Eragon in the film Eragon (2006), based on the same titled, best-selling novel by Christopher Paolini, prior to the casting of Ed Speleers. He turned down the part because of his fear of flying. Was a fashion model for Ralph Lauren and the GAP. Has five known tattoos: a Celtic cross on his chest, Arabic script on the inside of his right arm, the words, "What Goes Around Comes Around" on his right shoulder, the initials "ER" inside interlinking hearts on his right wrist, and Kanji script on his lower waist. In a relationship with I Am Number Four (2011) co-star, Dianna Agron [January 2011].