Ralph Maccio

I am legitimately worried about I Am Number Four star Alex Pettyfer. Of course, he doesn’t need my concern – the 20-year-old star of director D.J. Caruso’s teen alien flick is on the rise, with two movies in the can (Beastly and Andrew Niccol’s Now) and a slew of others in the works. That’s how Hollywood operates: hone in on young talent, put them in a zillion movies and let it ride. The difficult part is the escape plan, transcending above “it” star to full-fledged “actor.” The pretty faces of Twilight are attempting to keep the ball rolling, while Daniel Radcliffe of Harry Potter may have already escaped the gravitational pull of teen star suckage – but it ain’t easy. This is why I fear for Pettyfer. He has obvious talent, and I Am Number Four occasionally allows him to play with more than his Teen Beat-worthy pouty faces. But if Pettyfer intends to stick around and grow up into something substantial, he’s going to have to learn an important lesson from fallen heartthrobs and by looking to the past.

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