Lee Daniels has had his eye on Alex Pettyfer for a while. He wanted to cast him in “The Paperboy” over a year ago, but scheduling ultimately couldn’t be worked out and the role, for better or worse, went to Zac Efron. Now it appears the time is right for the actor and director to finally work together, as Deadline reports Pettyfer has joined the all-star cast of Daniels’ next, “The Butler.”
Pettyfer will play the supporting role of Thomas Westphall amongst a cast that already includes Forest Whitaker, David Oyelowo, Alan Rickman, Jane Fonda, Oprah Winfrey, Minka Kelly, Cuba Gooding Jr, Terrance Howard, and Lenny Kravitz. Whitaker plays Eugene Allen, the White House butler who started out as an entry level “pantry man” in pre-Civil Rights 1952 to serving eight presidents over 30 years and witnessing firsthand such historical events as the Vietnam War and the assassinations of Martin Luther King Jr, John F. Kennedy, and Robert Kennedy. Pettyfer’s Westphall “appears early in the life of Forest Whitaker’s character and has a pivotal influence on the rest of that character’s life.” Filming begins in mid-July.
Pettyfer, who gained fame and notoriety from teen fare like “I Am Number Four” and “Beastly”, will soon be seen in Steven Soderbergh’s LA Film Festival closer “Magic Mike”, and is committed to indie thriller “Diamond Dogs.”