updated 02/25/2011 AT 1:10 PM ET
•originally published 02/25/2011 AT 2:30 PM ET
Hot, young and talented – British actor Alex Pettyfer appears to have everything he needs to make it in Hollywood. Including, it seems, an attitude problem, according to some insiders.
The 20-year-old newcomer’s star has risen quickly. He has a lead role in the new films I Am Number Four and Beastly, was – until their recent reported split – dating Glee star Dianna Agron and has a slate of movie offers.
That momentum may soon be reversing, however. Pettyfer is “talented, [but] he’s just immature [and] opinionated,” a source tells PEOPLE. “Let’s hope he can pull it together.” Adds the source: “Drama surrounds him.”
Plus, in the midst of all the bad-boy buzz, Pettyfer didn’t help his case by showing up late for Beastly’s premiere presented by Candies in Los Angeles Thursday night.
There was chaos as fans awaited his appearance and reps scrambled to keep the media updated. Reporters were soon told that there had been a “small, contained fire” in the garage of the star’s Los Angeles home.
“There was a small electrical fire in the garage of Alex Pettyfer’s house last night,” the actor’s reps said in a statement Friday. “It was immediately contained. There was no significant damage, and Alex, though slightly delayed, was at his premiere last night.”
When the screening began, the film’s director, Daniel Barnz, took the microphone and told the audience: “There was a little last-minute emergency with Alex Pettyfer. Everything is fine, but Alex had a little fire hence the late start but he’s fine and he’s here.”
Pettyfer and costars Vanessa Hudgens and Neil Patrick Harris then each took the mic for a quick hello before heading to their seats to watch their movie. But when the lights went down, Pettyfer made a beeline for the exit.
Not Good in Groups
Some wonder if he just didn’t feel like showing up and point out that he even skipped the low-key afterparty at the Whisper Lounge in The Grove. “Alex is not good around big groups of people. He likes to be alone,” an insider tells PEOPLE. “He’s very isolated and he has a bad temper.”
Adds another source: “I don’t know why Alex avoided the afterparty. It was super small and there were no press.”
Pettyfer continues to baffle with his behavior. Others have also alleged that he caused extreme tension on the set last summer with his director on I Am Number Four, D.J. Caruso, demanding to renegotiate his $250,000 deal when he discovered another actor was making more, and going missing from important marketing meetings for Beastly, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
There is also talk that studios are nervous about working with him and rumors abound that he’s started to lose out on roles because of his alleged antics – which also include his team demanding close to $10 million to star in the Screen Gems flick Mortal Instruments, a request that ended the meeting abruptly and caused “outrage” from an executive, THR reports.
A producer who has worked with him sums up Pettyfer’s prospects this way: “Pick your words: ambitious, hungry, cocky, very ahead of himself,” the producer told THR. “But if he delivers, he’ll be worth it.”
But that is a big “if,” points out another insider.
As Deadline’s industry maven Nikki Finke put it in a post last weekend, “I do think it’s still too early to pass judgment on much-in-demand Alex Pettyfer, who’s the new ‘It’ young guy for so many roles.”
Reps for the actor had no further comment.
Reporting by ELIZABETH LEONARD, DAHVI SHIRA and REAGAN ALEXANDER
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