Ahhh, bad boys, who doesn’t love ‘em? From the early bad boy onscreen incarnations of James Dean and Brando, through the Eighties shenanigans of Brat Packers Charlie Sheen and Kiefer Sutherland, to a still handsome Nineties Val Kilmer all the way through to today when… well, that’s the question: Where have all the bad boys gone?
Despite Bieber’s constant attempts to be a baller, One Direction swearing at their fans and Scott Disick making douchey comments on every episode of KUWTK, the current pool of bad boys is – unfortunately for gossip gold – tragically small.
But help is at hand in the shape of Alex Pettyfer, Ezra Miller and Jeremy Renner, who have been bringing the bar brawls, diva behaviour and bad romances that we’ve come to expect from a bona fide bad boy. Scene reveals what these guys have been doing to earn themselves a place in Hollywood bloke-lore…
Ultimate new bad boy: Alex Pettyfer
So pretty and yet so naughty, despite his young age British actor Alex, has proved his bad-boy credentials time and time again on movie sets, in his personal relationships and also in interviews, with THR last year reporting that, “Inside Hollywood he’s developing a reputation as being especially difficult and demanding.” And rumours that have emerged from the sets of three of his last movies, Beastly, I Am Number Four and the recent Magic Mike, have all helped to paint the actor in a particularly unflattering light – an image only exacerbated when his previous girlfriend, Glee’s Dianna Agron, was said to have been “terrified” of him post-split.
“Alex and Channing had massive fights [on the Magic Mike set],” spilled an industry source recently. “He hates Alex. Channing thought Alex was a diva on set.” Whilst another added, “Alex was a jerk to everyone during filming for no reason. He thinks he’s the star of the movie, not Channing or Matthew McConaughey.”
And in his short career, Alex has developed a reputation for being “difficult” to work with one producer telling THR, “Pick your words: ambitious, hungry, cocky, very ahead of himself. But if he delivers, he’ll be worth it.”
“That’s the problem with Hollywood,” said one insider. “You point out the boy’s flaws, you know it’s offside, and then you basically say you’ll condone it if he makes money.” But if he’s so far proved a box office draw, Alex hasn’t endeared himself to Hollywood’s ladies, after a source close to Dianna Agron, who co-starred with him in I Am Number Four, called the actor a “psycho loose cannon” in the wake of their split last year, after an alleged “heated confrontation” at a Hollywood club left her “terrified.”
“Alex made Dianna fire her entire management team for no apparent reason,” said an insider. “Dianna was completely Stepford [Wives] around him. You say anything he doesn’t agree to and he goes ballistic. The town is talking. Alex’s reputation is going to destroy his career.”
Late-bloomer bad boy: Jeremy Renner
It wasn’t until 2008’s The Hurt Locker garnered him an Oscar nomination for Best Actor at the age of 38, that Jeremy Renner really popped up on the public’s radar, despite having been acting since the age of 24. Now, raking in Dh18 million for his upcoming movie, The Bourne Legacy, Renner clearly feels he has a lot of catching up to do when it comes to staking his Hollywood claim – apparently taking up the ‘angry young(ish) man’ pose. Caught up in a bar fight in Thailand earlier this year, insiders say Jeremy was leaving as the bar manager was attacked, later insisting, “I was in flip-flops. I don’t do bar fights.” But his insistence was contrary to a claim the star made a few weeks later that he can handle himself in a fight, telling THR of an altercation in a US bar, “This guy chokes me with the scarf I was wearing. Then he shoved my sister and I got behind him and I choked him out – put him to sleep.”
And it’s not just when it comes down to fisticuffs that Renner comes across as a tad abrasive, famously saying of the reason behind his 2010 split from girlfriend-of-four-years, Jess Macallan, “[Her wanting to become an actress] was part of the issue. I was going through the Hurt Locker campaign and she’s like, ‘Where do I get headshots?’” Having become famous for throwing raucous parties, with Christina Aguilera rumoured to have been found passed out in his bed at his 40th – which was also attended by Leonardo DiCaprio, Ben Affleck, Colin Farrell, Charlize Theron, Scarlett Johansson and Blake Lively – Renner has also gained a fast rep for being a party boy. “Jeremy was too drunk for his own good,” an eyewitness told Star in May about a late-night session at the Chateau Marmont.
Psuedo-intellectual bad boy: Ezra Miller
His beautifully depraved face (those cheekbones!) won New Jersey native Ezra the coveted role of Kevin opposite Tilda Swinton in this year’s movie adaptation, We Need To Talk About Kevin, about a teenager who massacres his classmates. And the future star has been quick to cultivate a reputation of himself as a modern-day Jim Morrison type, insisting of his Kevin role, “I read the book [of the film] like a mystic reads the Bible”; also making Lizard King-esque declarations such as, “I found the classroom forum [at school] restrictive and condescending.”
Arrested last year for possession of marijuana, charges which were later dropped in favour of a Dh2,160 fine for disorderly conduct, the actor says of the incident, “The one thing that I learned from that was about the interaction between police and media. There’s this chief of police who’s ringing up the papers to tell them about some person of interest’s wrongdoing. I paid the fine in cash just to make my point.” And he’s also been keen to prove a point on the red carpet, whether it’s holding a balloon as an accessory, pinning feathers to his jacket for attention or (despite his earning power clearly putting him in the 1 per cent bracket) writing “99%” on his hand at Cannes – “I’m doing like a different global movement message a day” – all to prove his ‘hipster’ credentials. But the young star was outed as a difficult interviewee earlier this year by eTalk’s Elaine Lui, who spilled all on her red carpet interview with the actor at the Toronto International Film Festival. “Me: ‘Ezra, this is your first TIFF… Any stars you’re looking forward to meeting this week?’ Ezra Miller: ‘Stars, hmmm, stars. The stars... yes... Well, there’s Orion and Cassiopeia...’ Me: (unable now to contain myself), ‘Yes, son, but those are constellations. They are not stars.’ Awkward pause. Awkward pause. Awkward pause…”