“When you meet someone, do you tell them all your secrets?”
In the latestI Am Number Four, John Smith is just trying to blend in. But flying under the radar is never easy when you have alien super-powers and have to move every few months because another alien race, the Mogadorians, is hunting the last of your kind. Now, three are dead and John—also known as Number Four—is next.
After his cover is blown in the last place they got to call home, John (Alex Pettyfer, Beastly) and his guardian Henri (Timothy Olyphant, The Girl Next Door) pick up and move to Paradise, Ohio. While Henri is busy scanning his computers to make sure they are well hidden, John is searching for a normal life. Enter the love interest that can make all this possible: Sarah (Dianna Agron, Glee). Between falling for her, protecting his new UFO-obsessed best friend Sam (Callan McAuliffe) from bullies and protecting himself from the same ones, John is finally getting that glimpse into the all-American teenage existence.
Except hiding his secrets is becoming increasingly more difficult—what, with his hands lighting up with blinding brightness at random intervals and all.
But revealing his identity to a few people is a small problem in comparison to the trouble that’s coming his way. The Mogadorians are about to find his Paradise and are hungry to destroy it all.
If you’ve read the hit novel (by the same name, from author Pittacus Lore), you will definitely want to rush to the theatres to catch this flick. And if you haven’t, try this blockbuster anyway—I’m certain it will drive you to the books!
Though I always want to see the film adaptations of my favourite reads, I go into the theatre with a bit of apprehension about the story’s translation onto the big screen. But the movie I Am Number Four totally had me at the edge of my seat the entire time—even though I already knew the storyline!
The Mogadorians are ultimate nemeses, with a pen chance for violence, freakish hell dogs from outer space and, strangely, comic books. I still can’t get the image out of my head of their faces breathing from the gills on either sides of their noses—terrifying, but totally awesome.
All in all, it’s action-packed and thrilling, with the right amount of genuine romance—Alex Pettyfer and Dianna Agron have such a perfect chemistry.
And the scenes with Alex sans shirt? Pretty freakin’ great.
Want to know more about the cast?
Check out our quick Q&A’s with the stars of I Am Number Four.
ALEX PETTYFER (John/Number Four)
Q. What attracted you to the role of Number Four?
A. The vulnerability of the character and the story arc. That and the fact your producers are Steven Spielberg and Michael Bay. I loved [director] D.J. Caruso’s previous movies like Disturbia and how he tells a story, and I Am Number Fourseemed very interesting and original.
Q. What challenges did the action scenes present?
A. We prepared for three months before and I loved all the stunt work. The action is so much a part of the scene, you’re so involved in it and it’s going on all around you that as an actor you have to be in it. I loved it. I loved the fact there was $100,000 worth of stuff being blown up behind me on this one shot and I had to get it right. The pressure really upped the adrenaline. And yes I got it right on the first take, but with a lot of practice beforehand.
Q. What’s the coolest stunt you got to do?
A. I jumped off a cliff backwards, which was pretty cool. I’d never done that before. It took seven takes from different angles and luckily there were no injuries. I came close, though—my head nearly hit the rock.
DIANNA AGRON (Sarah)
Q. With both Glee and this movie, you film a lot in a high school setting. Can you give us a comparison?
A. I love that you asked that because they are very different worlds. In Glee we’re all such extreme characters and I think it worked so well for the show. And for I Am Number Four it’s more the feeling of outsiders and kind of the lonely boy or girl at school and the small-town feeling. So everything is just a lot more intimate. My character Sarah is an old soul; she’s explored this fish bowl and just wants to see what’s out there, especially because she’s an artist. When she finds John [Alex Pettyfer], he’s her counterpart in that way. They understand each other so much, so quickly that they let all their walls down and they challenge each other and go on this wonderful journey. It’s night and day, the two projects, and especially a lot of times it literally is night and day! We’re in night most of the film. We’re clearly in the day during Glee. I think that they were great to have opposite each other.
Q. Did you feel like an outsider like your character Sarah when you were in high school?
A. I did. We had some really sophisticated kids at our school and I never quite felt like I had a handle on what exactly it was that I wanted. I was in honours classes, so school was really important to me, and I liked getting good grades; I liked learning. I was on the yearbook staff and I love photography, which is something that my character Sarah and I share, and I liked getting to know a varied amount of people at our school. So in a sense, I was liked because I was nice. But I wasn’t a cool kid. I still feel like a huge nerd because I am! Just hang out with me; you’ll understand. I think that sometimes with “popularity,” there can be arrogance, or ignorance, to understanding people. I think that sometimes the “popular kids” are the kids that are insecure, and they just don’t want anybody to see it.
TERESA PALMER (Number Six)
Q. Could you tell us about your role as Number Six?
A. Number Six is very intimidating, but she’s equally as enchanting as she is scary and fierce. She’s tough; she knows how to fight; she’s a force to be reckoned with. That meant that I had to endure a lot of intense physical training for the character, which I thoroughly enjoyed.I think I have kind of a love-hate relationship with it because I had to do a lot of sit-ups and push-ups. And conditioning and stunt training too. I wanted to make sure that I didn’t do Number Six a disservice by not being able to physically embody the character.
Q. What was your favourite action moment?
A. My very favourite action moment was this one stunt that I did it at three a.m. in the morning. And I didn’t know I was going to do it. I arrived on the set and it was “all right, girl, you’ve got to get in a harness.” They brought me onto set and I saw my stunt double being hoisted upside down, sixty feet high in the air… he’s a guy, wearing a wig. He’s flailing around, screaming, and then D. J. Caruso walks up to me and was like, “Are you ready to do that?” I just had to do it. It was so exciting; it felt invigorating. I was basically picked up by my right leg very fast, upside down, sixty feet high in the air, attached to a crane. And I had to be swinging pretending to kill the enemy, which is very scary and nerve-wracking while trying to wriggle out of the harness, which is keeping me safe. And you can just see all these little bodies of the crew down there; little tiny specks in the distance. I really felt very tough, and I wanted to do it again and again. I was proud of myself in that moment.