WILL PELTZ IN NEW YORK, SEPTEMBER 2014. T-SHIRT: VALENTINO. STYLING: VANESSA CHOW. GROOMING PRODUCTS: CHANEL, INCLUDING SUBLIMAGE L’ESSENCE, SUBLIMAGE LA CRÈME TEXTURE SUPREME, AND SUBLIMAGE LA CRÈME YEUX. GROOMING: SAM ADDINGTON FOR CHANEL SUBLIMAGE/KRAMER+KRAMER.
Will Peltz’s path to Hollywood follows that age-old trajectory: “I went from hockey to acting,” the 28-year-old Bedford, New York, native says, diving into a kale salad at the Soho House in Los Angeles. Okay, so the number of players who move from the ice to the screen can probably be counted on one hand, but Peltz has equal fervor for both blood sports. “Once I like something, I’m all about it,” he says. “My whole life growing up was hockey, hockey, hockey.” After graduating from Choate Rosemary Hall boarding school, Peltz was living back at home and fielding offers from colleges with competitive hockey programs when he started reading scripts with his younger sister Nicola, then a child actress (now the 19-year-old star of Michael Bay’s latest Transformers movie). “I thought it was so cool,” he said of the acting process. “I started working with her coach in New York. I got an agent and began auditioning.”
Peltz moved to L.A. in 2009 and appeared in a slew of small film and TV roles before landing a solid part in Jason Reitman’s latest film, Men, Women & Children. The offbeat dramedy is comprised of vignettes about relationships between humans and technology, and stars Adam Sandler, Jennifer Garner, Dean Norris, and Ansel Elgort. Peltz’s handsome, dark features make him an ideal candidate for popular-guy roles, as in the upcoming indie comedy The Outskirts, in which he plays a high school alpha, and in Men, Women & Children, where he plays, by his own description, “an asshole jock who doesn’t have any redeeming qualities.” As an athlete himself, Peltz was familiar with those kinds of kids in high school. “I think one of the amazing things about the film is the writing,” he says. “I’m obviously a huge fan of Jason’s. And I learned more about acting from that film than I probably have ever.”
As the fourth of 10 brothers and sisters (his father is renowned businessman and investor Nelson Peltz), he knows something about the younger generation. “They’re the first to have all of their lives documented,” Peltz says. “My 11-year-old twin siblings have smartphones, although I think they mostly play games on them.” And what’s it like being one of 10? “My family is close. But it’s crazy—are you kidding me? Dinner takes forever. But it keeps everyone young. We’ve got one set of bar mitzvahs left.”