Alex Pettyfer worked hard to get his body in shape for Magic Mike. Too hard.

In the August issue of Men's Health UK, the 22-year-old actor reveals he went overboard after being asked to "put on a bit of weight" for his role as a newbie stripper. "I started off at 169 lbs. and went up to 196 lbs. They told me I was too big, so in the end I had to take it back down to 185 lbs."

Sticking to a diet and exercise routine wasn't easy, Pettyfer recalls. "It was hard, particularly at the start, and I still remember not wanting to be in the gym. That's why I don't want to train at the moment."

Instead, the British actor -- who is currently engaged to Elvis Presley's granddaughter, Riley Keough, 23 -- is focused on furthering his film career. "I'm very ambitious. I live in reality but I have dreams I want to fulfill. I want to be a director, and I've already started my own production company. But I also have a measure of success that I keep to myself. It's something very personal to me."

Calling his father "one of my biggest heroes," Pettyfer hopes to have a career similar to Paul Newman's. "I know a lot of people say that, but I love that he's a great role model and a humanitarian. I admire people who don't necessarily want to change the world, but try to make it a better environment."