Alex Russell grew up in the city of Rockhampton, Queensland. He was born to surgeon Dr. Andrew Russell and interior designer Frances Russell, and has a younger brother, Dominic, and a younger sister, Georgiana. He attended The Rockhampton Grammar School until he graduated in 2004, then went on to attend the National Institute of Dramatic Art (NIDA) in Sydney, Australia. He made his major screen debut in 2010 in the Australian film Wasted on the Young. In 2011, he featured in two Australian short films, The Best Man and Halloween Knight. In 2012, Russell played one of the lead characters in the science fiction film Chronicle. He played one of the supporting roles, bad boy Billy Nolan, in the Carrie remake.