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05 July

Miles Teller’s rise, from teen movies to Top Gun

 

Seen in “Project X” in 2012, Miles Teller is also the confused teenager of the dramatic comedy “The Spectacular Now” alongside his friend Shailene Woodley. He might soon play the singer Elvis Presley in a biopic by Baz Luhrmann, the Australian director known for his movie adaptations of “Romeo and Juliet” and “The Great Gatsby”. Take a look back on the career of an actor on his way up.

By Anna Prudhomme

Miles Teller

With his brown hair, his tender eyes and his hangdog look, Miles Teller has already seduced the movie world for many years. For a long time, he was confined to supporting roles, often playing an ungrateful and debauched teenager in American teen movies such as Project X and 21 & Over. He was recently featured in a more serious movie, Jason Hallen’s Thank You for Your Service, where he depicts a soldier suffering from posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) after his deployment in Iraq. Chosen to join the cast of Flag Day, Sean Pen’s 2020 thriller, Miles Teller is also coveted by director Baz Luhrmann (Moulin Rouge) who is working on a feature film about Elvis Presley. Following this year’s successful biopics: from Bohemian Rhapsody (Queen) to Rocketman (Elton John), the Australian director is tackling the King. Miles Teller’s features may well allow him to get the role but Harry Styles, the British darling from One Direction, and Baby Driver actor Ansel Elgort are also in the running for the role.

Born in 1987 in a small town of rural Pennsylvania, Miles Teller learned to play music at a very young age: piano, saxophone, guitar and drums, his favourite instrument. In high school, he became head of the drama club, and then left Pennsylvania to go to New York City where he got an Arts Degree. At the Lee Strasberg Institute, he completed his training and discovered the renowned “Method”, the acting technique taught at the very famous Actors Studio. In the 2000s, Miles Teller went to many casting calls: he made a few appearances in short films or television series and began acting in movies at 24 with Rabbit Hole (2011). His character, a naive young boy, discussed the infinity of space on a bench with Nicole Kidman, and later apologized for taking her son’s life in a car accident…

“Whiplash” - Final performance

Thanks to his training as a musician, he got the leading role in Whiplash, a dramatic feature film by French-American director Damien Chazelle. He played a madly ambitious jazz drummer who joins a prestigious conservatory in New York. But his uncompromising teacher and conductor - embodied by the terrifying J.K. Simmons - mistreats him without any scruples. Ingenuous, emotional, talented and very touching, Miles Teller excelled in this role, which earned him many nominations as best actor.

 

In 2014, he joined the Divergent saga, a series of blockbusters produced by Neil Burger that brought him international fame. But the third opus was a commercial flop… and Miles Teller went through a series of failures: Marvel’s Fantastic Four or the comedy Get a Job with Anna Kendrick. But the actor regained his footing alongside the hilarious Jonah Hill in the satirical comedy War Dogs. Then he excelled physically and psychologically in his performance as Vinny Pazienza — world champion of lightweight boxing in the 1990s — in the biopic Bleed for This by American filmmaker Ben Younger. His flawless acting skills earned him the attention of director Joseph Kosinski (Oblivion): he will act alongside Tom Cruise in the 2020 Top Gun sequel.

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