Rebel with a cause
Tomorrow marks the release of The Divergent Series: Allegiant, the third cinematic instalment adapted from Veronica Roth’s sci-fi novels of the same name. To celebrate the film launch we’ve revisited our Issue 9 interview with rising star Miles Teller.
Here, the Whiplash-actor (and former homecoming king) talked to us ahead of his 2012 role in house party epic, Project X, and let us into the industry secrets of tube socks and nude scenes.
Isabella Burley: Hi Miles, how’s it going?
Miles Teller: I’m good. Just got back from San Diego for St Patrick’s Day.
IB: Are you Irish?
MT: Well, my great, great grandfather was called Jimmy Dean and came from County Galway.
IB: Funny, did you also just get back from SXSW?
MT: Yeah, I got back on Friday. I did a bit of press and saw a few concerts.
IB: Cool, let’s start with your film Project X. Did you ever throw a crazy house party when your parents were out of town?
MT: I grew up in the country, so most of the parties were out in the woods somewhere. But yeah, when my parents were gone I would throw some parties. I always thought I had cleaned everything up, but they would always come back and find some stuff. So whatever, yeah. I throw a lot of parties out here too.
IB: I have never been to a party in the woods…
MT: Really? It’s cool. It is usually just a bonfire and a keg of beer. There is this one place called ‘the spot’ and there is always an abandoned baby stroller.
IB: Strange. Were you as cool as your character when you were a teenager?
MT: I would like to think so. Yeah, I had a lot of friends and stuff. I guess I was pretty wellrounded. I had my buddies, who I am still friends with now and we partied together. I graduated with a 4.0, I played drums in a rock band, I played baseball and I was president of my drama club. In my senior year I was actually homecoming king!
IB: Really! What was your band called?
MT: The Mutes. Basically, we were playing the homecoming parade and it was the first thing we had ever played. Then the generator just shut off, there was no power and nobody could hear us. So we were called The Mutes.
IB: Were you a bit of a rebel?
MT: Yeah, my second grade teacher told my mum that she didn’t think I would graduate high school. They thought I was a bit of a delinquent!
IB: At least you proved them wrong.
MT: Yeah! When I was in middle school I thought I was a little bit of a smart ass and I thought I was pretty funny. So if I had something to say, I couldn’t just sit on it. I would just have to say it and look for the laughs. Then when I got to high school I matured a little bit and I didn’t get in as much trouble. I always got straight As and everything.
IB: You moved around quite a bit growing up?
MT: Yeah. I grew up in Downingtown, Pennsylvania, then I moved to Georgia, then Delaware, then New Jersey. Finally my parents moved to Citrus County, Florida. The population was like 10,000 or so. Then I went to New York for school and now I live in Los Angeles.
IB: Where do you live in LA?
IB: Of course! Was there ever chaos in your hometown?
MT: Hmm. Like I said I grew up in a really small town, so me and my buddies would drink in parking lots. Basically, we would just hang out in parking lots and swim in the lakes. A lot of hanging around, playing guitar and drinking beer.
IB: Your latest film, 21 & Over, has just been released. What did you do for your 21st birthday?
MT: …Are you in England right now?
MT: What time is it there?
MT: Oh wow. Sorry to keep you up.
IB: No worries. I’m a night owl and a bit jet lagged.
MT: Cool. Yeah, so for my 21st birthday, my buddies from high school flew up to New York. My mum made these t-shirts with my face on them. So we were all wearing these bright green t-shirts with my face on them. We were just bar hopping in New York. It was awesome, a couple of my buddies hadn’t seen snow before and a couple hadn’t even been on a plane before! I was legal for the first time and I can’t think of any better city to drink in.
IB: There was quite a bit of nudity in 21 & Over. Is that something you’re getting comfortable with?
MT: I am always uncomfortable with my body. For that film, I knew I was going to be pretty much naked. So I tried to work out, but basically you are just sitting there in a robe with all of these people around you, and then they yell “rolling” so you take the robe off. Then you are just standing there in a tube sock. Then you think what a funny profession this is. I was pretty nervous for the first take. Plus the sock never felt like it was on very well. I was just like, “Oh my god, please don’t fall off.” After you do it the first time it is very liberating. It is like streaking. I felt very free.
IB: Were you worried about your mum seeing it?
MT: It’s funny, she said to me, “I haven’t seen your butt since you were five. You are always so modest.” Then I told her that she was going to see some stuff from the front. She screamed, “Oh my god – the nest!”
IB: ‘The nest’!
MT: I know! But I think sex scenes are more uncomfortable for her.
IB: How many sex scenes have you done?
MT: I have done a bunch of them recently. Spectacular Now has one. It is pretty intimate but I think it is done very honestly.
IB: Is it awkward to film?
MT: I think if you have a good relationship with your co-star and just laugh with them it is fine. I mean, it is funny man. You’re making out and simulating sex, then the director will yell, “Cut. Let’s go for lunch.”
IB: Ha! You’re also in a new film, Two Night Stand which is about an online relationship, right?
MT: It’s not really about an online relationship. Basically there is a girl who goes online to get a quick-fix type thing, you know she just wants a hook up. So, she goes online and meets my character and we hook up. Then a blizzard comes at night, so she can’t leave. So you see this one night stand turn into a two night stand…
IB: Have you ever tried online dating?
IB: Would you ever?
IB: You have a Twitter account. Are you ever worried about sharing personal information online?
MT: Yeah, sure. I was on Twitter a couple of months ago and this chick kept posting all of these private photos. They were personal photos of mine from Facebook and all of my information on there is private. She was posting pictures of me and my mum, and my sister. I was uncomfortable with that. The problem is once it is online, everyone can access it.
IB: That’s true. Thanks for chatting to us.
MT: No worries and thanks for staying up so late!