Miles Teller, who has a leading role alongside Nicole Kidman and Aaron Eckhart in the upcoming film Rabbit Hole, is so new in Hollywood that he doesn't even have a Wikipedia page. In fact, a Google search reveals little about the 23 year old actor beyond the fact that he will soon appear in three films - Rabbit Hole, Project X and a remake of Footloose with Dennis Quaid and Julianne Hough. The fact that he is barely known to movie-goers will surely change with this month's release of Rabbit Hole. His role as Jason is pivotal and he has some wrenching scenes with Kidman that won't quickly be forgotten.
Miles grew up moving around the country as his father chased work in power plants. In South Jersey, he was heavily into surfing and skateboarding before his family moved to a very small town in Florida where, he says, the Super WalMart was the biggest thing in town. His interest in movies began young, with frequent viewings of The Wizard of Oz and Indiana Jones. But a love of sports - he was an avid baseball player - led Miles to plan for a career as a sports broadcaster. That dream was derailed when a "pretty and enthusiastic" drama teacher showed up at his high school. Ironically, Miles' first role was as Willard in a high school production of Footloose - the same role he would play in the film remake which will be released next October. By his senior year, Teller was president of the drama club.
Now, just a few short years after earning a BFA at New York University, he is appearing in a major motion picture. "It's nice that I got shot right out of the cannon," Teller muses. "I auditioned and it went well, and then went back for another audition. John (Cameron Mitchell, the director) called one night to say I got the role of Jason. I thanked him and told him how excited I was. There was silent cheering in my head. Then I called my mom and that was where the yelling and screaming and celebrating began."
Rabbit Hole is a dark, poignant film, difficult for parents especially to watch. Its searing story is made particularly painful by the beautifully understated performances of such actors as Kidman, Eckhart, Sandra Oh and Dianne Wiest - and Miles Teller. "I was learning how people at the top of their craft carry themselves," he recalls. "I watched them doing the work, their process. You can't learn that in the classroom. My character, Jason, is never by himself in the film. So much is defined by who he is with in each scene. "
He gets to exercise different muscles in Footloose, while admitting that, for many, it is "sacred ground." But, he explains, "We have brought it up to modern times. It's not a dance movie. It's fun, it's a great story and we'll be transitioning fans of the original and people who've never heard of the movie."
As Miles Teller takes meetings with producers and does media interviews for Rabbit Hole, he is also enjoying living in California. "The weather is great. It's hard to be upset when it's sunny all the time," he says. He does some long-boarding and makes occasional trips to the driving range. He is also passionate about music, playing both guitar and drums. His favorite musicians are from an earlier era - Otis Redding, Jimi Hendrix, Eric Clapton, Muddy Waters.
As the buzz around Rabbit Hole - and Miles Teller's role in it - gathers steam, a Wikipedia page about the actor will surely evolve. Until then, when asked what it should say, Miles say simply, "To be determined. Click back here later."
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