Miles Teller: ‘I just think a lot of actors are getting very homogenized’

Picture Perfect: Love birds Katie Holmes and Emilio Vitolo hold hands in Soho, NYC

For years, I’ve sort of enjoyed Miles Teller. To me, he’s something different than the usual Hollywood pretty boys. Personality-wise, he’s different too – very fratty, very bro-y, cocky, arrogant, etc. Maybe he secretly has an artist’s soul, but he spent most of his 20s being a d–k in interviews, you know? Well, 2020 was supposed to be another breakout year for Miles, because Top Gun: Maverick was supposed to hit theaters. It got pushed back to summer 2021, but there are still all of these interviews floating around. That is how Men’s Health came to publish this piece, which was basically done over the course of a year, pre-pandemic and pandemic-intensive. You can read the full piece here. Some highlights:

He’s still thinking about the time Esquire called him a d–k: “It was frustrating because my parents always told me the one thing you take to the grave is your reputation,” says the actor, who insists his attempts at humor were badly misinterpreted. There was also a 2017 arrest for public intoxication. (He was released after four hours.) He says that drama is all behind him.

He married Keleigh Sperry in 2019: He proposed in 2017 on a safari in South Africa, leaving a rose and a note in a tree out on the savanna. “She thought at first it was a marker where someone got killed or something. Then she read the note.” It had the day they started dating and that day’s date on it. “I said, ‘That was the first day I asked you to be my girlfriend, and today is the last day.’ ” Afterward he dropped to his knees and popped the question. “I found my person. I feel really lucky.”

He wasn’t sure if he should sign on for Top Gun: “I don’t want this to come out the wrong way, but there was a part of me that didn’t know if I wanted to be a part of something that could bring that much attention and success to me. Everybody views success differently. For me, it didn’t necessarily mean being a part of the biggest movie.”

Why he likes playing military men: Teller comes from a family of soldiers. His grandfather was a Marine, and his uncle served in Vietnam. “He got MS toward the end of his life and he thought it was penance for what he did over there,” says Teller quietly about his uncle. Many of his boyhood friends have served, and one is deployed overseas. Based on his conversations with them and his experience filming Thank You for Your Service, Teller believes America is squandering some of what binds us all together. “You wanna give a voice to these guys. In the wars that we fight now, our military comes from very specific parts of the country and socioeconomic classes. We’re losing that connection between civilians and military and our veterans.”

Being a top pilot is more about being an aeronautical nerd genius these days: “There is none of that alpha bravado. Flying these jets is so hard. The difference between a squadron pilot and a Top Gun pilot is how well they understand the plane.”

He wants to be a specialized actor: “…I just think a lot of actors and styles of acting are getting very homogenized. It’s hard to stick out…. It was instilled in me at a young age by my mom just to be comfortable in your own skin, and don’t compare yourself to other people. And honestly, who gives a sh-t what other people think about you?”

Married life in lockdown: “We just hang out. She keeps me calm. It’s pretty great.” To pass the pandemic time, Teller and his wife did their Mike and Carol Brady thing, cooking steak and pasta and steering clear of the chaos that filled American cities this past summer. They did some home-improvement projects that would permanently remind them of the year the world stood still. “Keleigh and I both worked on our backyard and did some landscaping. We planted a lemon tree, hydrangeas, and a rose garden.” He gives a little laugh. “Since we were staring at our backyard a whole lot more than usual, we wanted to add color. I’m with her now from when I wake up to the moment I go to bed. We have a lot of friends whose relationships got put under a magnifying glass during these times, but we are really great. Once you get married and you make that ultimate commitment, life is just a lot less stressful. You just know that person is always going to be there.”

He’s not worried about being forgotten: “I’m not one of those people who worry about if people don’t see me every six months. I don’t feel like my career is dying. It’s going to happen when it happens and that’s fine.”

[From Men’s Health]

Regarding that last part… it’s sort of true, it feels like we haven’t talked about Miles in years, although really it just feels that way because 2020 lasted forever. I always really like it when an actor or performer has the self-possession to “go away” and really go dark for a year or more and not worry about being forgotten. It’s good to take a break from celebrities. As for his married life… I didn’t think he would settle down so quickly, honestly. He seemed like the kind of bro who would date a string of underwear models and then settle down in his 40s. He’s also right about the loss on connection between civilians and soldiers/veterans.

Cover & IG courtesy of Men’s Health.

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17 Responses to “Miles Teller: ‘I just think a lot of actors are getting very homogenized’”

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  1. Esmom says:

    I hadn’t thought about him in ages but his name came up recently in a podcast and I was surprised how much the hosts fawn over him as a super talent and secret crush.

    This was a good read but I thought it was a weird choice by the writer to say they did “the Mike and Carol Brady thing” — which immediately makes me think of two people each bringing three kids to a marriage. Was hanging out in their yard cooking also a hallmark? I don’t even remember. He seems content and peaceful, and during the pandemic especially that is no small feat.

    • lucy2 says:

      Yeah I don’t think that writer understands the “Mike and Carol Brady thing” whatsoever.

      Also “steering clear of the chaos that filled American cities this past summer” – it should come as no shock to anyone that the writer is an older white man, right?

      I think Miles is talented, he was great in Whiplash, but there is something about him I find very off putting. I can’t look at that close up photo of his face. He’s not an unattractive guy either, but there is just something I can’t deal with. Maybe he looks like someone I know or something, I don’t know.

      • StormsMama says:

        That comment/ calling it “the chaos”
        Felt extremely loaded and deliberate
        Made me wonder if they spoke off the record about the protests
        And that was the writers way of telling us
        It’s disturbing how dismissive the writer is of an entire movement marching for social and racial justice and equality – “the chaos”
        I read that and it was like (to paraphrase the great Bill Hicks)”a turd falling into my drink”

  2. EllenOlenska says:

    It’s possible he married her to “fix” him. He had a few public missteps and maybe he thought marriage would help mature him. The proposal sounds a bit performative…and more about him than her. ( I know, completely cynical. Here’s hoping it’s the greatest love that ever lived.)

  3. Stacy Dresden says:

    I like him

  4. Mabs A'Mabbin says:

    No. We’re moving AWAY from homogenized. Hollywood was born homogenous. It lived in homogeny for decades. Nothing bores me more than talking points emerging from holes in asses.

    • lucy2 says:

      I kind of thought this as well, we’re finally seeing more diverse actors in a variety of projects.

    • Kat says:

      I thought he meant the acting styles, not the actors themselves. You don’t see too many new faces going balls out like Nick Cage or Jack Nicholson, who would each give very different performances if given the same script.

      • Mabs A'Mabbin says:

        I don’t think current acting styles are homogenous either. I see extreme variety. Diversified backgrounds and education levels. Categorically different methods and impetus. As whitewashed as Hollywood’s history has always been, it’s absolutely a different Hollywood today. As far as homogeny within industry is concerned, I’m more apt to focus on politics, oil, Wall Street, manufacturing, construction and engineering.

  5. Ahully1 says:

    Given I have no idea who he is, he must be right.

  6. KL says:

    Everything he says checks out on paper, and yet I guess I am forever tainted by cynicism, because I can’t help seeing the PR angle: how this will help spin him into the ultimate Middle American Good Guy. Just a dude with a wife. Military comes from “very specific parts of the country,” sure, if we go by numbers and not the over-representation of non-white recruits in every faction except the Coast Guard. He doesn’t care about fame too much — it isn’t about drawing ATTENTION, you know, he’s not about rocking the boat.

    And given how this is actually a time when MORE diversity is seen among actors, not less, and how they often use those opportunities to draw attention to serious social issues… I side-eye that possible PR angle, whether it’s conscious on his part or being put together by the million-dollar companies that represent him in a billion-dollar industry. I side-eye it hard.

  7. Miasys says:

    Getting major Sean Penn vibes off this guy.

  8. tealily says:

    That proposal note is weird though, right? Sounds like a break-up note or something. What a strange proposal.

  9. McGee says:

    The author embedded all sorts of whistles in there, to the point that it distracts and detracts from the ostensible subject of the story.

    Teller was a jerk before. He wisely stepped back to let that settle. I’m not sure he has grown as much as he thinks or claims, but we shall see.

    That writer, though? He needs to go. He managed to insert himself way too much instead of letting the subject shine through more detail and nuance.

  10. Onomo says:

    The “steering clear of chaos” reads as a dog whistle to me. I still get a lot of yuck from him. I would have a lot more respect for him if he had left the house to understand what people had to say about police brutality and human rights.

  11. FF says:

    So they’re still trying to make this Fetch happen.

    I stg Hollywood is a fully functioning apparatus to give mediocre white guys front-end careers. I guess he’s the next Armie Hammer.