Under the Circuit: Miles Teller

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Most Known For: “Whiplash,” “Divergent,” “The Spectacular Now”

Snubbed For: “Whiplash,” “The Spectacular Now”

There’s a plethora of talent making up the team of heroes in this week’s “Fantastic Four” reboot, even if the first reviews trickling out aren’t particularly glowing. Jamie Bell, Kate Mara and Michael B. Jordan have all proven themselves capable young actors on the big screen and on TV. However, for this week’s Under the Circuit, we’re going to be taking a look at the young actor who plays the leader of the Fantastic Four, Miles Teller.

Teller has quickly become a face of the new generation of actors with his mix of bigger budget studio flair and indie flicks. He’s only really been a known quantity for three years, but starring in two major Sundance Fest films and multiple comedies and franchise films in that short span has made sure we don’t go long without seeing his face on the big screen.

However, before the “Divergents” and the “Fantastic Fours,” Teller launched his career with the Nicole Kidman film “Rabbit Hole.” The general populous mostly overlooked the drama – it only generated $5 million globally – but it found a home with critics, most notably for Kidman’s performance, which would earn an Oscar nomination. But making his feature film debut, Teller, at the time 23, caught the attention of some critics, evening earning some Best Supporting Actor nominations from smaller voting groups. Hollywood clearly paid attention as well, as his recent mass of production all began with that film.

spectacularnow Like many actors and actresses in his age range, though, he made his name at Sundance. The first was alongside Shailene Woodley in “The Spectacular Now.” Teller was phenomenal as Sutter, the perceived king of high school who in truth struggles with alcohol and the departure of his father at a young age. Teller and Woodley would share a special Jury prize from Sundance for their performances and the indie drama would even become a hit, but neither would be able to follow it up with Oscar nominations.

Teller would return just one year later and steal the festival again as the lead in Damien Chazelle’s “Whiplash.” The film took both the Grand Jury and Audience Award for Best Film and began what would be a year long awards acceptance speech for J.K. Simmons, and rightly so. Teller, however, was definitely overlooked for his performance, which maybe not as flashy as Simmons’, but had a different type of intensity and is certainly the best work we’ve seen in his young career. As the film continued to build momentum leading up to the Oscars, there was talk Teller might be able to sneak in to the Best Actor field, but nothing truly materialized.

whiplash-1024This kid is definitely something special. Anyone who’s seen a second of either “Spectacular Now” or “Whiplash” should be able to tell that. His bad luck with the academy thus far is more likely due to the depth of the leading man field right now and the fact that his two best performances always had to share the spotlight with another. He’ll get his chance to go solo soon enough though.

Expected to be released next year, Teller will star in “Bleed for This,” a biography of boxing champion Vinny Pazienza, who attempted a dramatic comeback to the ring after a near fatal car crash. Boxing films have a proven track record with the academy; add the inspirational true-life angle and Teller will certainly be an early contender in 2016.

Be it “Bleed for This” or whatever film Teller will have down the pipeline, this young man is destined to be not only an Oscar-nominee, but I would almost bet even money that one of these days he’s going to win his own little golden statue.

  • Nick Fraser

    Whiplash… wow. It may be Simmons who steals the show, but Teller is on screen for every scene and it’s very much his movie. Still blows me away.