Check out this awesome interview with Miles Teller courtesy of NME.
War Dogs opens with a damning indictment of the industry of war. Does it make you despair of modern politics?
“A lot of my buddies are military and I always looked at it in terms of the sacrifice they’re making for their country or the guy fighting next to them. But no, I never looked at war the way these guys do. I never thought of war as a way for small businesses to capitalise. There are gun dealers that love when war’s going on because they just look at it as dollar signs. It’s an interesting variable to add in, but for me war will always be about the sacrifice these guys and women are making and the effect that has on their families.”
You’ve been drumming since your childhood church band, but how much training did you have to do to become the 12-limbed jazz drum maniac in Whiplash?
“I was definitely not that skilled. I’d never held the sticks like that, I’d never played jazz. I only had about three weeks to turn from a pretty good rock drummer into a highly skilled jazz percussionist. Not as much time as you want but that’s usually, from my experience, how these things go.”
Have you always been musical?
“Music was always a pretty big part of my upbringing. I started out playing piano when I was maybe five and then played saxophone all the way up to senior high school; I played in a jazz band. Then guitar I picked up because it was lying around the house. I asked for a set of drums when I was about 15 because all my buddies played guitar so I’d be the only drummer. I started playing with some s**tty Florida garage-rock bands and played some shows, had people making some t-shirts, got a little merch.”
How do you feel about the transformative extremes actors are expected to go to win awards?
“The body-morphing thing, like Christian Bale? Well, De Niro was doing it, but these older actors really set a high bar and as a younger actor you look up to these guys, like, ‘oh man, I wanna do that! I wanna change my teeth and do an accent and cut my hair and gain weight!’ What you’re really trying to do is stop people thinking about you, the celebrity.”
Do you consider your 2007 car accident a formative experience?
“Oh yeah. I went through a near-death experience at age 20 and less than a year later I lost two of my best friends in car accidents, five weeks from each other. You never think you’re going to have to go through that. It changes you forever. at that age you shouldn’t have to go through that stuff. But also it’s good because there are terrible things that happen to people all the time and you don’t know that just by looking at them. It gave me an opportunity to, I guess, be a part of that world.”
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