With a formidable haul of critical acclaim behind him and two high-profile roles in major franchises ahead of him, Ezra Miller has all the makings of a Hollywood heavyweight. But as a queer man, Miller must also carry the weight of the entire LGBTQ rights movement. While Miller may be the first openly queer actor to play a major superhero in Hollywood, he hasn’t had an easy time getting there.
In a new interview with the UK men’s mag ShortList, Miller has revealed that he was told it was a “mistake” to come out as queer in an Out interview in 2012. According to Miller, “folks in the industry” told him “he had done a ‘silly’ thing in… thwarting [his] own potential to be a leading man.”
“‘You’ve made a mistake’ is such a hard thing to hear,” he added. “Maybe if I’d actually made a serious mistake? But not for this. I didn’t think I’d done anything wrong, though there have been moments of doubt as a result of those conversations. But… what they said was, in fact, ‘rubbish’, as you might say. We are the ones. It’s up to us … to manifest the world we want to exist in. But we’re ready. Humans are ready.”
Miller has, of course, successfully made the transition from idiosyncratic indie character actor to blockbuster stalwart, “despite” his public sexual orientation. After garnering critical attention with standout performances in The Perks of Being a Wallflower and We Need to Talk About Kevin, Miller recently raised his mainstream profile with a hilarious turn in Trainwreck, in which he ordered Amy Schumer’s character to grab his “tits” and “suckle” them, before slapping her in the face. And judging by a deleted scene, Schumer’s character dodged some literal Bullets there. Now, Miller is on the verge of stardom with his role as The Flash in Justice League and his second turn as Credence Barebone in Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them 2.
However, Miller’s revelation about his Hollywood haters is not the most interesting thing about his ShortList interview. Rather, Miller spends most of his interview emitting blinding rays of hyperintellectualism, beginning with a hypnotic description of a stuffed owl and peaking, so to speak, with a charming anecdote about his time on top of an active volcano.
In fact, Miller’s interviewer seems unable to fully keep up, and misses out on opportunities to press Miller about his references to seances and global warming. (How, exactly, was Miller’s seance “successful?” And why does Miller seem to suggest that global warming is “exciting?” Or are we just going to treat these as the normal ramblings of a man who names his stuffed animals after his favorite philosophers?)
Miller also comes off as a major flake at one point. Supposedly, he abandons his interviewer for 25 minutes after lying about “going for a wee” – and for what? To embark “on a 25-minute adventure through the corridors of this labyrinthine hotel to see what the well-heeled clientele make of a 25-year-old leaping around them as they enjoy brunch.”
Ugh, Miller sounds like that one privileged friend who shows up 30 minutes late to everything and walks into every room like its his New York Fashion Week debut. With just that one sentence, he comes off as the kind of guy who truly believes the world is his oyster – because it’s true.
With a private school background and roots in intelligentsia (his father was senior VP of Hyperion Books), Miller is understandably on a different wavelength than most. In all likelihood, he still has some maturing to do – and won’t immediately be a hit with mainstream audiences. Nevertheless, that doesn’t change how fundamentally refreshing it is to see an openly queer actor flounce around a hotel and spit out philosophy instead of cash in on a “pretty boy” persona in the latest season of American Horror Story.
If you’d like to learn more about Miller’s fascinating internal psychology (including how a dream about Beethoven encouraged him to drop out of high school), you can read his full interview here.