Yesterday Esquire published a profile of actor Miles Teller, the 28-year-old star of Project X, Whiplash, the Divergent series, and Fantastic Four. It’s titled “Miles Teller Is Young, Talented, and Doesn’t Give a Rat’s Ass What You Think” and writer Anna Peele opens with the following lede: “You’re sitting across from Miles Teller at the Luminary restaurant in Atlanta and trying to figure out if he’s a dick.”
The second-person profile digs into an actor whose Hollywood stock is incredibly bearish right now. You should read it! There are all sorts of tidbits about Teller’s life right now: He gets DMs from Kobe Bryant about striving for greatness. He calls Joaquin Phoenix “Joaq.” He spent his days at NYU smoking ridiculous amounts of marijuana, like pretty much all of us in college. He digs jam bands and had a big fall out with his friends after a car accident coming home from a festival. He only made $8,000 for Whiplash. He’s pretty ripped from filming a big Todd Phillips comedy in Miami that — personally — I can’t fucking wait for.
But the biggest takeaway is how Teller gets framed as a dick by his profiler, which includes some eyeroll comments from the actor’s mouth:
You’ve just told him, by way of making conversation, that according to legend the champagne coupe in your hand is shaped like Marie Antoinette’s left breast, and he tells you the highball glass is modeled after his cock. Then he tells the waitress the same thing.
So yeah, he is kind of a dick. But the thing is, you agree with him: His admittedly limited body of work so far, his oeuvre—a word you define and spell for him, so who’s the dick now?—is pretty great. His first role, in 2010’s Rabbit Hole, was as a tremulous teenager who runs over and kills the son of a couple played by Nicole Kidman and Aaron Eckhart. And his performance in last year’s Whiplash, the two-hander about the sexless S&M relationship between a music teacher and his student, won him a lot of attention and a couple tickets to the Oscars. Now he’s in the action game, with the Divergent series and this summer’s Fantastic Four. Of course, in between there was the stupid, easy, fun spate of movies in which Teller played characters who do things like tell the waitress that highball glasses are based on his dick: 21 & Over, Two Night Stand, Project X, That Awkward Moment. Not all of them were winners, but they allowed him to show his thing, his Tellerian essence, by talking faster and drinking more and seeming to give fewer shits and inhaling more of the oxygen in the room than anyone else.
So what? Teller was in a situation where he had to talk about himself and whatever to a writer, so he did. The profile then launches into a scene where he talks about how good-looking he is, how his incredibly beautiful girlfriend Keleigh Sperry has his initials tattooed on her butt, and how he needed the journalist to cut off a piece of her pork belly for him:
You take stock. The nose is crooked, the eyelids fleshy, the chin soft, the cheeks mottled with flush. He’s right—he has good hair, thick and cowlicked and widow’s-peaked. He’s tall and solidly muscled, with a nice tan from filming Todd Phillips’s big-budget comedy Arms and the Dudes with Jonah Hill in Miami a few months ago. He’s appealingly attainable, a good-looking guy who shouldn’t know he’s good-looking, who should believe the commenters, except that he dates a twenty-two-year-old model/aspiring swimsuit designer/professional girlfriend who thinks Teller is attractive enough to have permanently monogrammed her perfect ass with his initials.
The waitress delivers the entrées, scallops for him and pork belly for you. The pork looks great and you offer him some. “I’ll take a little bit,” he says, sawing at it. Then: “I can’t cut this.” You have to cut his meat for him, a man who ten minutes earlier showed you an iPhone photo of his back muscles to prove how strong he is. He wants you to cut it small.
After the story went live yesterday afternoon, Twitter’s snarky, court-of-public-opinion judgement machine started to pick the piece apart. People instantly drew massive, sweeping conclusions about Teller’s “dickish” character.
New York Magazine called him a disappointment. Salon used it as a chance to make stupid “bro” comments.
when salon tries to use “bro” ironically i wince then lololol pic.twitter.com/DDMFYNxNZF
— Brandon Wenerd (@brandonwenerd) August 5, 2015
//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js And the comparisons to Shia Labeouf were almost instant:
Give me a break. He’s nowhere near Shia’s level of egomania.
Personally, I think the “Miles Teller is a dick” aftermath is incredibly unfair to make about a person, even a public celebrity like Teller. And honestly, he (and his girlfriend) have all the reasons in the world to call the magazine out for trying to sculpt that public perception:
— keleighsperry (@keleighsperry) August 6, 2015
Kudos for not standing up to the douchebag label, since real Bros know that Bros aren’t douchebags.
If anything, the profile turned me into a Teller fanboy. We live in the most boring era ever when it comes to exciting celebrity profiles — celebs either avoids the media altogether thanks to witch hunts who want to take their own stab at “Frank Sinatra Has A Cold” or plays it safe by having softballs lobbed at them on Access Hollywood. I applaud Teller for agreeing to such a dinner, actually being candid during the dinner, and revealing some fucking personality to his interviewer. In a world that’s gone so soft, I love it when celebs actually have balls.
If he comes across as cocky, it’s because deserves to be compared to the 97% of Internet mouth breathers who live to hate: He’s sliding into Kobe’s DMs. He has a girl that he clearly cares about. His career is exploding. HOW MANY PEOPLE CAN SAY THAT? It’s an exciting life moment for a 28-year-old dude. He deserves to enjoy the ride just like anyone deserve to enjoy the ride when good things are happening for them. It also says something about his friends with big profiles jumping to defend him, more or less confirming suspicions the Esquire piece was attempted character assassination:
A long time ago, when Teller was doing press for 21 & Over, he told an interviewer that BroBible and Cage Potato, the MMA site, were his two favorite websites. That stuck with me when watching him at the Oscars this year — We were stupidly small as a publishing operation at the time and pretty niche to college students in the Northeast. The fact that he had heard of BroBible, understood our ethos, and genuinely enjoyed our take on Internet publishing was a huge compliment. Hell, he still follows us on Twitter and we’re happy to have him as a reader.
At the end of the day, Teller’s just a regular Philly guy from Downingtown who is crushing life. Just look at his girlfriend’s Instagram and be jealous of how fantastic his life is. He still loves the Eagles and Phillies as much as I do and has hope and goals and fears and fun like any other human being on the planet.
Life’s too short for quick, baseless judgements. If you’re spending time Twitter-farting how much of a dick Miles Teller is, you’re wasting time and precious energy making your own life awesome.
Be the Miles Teller of your own life, Bros.https://www.instagram.com/p/4uyFbipZ2z/