Miles Teller Is Hollywood’s Unlikely Superhero

An anti-leading man is on his way to action-hero status.

According to Hollywood’s unofficial rulebook, Miles Teller is not your typical leading man. He looks like someone you would have hung out with in high school—unflashy, relatable, real. You might cast him as “the best friend” or “the jock,” but rarely as the hero. Which is why it’s been so much fun to see him become one of the most in-demand young stars in Hollywood.

In his break-through role in “The Spectacular Now,” Teller used that everyman quality to create a completely believable character— a guy who was popular in high school and feels he’s meant for nothing greater. But last year’s “Whiplash,” in which his wincing mug sustained almost as many whacks as his snare drum, is where the actor came into his own. He worked for it, too, spending months brushing up on the drums to nail the part. He put in a similar effort for the upcoming “Bleed for This,” in which he plays boxer Vinny Paz (and again shows off his ability to take a punch). For this summer’s “Fantastic Four,” in which Teller plays Mr. Fantastic, he says he even looked into quantum mechanics.

“It’s always better for me if I can really feel like I’m doing what my character is doing,” he explains.

“I’m not very good at acting. I know I’m full of shit.”

Sorry, man. We beg to differ.

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