When Warner Bros. announced that Ezra Miller will play the Flash in the DC Cinematic Universe (DCEU), we were somewhat confused with the studio’s decision as Grant Gustin was already playing the beloved superhero on television. But after seeing him in the speedster’s red suit in the first “Justice League” trailer, we knew that Miller would not disappoint.
Although his portrayal of Credence Barebone in “Fantastic Beasts & Where To Find Them” was well-received by moviegoers, he is lauded for his diversity in acting – be it a murderous teen in “We Need To Talk About Kevin” (2011), a gay high schooler in “Perks Of Being A Wallflower” (2012), or a prisoner in “The Stanford Prison Experiment” (2015).
To amp you up for his role as the Flash, we decided to do a little digging and came up with a couple of fun facts about Miller:
1. Speaking did not come easy to him
As a child, Miller was heavily bullied in school for his stutter. To overcome his speech impediment, the actor started opera training at his kindergarten teacher’s conservatory at the age of 6. And thanks to opera, his stutter was completely gone a year later.
“I had been doing speech therapy, and it had been making me more aware of the stutter, which actually made it worse. It was a breath-line stutter, so I wasn’t breathing in enough to complete a word, and opera training is all about control and manipulation of the breath,” Miller said in an interview with The Daily Beast.
Bonus fact: He sung with the Metropolitan Opera and performed in Philip Glass’s contemporary opera “White Raven” when he was 8.
2. Miller identifies himself as queer
Miller admitted that he has been in many relationships and is open to love. So instead of coming out as gay or bisexual, he told Out magazine in 2012 that he’s queer. He explained, “I’m queer. I have a lot of really wonderful friends who are of very different sexes and genders. I am very much in love with no one in particular. I’ve been trying to figure out relationships, you know? I don’t know if it’s responsible for kids of my age to be so aggressively pursuing monogamous binds, because I don’t think we’re ready for them.”
Also, did you know that Miller will be the first openly queer actor to portray a superhero in a major motion picture?
3. He’s in a band!
Miller also plays the drums and is part of a 3-piece alternative rock band called Sons of an Illustrious Father alongside close friends Josh Aubin and Lilah Larson. The New York-based trio define their music as “genre queer” (get it? like “gender queer”), releasing several singles including “U.S. Gay”, “Tendrils”, “No Mercy”, “One Body”, and “We Are Dead and Reborn”.
4. It took him 2 years to get the lead role in “We Need to Talk About Kevin”
Although Miller made his feature film debut in “Afterschool” in 2008, his breakthrough role was none other than Kevin in the novel-turned-film, titled “We Need to Talk About Kevin”. For the uninitiated, Miller’s character Kevin is an archery-obsessed teen who commits a massacre at his high school. According to the actor, he was determined to play Kevin after reading the script for the first time. However, the casting process wasn’t easy for Miller. But after 2 years and 6 auditions, he finally joined the cast and the rest is history.
“When I initially read it, it just struck me as the most amazing piece of potential work to come that I’d ever stumbled across, and I was flipped by a biting need to somehow finagle my way into the role of Kevin, because I felt that despite all his darkness and his seemingly sociopathic nature, I felt there was an empathetic human being to be found at the core of him,” he said.
Bonus fact: He also lost 20 pounds to look like Kevin, who is a malnourished teen.
5. Word on the street is that he dated Zoë Kravitz
Miller first met Zoë Kravitz, the daughter of musician Lenny Kravitz and actress Lisa Bonet, on the set of Bryan Goluboff rom-com “Beware of the Gonzo” (2010) and got really close during filming. While the pair never confirmed their relationship, they were photographed locking lips at a public event. Ooh, scandalous!
Meanwhile, the 2 stars and friends will be starring in the untitled “Fantastic Beasts” sequel together.
6. He has a criminal record!
While Miller may look like an innocent kid on the outside, he’s actually a rebel on the inside. In 2011, he was arrested and fined for being in possession of 20 grams of marijuana while shooting “The Perks of Being a Wallflower” in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Surprisingly, the star’s parents weren’t fazed about it.
“My parents had been gritting their teeth for that phone call for a long, long time. No, it’s water off a duck’s back, as they say. We all know what weed is,” said the 24-year-old actor.
7. He dropped out of high school at 16 to pursue acting
Born in New Jersey, Miller attended the Hudson School, a prestigious school in Hoboken. In spite of that, he dropped out of school to become a full-time actor after a dream about Ludwig Van Beethoven made him re-consider his career path.
“(Beethoven) was crying, and he said, ‘The 4 symphonies I’ve written are no good. They’re just, like, not enough.’ And I was like, ‘You write 5 more! Keep going!'” he shared in an interview. “I woke up in a cold sweat and I was like, ‘I need to drop out of school.’ I think (the dream was) about how it’s the responsibility of every artist to make sacrifices and seemingly irrational decisions in order to carve out their little pebble of work to put on the big, like, art kingdom that everyone’s been building for so long.”
8. “Harry Potter” audio books helped him cope with bullying at school
Miller confessed that the magical world of “Harry Potter” helped him “escape” his school bullies. During those difficult times, the actor would listen to the series’ audio books for several hours while eating ramen (instant noodles).
“It was a bit of a sad time in my life but you do what you have to do to get through times that are hard. And to have a resource like these (Harry Potter) stories that remind you of what’s good in the world and in yourself, it was helpful to me in many ways I can’t fully understand,” he admitted.
“Justice League” is slated for release on 17th November 2017 while the Flash standalone movie, titled “Flashpoint”, has yet to set a release date.