Miles Teller Talks WHIPLASH, the Film’s Themes of Sacrifice and the Price of Greatness, the Fast Production Schedule, and More at Sundance

     February 4, 2014


One of my favorite films at this year’s Sundance Film Festival was writer/director Damien Chazelle’s Whiplash.  The film stars Miles Teller as an aspiring jazz drummer who aspires to greatness under a ruthless instructor, played brilliantly by J.K. Simmons.  While the film focuses on musicians, it’s really about anyone trying to become great at something and the cost of achieving said goal.  Trust me, it’s a great movie, and one you’ll be able to see by the end of the year because Sony Pictures Classics picked up the film for domestic distribution.  Whiplash also won both the Audience Award and the Grand Jury Prize for the U.S. Dramatic competition at Sundance.  For more on the film, read Matt’s review.

The day after the world premiere, I landed a video interview with Teller.  He talked about being at Sundance two years in a row, how he only wrapped on Whiplash in October, working with J.K. Simmons, the film’s themes of sacrifice and the price of greatness, the Divergent sequel, and more.  Hit the jump to watch.

whiplash-miles-tellerMiles Teller Time Index:

  • :19 – Talks about being at Sundance two years in a row with great films.
  • 1:06 – How much he loved the script.
  • 1:41 – The fast production schedule. They shot the film in October and had to submit it to Sundance shortly after they wrapped.
  • 2:10 – Working with J.K. Simmons. Says he had only ever seen him in the State Farm commercials before working with him.
  • 3:14 – When did he find out the film got into Sundance?
  • 3:52 – Has his process changed much over the past few years since he started taking on bigger and more challenging roles?
  • 4:27 – Talks about scenes that didn’t make it into the film. They filmed a scene where his character takes speed and keeps drumming.
  • 5:35 – The film’s themes of sacrifice and the price of greatness.
  • 6:42 – Does he find the intense promotional process he has to do for films taxing?
  • 7:35 – Could he be heading to New Orleans in the next few months for The Fantastic Four?
  • 8:14 – Is the Divergent sequel Insurgent greenlit? Says he plans on doing it.

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