Actor Miles Teller has been a hot name coming out of this year's Sundance Film Festival, but his profile took a pretty powerful leap when it was announced that he'd be taking up the stretchy mantle of Reed Richards in Josh Trank's Fantastic Four reboot. We recently caught up with Teller to discuss his turn in the YA adaptation Divergent, and the talk inevitably turned to the super-heroic task of dealing with fan expectations and the challenge of playing such an iconic character.
First up, he let us know he's coming at this fresh, without a history of sci-fi fandom.
"I listen to a lot of music and I like documentaries and reality-based TV shows. I'm a free-thinker, but I don't get wrapped up too much in it. I've never seen Star Wars, The Lord of the Rings or Harry Potter. I just thought [the script] was cool."
"Hey, at the end of the day you're playing a pretty iconic character so that was an interest of mine. If the script sucked, I wouldn't have been that interested in it. It's also nice doing this with three other actors [Kate Mara, Michael B. Jordan and Jamie Bell] in the same boat. We've all had some interesting careers and done some cool projects; some high profile and some not. I like that we are all in it together."
He's not living in a hole, though, and admitted an awareness of the fan reaction.
"Yeah, we are going to get all kinds of backlash for sure from this thing. But I like things with stakes. For me, playing Reed Richards is not someone who I wake up as every day. It's somebody I have to develop and understand, so was I excited as hell to kind of earn the part of Reed Richards? Yeah. Since then, it's been realizing I'm going to be the lead in a huge movie with a big following, but that's a first-world problem to have. I'm excited to do it and show part of my interests that maybe the general public hasn't seen. I want to show people something they're not expecting."
Teller also said he's pleased with the way that Trank has "humanized" the Fantastic Four story.
"At my screen test, if I was asked [to play] Mr. Fantastic, and absorbed all of that, then I might have acted differently. I might have felt like I needed to act like a superhero. But for me, I understand the character and [Reed] makes sense to me. I know what his interests are and who he is at his core, so it will be fun to put something on tape with a bunch of amazing, talented young actors."
Does Teller have what it takes to make a great leader for Marvel's First Family? We'll find out as the film starts to roll into production. In the meantime, stay tuned for more Miles Teller with the rest of our Divergent interview, coming soon.