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It would be hard to find a less conventional movie star than Ezra Miller. He’s poised to be the first actor who identifies as “queer” to carry a superhero movie — Warner Bros.’ upcoming Flash film in 2020. He insists that mythical creatures are real (he keeps a stuffed unicorn in his bedroom). And on a typical day, you’ll find him wrangling goats on his Vermont farm instead of dodging paparazzi in L.A. He sat down with The Hollywood Reporter to talk about his unusual journey to Next Gen A-list for this week’s THR cover, but not all of the facts and quirks made it into the cover story.
Here are four other stories from the Jersey boy with two Warner Bros. franchises (The Flash and Harry Potter spinoff Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them):
1. He’s a high school dropout.
Despite quitting The Hudson School in Hoboken, N.J., at age 16 (“Fuck yeah,” he says), Miller is surprisingly well read, quoting everyone from George Orwell to Aldous Huxley to J.M. Barrie. “I read sometimes,” he says with a shrug. In his bedroom, one can find something a little less highbrow on his bureau: a Silhouette Romance paperback titled Are You My Daddy? by Leanna Wilson.
2. He wants to play Nikola Tesla.
Miller is all about harnessing the vibrations (“How do you think I’m talking to you right now? There’s a vibrational wave moving through the air that your cochlea is turning into fucking electrical signals that you are processing,” he explains). Naturally, he wants to play the mysterious inventor and futurist Nikola Tesla. “I heard Jim Jarmusch wants to make a Nikola Tesla opera. I’m like, ‘I’m your guy. Jarmusch, where you at?'” Given that Miller trained as an opera singer, he says he’s ready. “Hopefully, you can find Jim Jarmusch and tell him.”
3. When it comes to movie watching, Miller goes old school.
In his Vermont home, the actor has a very outdated combo TV-VCR player on which he watches movies from his vast VHS collection (the original Carrie and Titanic are part of the library). Miller likes the idea that he is experiencing a dying technology and each night is a roll of the dice if the chosen movie will work, since a VHS’ magnetized strip degrades over time.
4. Don’t call him a hippie.
“I’m not a hippie. I don’t identify that way,” says Miller, even though he is obsessed with finding solutions to climate change. As to why the word “hippie” is something that makes him cringe, he explains, “I think they overwhelmed a lot of really important social movements with a lot of hysteria, and I think that it was essentially just a lot of privileged people making a lot of noise and having their awakenings, which is all well and good. But the problem with white people having awakenings is we’re usually blind to the fact that we’re not the only people in the universe having an experience. So we’re like, ‘I’m having an awakening, dude!’ You know what I mean?”
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