It’s been about a year since Esquire pegged Miles Teller as “dickish” in a particularly pointed cover interview, but it’s clear that time has done little to diminish Teller’s grudge against the mag.
“Oh, I felt frickin’ helpless. I felt extremely misrepresented. I felt a little angry,” he said in a new interview with The Guardian. “For the average person, they are reading this article, they haven’t met you, they’re like, ‘Oh, Miles is an asshole. You didn’t hear it? You didn’t read Esquire? Yeah, she said he was an asshole — he must be!'”
Of course Teller admits (sort of) that he can come off a bit rough around the edges.
In the same interview, he addressed the fact that he prefers to live his life authentically and unfiltered, saying, “I’d say that you get a little more guarded, but I’m actually not. Certain times I’ll choose my words very carefully and maybe come off a little more boring. But I also think that’s why people — certain people — do relate to me: because there is no agenda, honestly. I was raised middle-class in a small town. I have all my same friends from high school. I’m close with my family. I’m dating a normal girl.”
Admittedly, last year was by no means an easy time for the Divergent star. Between the general panning of Fantastic Four and the dickish depiction by Esquire, Teller was probably glad to put 2015 behind him. These new comments shine a different light on him, though, and if we’re really being honest, it makes us feel kinda bad for the guy.
But could it be karma? Is Teller really a tool? We remain unconvinced (he’s pretty adorable, after all), but these jerky moments certainly don’t do him any favors.
1. When he revealed how he really felt about Divergent
During an interview with W magazine, Teller didn’t mince words when describing his gig in Divergent. “When I first read Whiplash, I was feeling dead inside,” he said (yeowch!) after filming the dystopian blockbuster. “I didn’t have an interesting part [in Divergent], and I’d taken the film for business reasons: It was the first movie I’d done that was going to have an international audience.” Maybe don’t bite the hand that feeds. Or, you know, floats you the big bucks.
2. When he made John Cusack sound like a chump
I think we can all agree John Cusack is pretty amazing, right? His body of work is undeniably impressive — to most people. Miles Teller is apparently not one of them. “I guess we look alike. We did some similar movies. He wasn’t traditionally good looking, who was offbeat and quirky but confident,” he said of comparisons to the veteran actor. “I get it. But I don’t want his career.”
3. When he called Esquire out
So, sure. The writer who profiled Teller for Esquire called him “dickish.” However, it seems as though if Teller really read the piece that he would have seen that the writer wasn’t necessarily condemning the cocky star. In fact, he calls him charming. He suggests that part of what makes Teller so appealing is his overt machismo and don’t-give-a-damn attitude — or, in short, his dickishness. Semantics aside, Teller could have handled the situation a little less, uh, dickishly than by putting the mag on Twitter blast.
4. When he tried to distance himself from young Hollywood
Teller’s vibe is tough, for sure. He comes off as a bit of a lone wolf, particularly in the past when he has spoken of severing ties with his college buddies. But never so much as when he told The New York Times that he wanted to be an actor of his generation… unlike other actors his age. “I feel like a lot of actors of my generation are not proper actors. I want to break out of that whole group of actors in their early 20s and really start to put stuff down that lets you know I take this seriously.”
5. When he gave no credit whatsoever to small-town girls
Not surprisingly, Teller’s looks came up (again) during his Esquire interview. “I was thinking about that today, how I probably think I’m better-looking than the public thinks I am. I was in one of these forums about a film I did, and it’s like ‘This dude is so ugly! How does he get f***ing parts?’ ‘Well, he’s not, like, traditionally handsome, but…’ And that’s kind of what it is. Maybe it’s because I came from a small town, but I always did well for myself.” OK, so what? Is the implication that girls from small towns have lower standards? Or that there simply aren’t as many good-looking people in small towns? Either way, we don’t like the inference.
6. When he nearly came to blows with his director
It’s only been five years since Teller landed his first major role, but the actor has already developed something of a reputation in the industry. Again, much like Teller’s comments about Divergent, the sarcastic star apparently couldn’t hide his dissatisfaction on the set of Fantastic Four — arguably the biggest “commercial” role he’s scored to date. Rumor has it he really rubbed director Josh Trank the wrong way, so much so that the two almost came to blows on the set.
This article was originally published on Aug. 14, 2015 and updated on Aug. 25, 2016.