In the short time since making his debut opposite Nicole Kidman in Rabbit Hole, Miles Teller has established himself as one of the most in-demand actors of his generation. After his bro-comedy double Project X and 21 and Over, Teller starred in last year’s critically-adored coming-of-age movie The Spectacular Now, will this year reunite with co-star Shailene Woodley for futuristic YA adaptation Divergent, and has just appeared in the Sundance Grand Jury-winning Whiplash.
This week, he plays opposite Zac Efron and Michael B. Jordan in That Awkward Moment, a new comedy that takes a stab at exploring modern relationships from a dude’s perspective. To mark the film’s release, we had a chat with Teller recently about about five of his all-time favorite movies.
Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade (Steven Spielberg, 1989; 88% Tomatometer)
I just had such a love affair with Indiana Jones when I was a little kid. I used to dress up like Indiana Jones and my mom would hide jewels in the house. [Laughs.] I loved Connery. He’s so good. It’s kinda hard to have such an established character and then to come in on the last one and play his dad. Also, I just loved the “cup of the carpenter” and him trying to find which cup it was. And I loved all the booby traps. I’d never seen Star Wars or Star Trek or all that stuff — and I was never really into comic books — so for me, Indiana Jones was really my only hero as a kid. He was awesome.
Love Liza, it’s such a random thing. I saw it — I can’t remember if my buddy bought it at a DVD store or it was on NYU TV or something — but I remember watching it and just being so transfixed by Philip Seymour Hoffman’s performance. I just really love that movie a lot. Honestly man, I think that was one of the first independent films I’d seen. I wasn’t huge into the independent film scene until I went to college, and then of course, once you get to NYU, it’s all about the indie scene, you know. But I love independent filmmaking; I think they’re really telling the interesting stories.
Tom Hanks remains one of my favorite actors. I remember seeing that movie at a very impressionable age. It was such a cool storyline, and Tom Hanks is a brilliant actor… and I always wanted to have an apartment with my own vending machine in it, after that. That was the coolest thing. And the trampoline.
Wedding Crashers I just think is absolutely hilarious. Old School was like the funniest movie I’d seen in a long time, before this. Vince and Owen, at that point in their careers, there was nothing better. I just thought that movie was so, so funny. And Christopher Walken, and Rachel McAdams, and Bradley Cooper — that was like the first time people really saw him. It had so many lines in it. Vince Vaughn was on fire back then.
Speaking of comedic actors, you’re attached to play Dan Aykroyd in an upcoming Belushi biopic.
Yeah, if it all works out, it’ll be great. I think Dan Aykroyd is a comedy legend. He’s still around, so it’s very daunting. But as an actor, I think you want to try and challenge yourself. It’s gonna be hard to play Dan Aykroyd in front of Dan Aykroyd. We’ll see what happens, I guess.
What other comedians do you admire?
Bill Murray is pretty legendary, and I love Steve Martin and Chevy Chase. But as a kid, growing up, for me it was Mike Myers, Adam Sandler and Jim Carrey — those were the kind of guys that I really looked up to.
Mike Myers and his old SNL stuff was great.
Oh my god, you couldn’t beat him.
The Wizard of Oz (Victor Fleming, 1939; 99% Tomatometer)
The Wizard of Oz is really the first movie I ever saw. I remember watching it a lot as a little kid. My mom said I used to watch the VHS tape that I believe we had recorded from TV, and I used to watch it twice a day. I remember in my Power Wheels I used to drive along with the Tin Man and the Lion and Dorothy. I don’t really remember a lot of this, but my mom — your mom is kinda like the history of your life. I also loved the Peter Pan, but with Mary Martin; I remember watching that a lot.
That Awkward Moment is in theatres this week.