Some adorable MQ outtakes of Ezra’s shoot with Terry Richardson from the recent GQ Style issue have been released via Terry’s tumblr:
MEDIA > Photoshoots and Portraits > 035 – Terry Richardson
Even his underarm hair is perfect, haha.
Some adorable MQ outtakes of Ezra’s shoot with Terry Richardson from the recent GQ Style issue have been released via Terry’s tumblr:
MEDIA > Photoshoots and Portraits > 035 – Terry Richardson
Even his underarm hair is perfect, haha.
I’ve updated the Ezra Miller Online Media Archive with Ezra’s behind the scenes video for Lu’omo Vogue, shot by Bjorn Iooss (caution: may cause extreme swooning :p) I’ve also added screencaps which you can view in the gallery:
MEDIA > Screencaptures > Photoshoots > L’Uomo Vogue – April 2012
Ezra is also featured in L’uomo Vogue March 2012 edition, shot by famed fashion photographer Bjorn Iooss. Beyond beautiful is really the only expression to describe Ezra in this shoot. Day-umm ! HQ scans can be found in our gallery, the interview is in Italian but it can be read in English below. There is also a behind the scenes of the shootvideo at the Vogue.it website. Caps coming soon!
MEDIA > Magazine Scans > L’Uomo Vogue – March 2012
Being an actor that is used to reveal himself on camera does not necessarily mean being at ease in front of the camera. The American Ezra Miller, is known for a handful of rough films – from the fourteen year old porno-obsessed boy in Afterschool to the upper-class adolescent addict Another happy day – where he left nothing out. Yet a photo shoot like the one featured in these pages triggers in him “strange associations with the objectification of the person,” he says with a slight embarrassment. “It’s more than anything my own obsessions due to the fact that I’m not used to grooming and styling, it’s strange, in front of a photographer I become shy, and it is not how I normally am. However, in this case, the experience was surprisingly pleasant, at the end of the day I was jumping around shirtless trying all kinds of hats.”
Ezra laughs heartily, with shining eyes and a broad smile, shakes my hands to show his enthusiasm, waddling on his chair. He doesn’t seem at all the controlled and cold teenager who terrified the viewers in We need to talk about Kevin, adaptation of the shocking novel by Lionel Shriver directed by Lynne Ramsay (who had already addressed the subject of a young murderer in Morvern Callar, with Samantha Morton) is about a mother that despite her efforts cannot bring herself to love her son, who already as a baby reacts harshly to her lack of affection, and reaches the point of doing a horrible homicide for a desperate revenge against her. Tilda Swinton earned a Golden Globe nomination for her portrayal of Eve, the mother who must face every day her sense of guilt for having created a monster. Ezra portrays the main character as a teenager, in the crucial section of the film.
Slim, sharp features, dark eyes and raven hair, full red lips, in the movie he moves slowly like a cat, his is magnetic beauty that recalls the dammed loves of classical literature: Wilde and Rimbaud would have been instantly infatuated by him. Yet it is not his stylish good looks that keep the viewer’s eyes glued on Kevin, but the traces of repressed anger that find an outlet in more than flicks of the eyes or in the way they he eats a fruit or in the few bitter words he addresses to the family. You can feel that he has put all his best efforts in this interpretation: he chased the role for more than two years when production stopped for lack of funds, keeping alive the cohabitation with a character that anyone else would have shunned. During the filming he even refused to have any kind of contact with his mother, even though he loves her dearly and that she raised him in the most affectionate and stimulating way a child could want: he would not have been able otherwise to find the mood to empathize and portray Kevin on the screen in every little facet.
This is “method” at is maximum, even if Ezra has never trained as an actor: son of a modern dancer and a major publisher, he grew up between New Jersey and the family’s studios apartment in Chelsea, he left school when he was 16, after dreaming that Beethoven approached him on the subway, anguished over the poor quality of his early symphonies (moral, according to Ezra: do not waste time on things that do not interest you), he starts working at the age of eight years old, joining the opera cast of Philip Glass The white raven, he sang as a mezzo-soprano in the choir of children of the Metropolitan in NY (also the last Tosca with Luciano Pavarotti) and only changed his voice when he focused on acting. Not for glory but, precisely, for a personal emergency: “I could never have the ingenuity to describe myself in any other way than as a performer: it is definitely what I am.
I think it’s the burning need to externalize everything that in nature would appear as an inner experience. It’s cathartic to be able to express what can not be communicated through words, when you discover that you can also do this using body movements and subtle changes in your facial expressions, it becomes necessary for your survival to find a character in which to impose your feelings. I know that if I had the chance I would lose my mind, talking is not enough, I show what I have inside, turn it into a performance because, like a secret that you attempt to keep a secret, if you do not express it, it will grow mutating in ways that are less than desirable”. Choosing the characters on whom to use this storm of emotions can not be easy. “It is, however,” replies calmly with his deep voice. “When I read a script if I don’t feel a connection with the story I just say ‘no thanks’, or I get carried away and do anything to get the part, a kind of compulsion which forces me to face it and fill it out and it doesn’t leave me alone until I finished filming. Fortunately, the body and head go back to being normal, my own, in a month.” And the heart? “Well, that, as always, it takes much longer.”
L’Uomo Vogue, March 2012 (n. 429)
Photo by Bjorn Iooss
Fashion Editor Michael Philouze
Fashion Assistant Ahnna Lee
Groomer Sarah Sibia@see management
Known for playing tormented youngsters, Ezra Miller discussed his latest, most challenging role as a murderous teenager in “We Need To Talk About Kevin” (2011).
Tufts Daily: What was the audition process like for you?
EZRA MILLER: This was a long, arduous audition process. I first went in two years before we made this [movie]. I was really invested in this project from the beginning. The second I read the script, I wanted it very badly! Then, when I got a callback to meet with Lynne [Ramsay, the director,] it was very exciting. I met with Lynne and it went really well. And then I was primed for a “yes” or a “no,” which is the exciting and nerve-wracking part. I stood on the edge of that cliff for a little while.
A few months went by, and “Kevin” sort of disappeared, which was incredibly stressing. The financial crisis came, and a lot of films lost momentum. Then, a year later, it just reappeared to my great jubilation. I then auditioned for Lynne again and then there was a chemistry read with Tilda [Swinton], so that constituted a fifth audition. It seemed like the chemistry reading with Tilda would have been the last audition, but then I got a call from Lynne and she needed to see one more thing. I think it was important for her to see the dualistic aspects that come into play regarding the nature of this character. Another two weeks wait and she offered me the role. I feel very lucky that it worked out and also that my nervous system survived that auditioning process. It almost drove me to madness, but then it all worked out for the best.
TD: How did you find this character?
EM: For me — although when I initially read the script, sociopathic behavior is written all over this kid — the more I considered it and the more I personally delved into an understanding of his head, the more I came to think he was not a sociopath. He is someone who, over the course of his life, responds to circumstance. As a coping or defense mechanism, he let his intelligence and his penetrating wit dominate the empathetic aspect of his brain. Particularly, in adolescence, this pressing need for authenticity in various aspects of his life rises to the surface, and he is determined to dispel the superficial, trivial goings-on in his family. This need to find some real, honest truth in the connection between him and his mother — that particular longing was important for me.
TD: Did you connect with Kevin in any way?
EM: Yeah, I think that’s what was so intriguing. This person fits into the brand or category of “those we don’t understand,” but [he] struck me as being so understandable. Someone who has basic deprivations in his early life, who is hyperaware and who found his own tools in terms of exposing the harsher realities of his situation. He simultaneously struck me as someone who was a challenge to understand and was very understandable. That was the intrigue.
TD: Was it psychologically draining to play this role every single day, or were you able to remove yourself?
EM: Draining is the word. It certainly would leave me, day after day, feeling caught up in the emotional state of the character. And, when I would finally have a moment to let go, I realized how very fatigued my body was and how badly some part of me was hoping to get back to an apathetic form of existence. It’s amazing to discover your own endless resource of horribleness. It cannot be exhausted. It renews itself. For this project, my horrible parts were ready, willing and able. It didn’t entirely hit me how draining the experience had been until the film was about a week over.
TD: What was it like for you to work with Tilda?
EM: That’s the question I’m asked most and it’s the hardest to eloquently answer because she is someone who very much defies explanation. What truly can be said is that she is one of the most brilliant artists of our time and it was an unbelievably awe-inspiring and beautiful learning experience for me to even be near her as a human being, let alone work with her. Tilda has the strongest internal compass of any artist I’ve ever known. It’s like gravity pulls every aspect of her being into the orbit of every moment of a scene. To be involved in a scene with her makes the process of acting, as it should always be, the easiest thing in the world. All that becomes hard is dealing with the true emotions of the characters in these relationships. By her grace, you glide from beat to beat, remaining present because she brings you there. It was amazing to the point that I have trouble describing it. I can only be incredibly grateful for every second of it.
Ezra Miller is a complicated, brooding teenager, but one who ruminates far outside the perimeter of the ordinary pubescence.
Miller, 19, is the eponymous star of We Need to Talk About Kevin, a chilling introspective on the evolution of sociopathic mania in seemingly normal life. Miller’s portrayal of the sadistic Kevin, whose entire adolescence is a practice to antagonize his mother Eva, (Tilda Swinton) is a mature character study. Yet, during our recent interview, Miller dissected Kevin into rational themes. He empathized with Kevin as being one in the category of “those we don’t understand.” He defended Kevin’s “longing” and “yearning.” And it was a bit frightening…Photo courtesy of BBC Films
“The second that I read the script, I really wanted it very badly,” explains Miller. It was a long audition process of six auditions – and a year of quiet after the financial crisis – before Miller was confirmed for the role. “I was constantly pestering my agent about where [the role] went. I feel very lucky that…my persistence survived the auditioning process for a film that I wanted so badly, it almost drove me to madness.”
Miller’s obsession to grow close to Kevin came in the “challenge of someone who was simultaneously hard to understand and very understandable,” a mission that mirrors mother Eva’s same attempts in the film. Throughout the film, Kevin terrorizes his family, each act growing in brutality as he grows older. Some of his acts are near unbearable to witness onscreen, an experience perhaps made more harrowing by filmmaker Lynne Ramsay’s implication, rather than visual exhibition, of much of his savagery.
Kevin’s ruthlessness not only distresses the audience, but emotionally exhausted Miller too. “Draining is the word… caught up in the emotional state of the character. It’s amazing to discover your own endless resource of horribleness. It renews itself …it’s not even intentional…”
Despite Kevin’s cruelty, Miller doesn’t perceive – and doesn’t play – Kevin as psychotic. “When I initially read the script, [I saw] sociopathic behavior is written all over. The more I considered it…the more I came to think that he is not a sociopath, he is someone who, over the course of his life, responds to circumstance,” explained Miller.
Responds to circumstance. This is the same justification often bestowed to defend juvenile criminals of horrendous crimes. And while Miller certainly doesn’t condone Kevin’s havoc, when prompted, he admits that he “connects” with Kevin.
“What was intriguing was that [Kevin] is this person who has basic deprivations in [his] early life, is hyper aware, and then is someone who, from a young age, found [his] own tools, in terms of exposing and bringing to the surface, the harsher realities of this situation. And then, [Kevin is] someone for whom those tools became more comfortable and perhaps the only available mode of operation.”
Miller’s empathy for and apparent connection with Kevin do invite questions into the darkness of their shared penumbra. Yet, Miller’s fraternity with Kevin does result in artistic mastery. Miller’s sympathy for Kevin warps into a performance so palpable that audiences themselves contort their seated bodies at their anticipated, rather than visual, horror. Miller can furnish this unrelenting anxiety, even with small, meticulous ticks of disturbia, because he renders Kevin, so relentlessly and unforgivingly, human.
We Need to Talk About Kevin released in Boston on March 9, 2012.
In light of the recent school shooting in Chardon, Ohio, there is something tragically timely about the movie “We Need to Talk About Kevin,” which opens in limited release this week.
Based on a 2003 novel of the same name, the film tells the story of a mother (Tilda Swinton) struggling through the aftermath of her teenage son Kevin’s (Ezra Miller) horrific crimes and, through a series of flashbacks, details the boy’s bizarre and troubled youth leading up to the tragedy. Above all else, the movie poses one unspoken question: What went wrong with Kevin?
In answering that question, the age-old debate of nature vs. nurture is the logical place to start. Was Kevin born a manipulative, hateful psychopath or was he simply a victim of circumstance, bad parenting? I recently caught up with Kevin himself, Ezra Miller, and asked.
“I don’t believe in the concept of ultimate evil, or ultimate good, for that matter,” Miller, 19, told me. “I feel like, not only is it off base, but I feel like it’s also counterproductive. We can keep calling each other evil and killing each other forever if we want, but I really do think that every single human, creature, thing is a composition of many different aspects of light and dark nature, both sort of conflicting and coexisting in order to create anyone.”
He continued, “My approach to Kevin was never as a monster or someone evil, but someone whose circumstances had driven them to a place of extremity.”
It’s a tough line to swallow, especially considering how unshakably distant and disturbed the younger versions of Kevin (Rocky Duer and Jasper Newell) are portrayed, despite the admittedly frustrated efforts of his mother. However, it appears to be Kevin’s mom, who is played with brilliant depth and devastation by Swinton, who is made to shoulder the blame.
“I [viewed Kevin] as a kid who was after what every human being is, on some level, innately entitled to, which is the love of a mother,” Miller said, explaining how he sympathizes with his character. “And I saw him pursuing that, even in the most misguided and horrific ways.”
Often more disturbing than Miller’s performance as teenage Kevin, was that of young Newel, who plays the 6-to-8-year-old version of boy. Noting the precise similarities in menacing facial expressions and tormented body language (not to mention the same jet-black hair style), I questioned Ezra about the process of coordinating with his tiny counterpart.
“Both Kevins and myself were able to get some time in the week before production,” Miller explained. “We made a ‘Kevin room’ in the production office. We’d lock ourselves in there. We’d exchange mean looks. Sinister conversations were had. We’d make makeshift weapons. If anyone came in the room, we’d pelt them with dodge balls.”
Miller also pointed out that watching the young Kevins on set was like creating memories for his teenage character. Instead of imagining what Kevin’s relationship with his mother was like at age 6, he was fortunate enough to watch it happen and use the emotions as context for his performance. Unfortunately, a performance wrought with such tragedy and angst can also take its toll on an actor.
“There were a variety of difficulties. First of all, to find a way to identify with someone so complex on a human level was a challenge. And once I found that avenue – at the end of the day – being able to let go of the great amount of emotional and physical discomfort that the character exists in … those were sort of two challenges that I was combating.”
Ezra Miller plays a bad, bad boy in We Need to Talk About Kevin, director Lynne Ramsay’s adaptation of Lionel Shriver’s chilling novel about a sociopathic teen and his tormented mother, Eva. As Kevin, Miller exudes undiluted malice — with assist from his exotic, sculpted features — while Swinton, who helped develop the project, turns in another devastating performance.
Miller’s own mother was moved to tears when she saw Kevin with him at its Cannes Film Festival world premiere last May. “I never heard her cry this particular way before,” Miller recalls, “and it was the first testament to the possibility that the performance and film had been a success.”
Mind you, the 18-year-old Miller has already played his share of provocative young characters whose antics would inspire premature grey hairs in most parents, including a prep school kid with a taste for violent Internet porn in 2008’s Afterschool, Chubby-chasing horndog in 2009’s City Island and gay teen in 2010’s Every Day.
Via telephone, the New Jersey-born actor, who also plays drums in band Sons of An Illustrious Father (which recently released their second album, One Body), dished about how Swinton measures up as a mom, his June 2011 bust for marijuana possession, and being gay (again) in the upcoming The Perks of Being a Wallflower… as well as off-screen.
— Lawrence Ferber
Dallas Voice: You make poor Tilda’s life a misery in Kevin. What would it be like to actually have Tilda as your mother? Ezra Miller: It would be amazing. Honestly, having Tilda as a mother would be a beautiful, lovely, wonderful experience. She has two children and they’re absolute angels, really wonderful people, and it seems like they’re being raised right. They stay away from technology, they have vivid imaginations, they play all the time. It would be very dreamy and quite the polar opposite from the relationship our characters had in the film.
Have you had any bad seed moments in real life? I remember I put chewing gum in my friend Devon’s hair when I was in, I dunno, second grade. I did it for no reason. It was one of those things where you’re holding chewing gum in your hand and see the hair and do it. I remember my parents were very horrified. Kids naturally, in the exploration of life and your own capacity as a human being, discover how to lie and hurt and deceive and manipulate and have to do it. Flex their muscles.
Tilda played another mother in crisis in The Deep End, in which her gay son gets caught up with dangerous characters. Did you watch that prior to working with her? I had seen that film before I was considering this one, but didn’t refer to it in the work. One of the most important things about working with an actor you know the work of is, to the best of your ability, to forget about it. Those characters and situations are irrelevant. You’re creating a story with someone who, in my mind, is a real person to my character. That was just my mother, Eva. To actually detach all associations of other characters she’s played it’s a natural part of the objective and easy because she carves a lot of distinction into each of the characters she plays.
I read in an interview with Lynne Ramsay where she said you were underage and lied about it when cast in the film. That is a bold-faced lie! They made a mistake. They just assumed I was of age. There was a sheet in the casting director’s office that said, “Write down your birthday if you’re under 18,” and I wrote down my birthday. I admitted it. They’ve been trying to blame me for it since. You can’t believe everything Lynne Ramsay tells you.
Was that a big problem? I think they did have to make some accommodations and get a general verbal agreement from me that I would be willing to work any and all hours to make this film possible. I think the initial concern was trying to accommodate the hours [since minors have limited working hours]. But I voiced great determination to be part of this film and think that commitment comforted them enough.
You play gay in Wallflower as Patrick, older brother to Emma Watson’s character and friend to the protagonist, Charlie. What can you tell us about that character? I can tell you he’s an outstanding, charismatic, prideful young lad who has a beautiful ability to transform his circumstance into one of levity. He can make light of any situation, which I came to admire. He almost has this internal mechanism to bring the light out of any given situation.
Doe Patrick have a boyfriend? Yes! He has a boyfriend whom he keeps secret, because the boyfriend’s closeted and ashamed. He’s the high school quarterback. One of those.
It was nice to see you play a well-adjusted, kind gay kid in Every Day. Right! He was a good, friendly character. People keep telling me I’m always playing one character. There’s a range.
Tom Hardy said, when asked about whether he had gay sexual experiences, “Of course, I’m an actor, for fuck’s sake.” Do you, umm, agree with Tom in your own life? “Of course! Many! I’ve had many, you know, happy ending sleepovers’in my early youth — my period of exploration. I think that’s essential. Anyone who hasn’t had a gay moment is probably trying to avoid some confrontation with a reality in their life.
Do you have some gay moments still to come? Is there any hope for the guys crushing on you? I’m not sure. Perhaps. I keep my options open. My spectrum remains broad. I’ve been in love with a lot of girls lately but that doesn’t necessarily suggest anything definite about the future.
In June you were arrested for marijuana possession, about 20 grams of it, and ultimately let off. I was shocked to read about the arrest – mostly because I keep forgetting they actually prosecute people for marijuana possession. Right? They shouldn’t. It’s a ridiculous law based on ridiculous things. But I think people are coming around. Medicalization of marijuana is happening in more and more states. Of course, there is one sweeping issue, which is nonviolent drug convictions constitute a lot of what puts people in jail in this country and the prison industrial complex is one of our last booming industries. Pot also stands to take a lot of money away from the pharmaceutical industry. It’s a painkiller and dopamine inhibitor. It serves all of these functions that there are all these harmful, extreme drugs prescribed to serve. So there’s money to be made in the continued illegality of that plant. But I feel no shame. It’s a plant. Everybody knows what pot is. And I don’t care. It was a very enlightening experience to see the way the chief of police called the media and it all results in me handing money to a judge in the form of a fine. Yeah. My journey in the legal system.
There’s a website dedicated to hotties’ mugshots, (hotandbusted.tumblr.com), so perhaps we can at least make sure yours gets up there. Yeah, I hope so. I hope I make that cut.
Ezra Miller gives a phenomenal performance as the titular school shooter in We Need to Talk about Kevin (read City Paper’s review here), a film especially timely in the wake of the recent high school shooting in Ohio. Miller, who has played a gay teen in Every Day and a recovering drug abuser in Another Happy Day, spoke with City Paperabout how he prepared for his breakout role, his own bad behavior, and his experiences playing Egyptian Ratscrew.
City Paper: Given your previous screen roles, it seemed only a matter of time before I saw you play a full-on raging psycho. What appealed to you about playing Kevin?
Ezra Miller: It was a long time coming. Initially when I read the script, [Kevin] struck me as someone whose persona and actions were difficult to understand, but I found an avenue, a channel to identify with him on a basic, primal human level — he is a kid who wants his mother’s love and attention. Building on the fundamental elements of wanting love [provides] strong justifications that guide him through his deed. What lies beneath is something very basic and human. As an actor, it continued to provide a challenge and excitement through the whole process.
CP: Did you have fears that this performance would lead to you being stereotyped for future roles?
EM: Certainly that’s a concern, but it comes down to a choice. I will always have an option, and because I feel wary of getting pigeonholed, as it were, I will be selectively avoiding roles that fall down the same alley for a while. It is quite fun, and you see and understand how villain actors can get stuck on that track — it is a joyous endeavor. You explore characters with vast complexity and they contain multitudes. I want to keep going to new places. I’ll be saying no to some killer [roles] in near future.
CP: What research did you do on the topic of teens that kill?
EM: A whole lot. Probably more than was healthy for my understanding of [Kevin’s] world. In the end, you see things that are startling, and constant in cases of school massacres — in this country, specifically. Kevin seemed like an exception after all that research. The true reasoning behind his act was not peer social. In fact, it was a smokescreen or a performance art act for the benefit of one human being. There’s a scene we filmed but it’s not in the film, where his mother asked why he killed [people]. But when you’re putting on a show, you don’t shoot the audience. It’s a show, or a performance, for an emotional conquest. That made it different from Columbine or Virginia Tech.
CP: How did you work on Kevin’s expressions, which are all kinds of smug and sinister?
EM: The sneer, we called it. It all fell together in a nice way. It’s a funny feeling where the character and how his sardonic aspect feeds into his sexual persona, and his true discomfort at his core. It created itself in a nice way. That sneer in particular ended up being a pivotal symbol in the film. On the first day, Tilda [Swinton] did a mirror image of it and fit that in multiple parts of the film to show the root of Kevin’s smirk. It was a reflective motion — the son can be a mirror for the parent. That [idea] was more horrifying than anything else.
CP: Can you discuss Kevin’s look? His hair seemed pretty specific in framing his face, and his collection of T-shirts was wild. But he often appeared shirtless for effect.
EM: After reading the script the first time, I had a specific idea of what his hair would look like — including certain pieces that were longer than others — that stuck out to me as quintessentially creepy and slightly provocative, in an untraceable manner. I was so deeply invested in this role, I had my friend and band mate cut my hair into that shape before my last two auditions. We kept it with some minor adjustments to make it more extreme. The clothing was really specific, an intentional motif. He’s was wearing the same clothes he had at 9. He won’t allow his mother to go through the motions of motherhood — to fool herself or anyone — by dressing him, feeding him, or doing the superficial things that compose the mothering/nurturing act.
CP: What’s the worst thing you did as a kid that your mother punished you for?
EM: I remember this time when I stuck chewing gum in my friend’s hair. At the time I couldn’t explain the motivation, but it was one of those senseless things — you do it to understand its repercussions in that time in youth when you run unfortunate experiments to know you’re capable of hurting and lying. I wasn’t particularly violent except with my sister. I remember shoving her head into the snow, and her biting my arm until I bled. We were rough with each other. I channeled my violence in make believe. I did things to imaginary bad guys.
CP: What was it like to be handcuffed and placed in a police car?
EM: That was fantastic! We got real police officers. We got a squad of Connecticut cops. We asked them to perform the procedure — what they would do in this exact situation. It was cool and frightening. But we sensed they were holding back, so before the last take — this sounds ridiculous but it’s very true — I said “You fucking PIGS!,” and you see [how] they slammed my head against the car, and pushed me into the vehicle. I provoked them, and they were rougher.
CP: Kevin plays mini golf and shoots archery, but also collects computer viruses. What are your hobbies?
EM: In my life, it’s hard to find a hobby, but I play a lot of music, and I do collect velvet smoking jackets. I don’t enjoy many sports, but I enjoy card games. We’ve been playing Egyptian Ratscrew. You have to play with someone you have a comfortable and sound relationship with.
We Need to Talk About Kevin opens this weekend at Ritz at the Bourse.