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La La Land director comments on replacing Miles Teller

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Imeh Akpanudosen/Getty Images for Deadline

What does La La Land director Damien Chazelle have to say about Miles Teller’s controversial Esquire interview, where Teller expressed displeasure at being replaced in the forthcoming modern-day musical by Ryan Gosling? Not much.

“I probably just won’t say anything about anything he said in the interview,” Chazelle told Uproxx after La La Land screened at the Toronto International Film Festival this week. “Except what I will say is that the casting of this movie during the six years it took to get made went through lots of permutations, and it’s true there was a moment where Emma Watson and Miles Teller were doing it. And neither of those casting things wound up lasting or working out. But it was part of the up and down of this movie: that we were about to make it, we were about to not make it, about to make it, about to not make it.”

In August of 2015, Teller was asked about La La Land, which would have reunited him with Chazelle after the pair made Whiplash.

“I got a call from my agent, saying, ‘Hey, I just got a call from Lionsgate. Damien told them that he no longer thinks you’re creatively right for the project. He’s moving on without you.,” Teller said. The actor claimed he responded to that news by texting Chazelle: “What the f—, bro?”

Speaking this week about his former lead actor, however, Chazelle praised Teller and his talent. “I loved working with him in Whiplash. That’s why he and I started talking about doing this one together. And I think he’s an extraordinary actor and I can’t wait to see Bleed for This [a boxing movie Teller stars in this fall].”

La La Land, which has won rave reviews from critics at the Venice Film Festival, dances into theaters on Dec. 2.

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