In a wide-ranging conversation with Vulture, Miles Teller has shed new light on why he didn’t end up starring in La La Land. The short version: “It played out much differently than people think.”
Teller was attached to star in the Oscar-winning Damien Chazelle movie in its early stages, after giving a standout performance in the director’s breakout movie Whiplash. In a Sept. 2015 profile of the actor in Esquire, Teller revealed that he was abruptly informed by his agent that he was no longer considered “creatively right for the project” by Chazelle and that he then sent the director the following text: “What the f—, bro?”
In addition, Page Six caused controversy earlier this year after reporting that Teller had turned down a $4 million offer to star in the film, and that his minimum ask was $6 million.
Reflecting on the matter with Vulture, however, Teller says that the Page Six story was “absolutely false” and that “the money side of it was fine.” He added, “I can 1,000 percent assure you that if there was a part I wanted to play, I would not turn down four million dollars to do it.”
As for whether he had anything to add to what he’d previously said about La La Land, Teller remained slightly tight-lipped, but strongly conveyed the message that he stayed with La La Land as long as he was able. “When that movie was almost falling apart, I stayed attached to it and told directors that I really wanted to work with that I couldn’t jump ship from La La Land just because the project was in flux,” he explained. “I’ll go to my grave knowing that when push came to shove I expressed extreme loyalty to Damien and that movie. That’s sorta all I can say.”
Chazelle became the youngest person in history to win the Best Directing Oscar for La La Land, which also picked up trophies for Best Actress (Emma Stone) and a slew of technical categories. When the director was asked about Teller’s comments in the Esquire profile, he said that “the casting of this movie during the six years it took to get made went through lots of permutations,” and that while Teller was at one point attached, it didn’t end up “lasting or working out.”