There’s a bunch of different reasons why you’re hearing about 19-year-old actor Ezra Miller. Maybe you chanced up on his recent performances as a student reporter or a private-school kid with a penchant for porn in Beware the Gonzo or Afterschool, respectively. Perhaps it was his penchant for a certain recreational drug or his brief relationship with co-star Zoe Kravitz.
Or it could be his horrifying starring role in We Need to Talk About Kevin, the new drama where he plays a high school student who enacts a Columbine-kind of massacre on his classmates.
We’ll be seeing Kevin this Friday, but we already know it’s going to be fantastic from reading the book and from Ezra’s hypnotic performances. Here’s your chance to learn more about this quirky, talented young star.
1. As a child he suffered from a stutter, but an attentive teacher introduced him to opera around the age of 6, which helped to steady his voice. He went on to sing with the Metropolitan Opera Children’s Chorus from the ages of 9 to 11, but once his voice cracked, he was out.
2. The actor is a pot aficionado, and this past June got busted for possession of marijuana after police stopped his friend’s car for a traffic violation. However, as Ezra told Details, his parents weren’t surprised when the cops called them: “My parents had been gritting their teeth for that phone call for a long, long time.” But how about disappointed? “No, it’s water off a duck’s back, as they say. We all know what weed is.”
3. I feel like most young actors we profile are in bands; Ezra is no exception, providing drums and vocals for Sons of an Illustrious Father. Here’s a video of the band performing “Go Down Moses” in 2009:
4. He’s actually got a personality. Unlike some actors who may seem bland when they’re not in-character, Ezra’s various film festival appearances prove that he’s got his own style: Think velvet blazers, red skinny jeans, and a playing card slipped into his hat.
5. It took him two years and six auditions to land the role of Kevin Khatchadourian. On-camera mother/object of Kevin’s wrath Tilda Swinton told the Guardian that her first impression of Ezra was that of a professional beyond his years.
This could be the role that stick with him for a good long time, since not only is he the perfect embodiment of Lionel Shriver‘s young villain, but he also relates to his character beyond the skin-deep stuff. “To my horror, I do feel a little connected to Kevin,” he confessed. “Always did. Always will.”
You’ve seen the trailer over and over again, but here’s a clip from the movie. Beware that it does have spoilers for one of the movie’s plot points. If you’ve already read the book, then you’ll recognize this chilling moment immediately.