Joining Timothée Chalamet, Aaron Taylor-Johnson and Evan Peters as a young heartthrob of Hollywood, Ezra Miller, like the aforementioned names, is an actor that has far more to give than mere good looks. Slowly rising through the ranks of the industry in independent films such as Afterschool, City Island, Beware the Gonzo and Every Day, it wasn’t until Miller’s breakthrough role in the staggering We Need to Talk About Kevin that he would achieve international acclaim.
A powerful voice in the LGBTQ+ movement, Ezra Miller has long-detailed his personal expression in the film industry, offering a unique perspective of the role of an actor. Speaking to Erykah Badu for Interview magazine, the actor stated, “I think that artists don’t make art—the art makes itself through us. I’m not the doer, you know? I’m just along for the ride. Acting really reminds me of that because I don’t write the words; I don’t make the decisions. That’s the director. Narcissism is a tragic condition”.
Magnetising the limelight in whatever film role he takes command of, Ezra Miller is one of the finest working actors in contemporary cinema. Having already worked with the likes of Antonio Campos, Judd Apatow, Lynne Ramsay and Zack Snyder at the age of just 28, Ezra Miller has an exciting career ahead of him.
Let’s take a look back at his five best performances to date.
The 5 best Ezra Miller:
5. Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald (David Yates, 2018)
Whilst the Fantastic Beasts films of the Wizarding World have been well and truly living under the shadow of Harry Potter since 2016, several performances have shined through to elevate the films above their self-inflated worth.
Playing the mysterious American wizard Credence Barebone in both Fantastic Beasts films, Ezra Miller’s character is given the space to breathe in the sequel film The Crimes of Grindelwald. A wizard with a dark power, Miller plays Barebone’s with both a menacing cynicism and a strange charming allure, making him perhaps the best character to grace the Fantastic Beasts series so far, with the third instalment The Secrets of Dumbledore set for release in 2022.
4. The Stanford Prison Experiment (Kyle Patrick Alvarez, 2015)
Based on the real-life sociological study that took place in 1971, The Stanford Prison Experiment tells the story of 24 male students who are selected to be either prisoners or guards in a mock prison that quickly takes the shape of the real thing.
Joining a fantastic ensemble cast that includes Tye Sheridan, Michael Angarano, Moises Arias and Succession star Nicholas Braun, Ezra Miller proves to be one of the standout performers, playing the role of Daniel Culp, an unfortunate ‘prisoner’. As the tension of the film heightens, as does Miller’s inner turmoil, blistering in his physical performance in fits of ever-increasing fear, emotion and rage.
3. The Perks of Being a Wallflower (Stephen Chbosky, 2012)
A whimsical coming-of-age drama, directed and written by Stephen Chbosky, who too wrote the book the film is adapted from, The Perks of Being a Wallflower stars Ezra Miller alongside Emma Watson and Logan Lerman.
Carrying the film as a flamboyant high-school senior, Patrick, who together with Watson’s Sam take Lerman’s Charlie, an introverted freshman under their wing, Ezra Miller makes this role his own, turning a supporting character into a spiritual lead. Recognised by multiple awards shows for his role, including the Hollywood Film Awards and MTV movie awards, The Perks of Being a Wallflower would help to announce Miller on the world stage.
2. Afterschool (Antonio Campos, 2008)
Ezra Miller’s first major starring role came at the age of just 16 when he played the character of Robert in Antonio Campos controversial school drama, Afterschool, co-starring alongside David Costabile of Breaking Bad.
Playing a frail, shy schoolboy who accidentally captures the drug overdose of two girls on a video camera, Afterschool descends into a deep, dark mystery about loneliness, discrimination and the dangers of the internet. Miller naturally slots into the role of Robert and gives a remarkable performance given that this Afterschool is his debut feature film, eliciting sympathy whilst clearly hiding a more complicated secret.
1. We Need to Talk About Kevin (Lynne Ramsay, 2011)
It seems as though brooding, mysterious characters are Ezra Miller’s bread and butter, with his disturbing performance in Lynne Ramsay’s classic adaptation of Lionel Shriver’s We Need to Talk About Kevin proving to be a career-best.
Ezra Miller stars as the titular Kevin, a disturbed child-turned teenager who engages in increasingly sinister activities, whilst being attempted to be controlled by his mother, Eva Khatchadourian (Tilda Swinton) and Franklin (John C.Reilly). It all leads to a truly sinister climax in which Miller embodies the true image of reprehensible evil, giving fuel to the raging fire of Lynne Ramsay’s 21st-century masterpiece.