Miles Teller is officially one of the most interesting actors of his generation, and he's striking everywhere while his iron is hot. Following up an awards season darling like Whiplash with two action-packed blockbusters is a page taken from the How To Conquer Hollywood handbook. (Patent pending.) But what does one do next after recreating the role of Marvel hero Mister Fantastic? In Teller's case, he's going the biopic route. The next Miles Teller movie will be boxing drama Bleed For This, which was snatched up at Cannes this year by Sony and will soon make its way to U.S. screens thanks to Open Road Films. Teller plays Vinny Pazienza, a fighter who clawed his way back into the ring after a car accident that nearly took his life.
Among Teller's costars for this inspiration comeback story are Katey Sagal, lately of Sons Of Anarchy; The Dark Knight's Aaron Eckhart; and Irish film and stage actor Ciarán Hinds. Bleed For This is written and directed by Ben Younger, who knows a little something about high stakes since making the stock exchange look exciting in 2000's Boiler Room. So far, everything bodes well for the movie's success: other films that've been in the ring, including The Fighter, Cinderella Man, and Southpaw have drawn audiences, appreciative reviews, and the occasional nomination; biopics still appeal to moviegoers' need to feel real human drama and passion; the cast is eclectic and separately formidable; and, oh yeah, Martin Scorsese is one of the executive producers. How's that for a vote of confidence?
Earlier this year, Teller talked to Jimmy Fallon about his respect for Pazienza's incredible courage as well as his trepidation for taking on the role. And those concerns had nothing to do with his acting prowess:
It's a crazy story. The guy's like, the definition of a warrior and a champion and I was honored...when they offered me the part, I was like, "Well, I can't grow a mustache, I'm not in very good shape." I was literally like, "Are you sure?"
But Teller put the work in, just like the man he plays. Fallon embarassed him with a before and after photo of his Bleed For This training. Check it out below and then set your alarm to get to the gym early tomorrow. This is the best kind of fitspiration.
The actor also has the thumbs up from Vinny Paz himself, though he shares Teller's, um, lack of confidence in his fighting skills. In an interview with InvestorIdeas.com, Paz expressed his excitement to see his story come to life again, with Miles Teller in the role.
When I saw Miles in Whiplash, I couldn't believe how good he was and I knew he would be great in his role for Bleed for This. This kid is an amazing actor and did as good a job as he possibly could...Miles is an actor, not a boxer, but he put on a great show. I think fans will love it.
Thank goodness it takes considerably less boxing skill to play a boxer than it does to be one. Either way, Teller sure looked the part during the filming of Bleed For This. No specific release date has been announced, but the film is on target to be another impressive entry on Teller's growing resume when it hits theaters sometime this year.