The Story Behind Miles Teller's Scars

The release of Fantastic Four marks yet another milestone in Miles Teller's career, which has been steadily expanding since his role in the drama Rabbit Hole in 2010. He has played an overworked percussion student in Whiplash, an alcoholic teenager in The Spectacular Now, and a conniving villain in Divergent. In Fantastic Four, Teller plays Mister Fantastic, the super-stretchy Marvel character who makes up one-fourth of the titular Four. Teller rocks some intense gear as the superhero, but there's one aspect of his costume that wasn't in the design notes: scars on parts of his face and neck. That's because the scars on Miles Teller are his own.

The actor was in a near-fatal car crash in 2007, when he was a passenger in his friend's car and the driver lost control as they were making the trip home from a music festival. Teller was thrown from the car at 80 miles per hour and ended up thirty feet away, unconscious but miraculously alive. He explained to Shortlist, "Three weeks later I was back in school and I had a cast and I had all these scratches on my face."

This summary of the story makes it sound like a clean escape, but Teller did in fact experience both personal and professional repercussions as a result of the crash. He told Esquire that the accident caused him to lose his college friends, even though he didn't blame the friend who was driving.

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Said Teller, "I never wanted him to feel bad, so I never made anything out of it, ever... But I was racking up all these medical bills, so we had to sue his insurance because he was driving."

The financial aspect unfortunately caused their friendship to end, but Teller didn't allow this to bring him down. He graduated from NYU in 2008 and began pursuing acting for film professionally. But the accident left visible scars on his face, and this posed a problem for some roles.

"When you start to heal, scabs come off, but then… you find that certain things don’t go away," the actor told Shortlist. "You think you can cover them up with make-up. You can’t. The feedback from auditions was I was a good actor but it didn’t make sense for the character to have scars."

But eventually the actor realized that his unique feature might actually work in his favor.

Said Teller, "I thought, 'I’m gonna be the actor that people know for having scars — like Joaquin [Phoenix] with the cleft lip for a little bit, until he became… Joaquin, you know?"

This mentality has apparently been working, as Teller has racked up impressive role after impressive role regardless of his scars. In fact, in Fantastic Four scars were added with special effects makeup to the face of the actor who plays Mister Fantastic's younger self, so that his appearance would be consistent with that of Teller. This is just one more piece of evidence that Miles Teller's career is on the rise, and he won't be stopping anytime soon, scars or not.