Can Miles Teller Really Box? The 'Bleed For This' Star Trained Hard For His New Role
If there's one genre of movie you can count on for forcing an actor to undergo a major physical transformation, it's a boxing movie. Sylvester Stallone pioneered the practice, getting more and more ripped with each passing Rocky film, and many others have since followed in his footsteps. Will Smith packed on the muscle for Ali, Jake Gyllenhaal was nearly unrecognizable in last year's Southpaw, and now Miles Teller steps into the ring looking bulkier than ever for Bleed For This. The actor clearly got into great shape for the role, but can Miles Teller really box?
In Bleed For This , Teller portrays Vinny Paz, a professional boxer who returned to the ring after breaking his neck in a car accident — despite doctors telling him that he would never even walk again, let alone fight. After he managed to win his first comeback fight just 13 months after what should have been a career-ending injury, Paz compiled a record of 19-5 in his post-accident career and for a time held the IBC, IBO, and WBU World Super Middleweight titles. So clearly Paz certainly knew his way around a boxing ring, but how close does Teller come to the real thing?
He definitely struggled with the boxing aspect of the film. Movie magic can make Teller's boxing look championship-level on camera, but the actor actually had very little time to train for the role. And even though he had done some kickboxing in the past, regular boxing is an entirely different animal. "I did a bit of kickboxing in high school," Teller told Empire, "but boxing is super hard, man. The work, the timing, the distance control. It’s all very exposing. It’s just you." He trained for a total of seven months, but the bulk of that time was spent lifting weights and trying to get down the look of the boxer, and not necessarily the technique. Those results can't be argued with, as Teller managed to get down to just 6 percent body fat, according to the Hollywood Reporter.
Teller won't be stepping into the ring professionally anytime soon, but in the limited time he had to prepare for his role as Vinny Paz, he got as close to becoming a real boxer as anyone could have hoped.
Images: Open Road Films