If you're pressing play on Amazon's latest streaming title Too Old To Die Young because you're a fan of the show's lead actor, Miles Teller, you may find yourself surprised that Teller is playing a role unlike any he's played before. Martin Jones, Miles Teller's character in Too Old To Die Young, is a far cry from the young, naive characters he made his name on in films like The Spectacular Now and Whiplash. Too Old To Die Young is a sadistic, neon-drenched drama that sees the actor committing bloody acts of violence, and Teller's character is a figure proves a person doesn't need to "look" violent to be violent.
Martin Jones is a cop who has been having a crisis of conscious — his first lines in the trailer about feeling no guilt or remorse after killing a woman — and begins to intrude upon the criminal underground in search of the worst men in his city so that he can kill them. Jones attempts to focus his proclivity for nihilistic violence towards taking the lives of people who commit evil acts. Jones takes a lives with ease, but Teller's face isn't hardened or scarred like some of the other killers in the series.
Teller's appearance doesn't always match his character's violent actions or his existential line of thinking, but writer/director Nicolas Winding Refn told the Golden Globes that his boyish appearance is exactly why Refn cast Teller in the first place.
"He is the reincarnation of Elvis," Refn says of Teller, "I thought if I could make a movie starring Elvis and with the rebirth of Elvis what more American could I get?" While Martin Jones may be modeled after an American icon, Martin is a much more complicated than any character that Elvis Presley ever put to film before. Teller told Golden Globes that when it comes to Jones' morality, "It is interesting which kind of code Martin goes by and where the line is and when he makes a new line and how he justifies things. Things work in very stark contrasts and ... he can be fairly hypocritical. But I think that is interesting, and it is interesting when you play someone who is not on a straight line."
Both the character of Martin and the approach of the project was different than anything Teller had done before. He explained to an audience at the Cannes Film Festival that the entire show was shot chronologically, which is a unique approach to filming for someone used to shooting movies, which are often shot out-of-order.
"It's so nice. I haven’t done anything chronological since theater," says Teller per Yahoo! News, "There’s something really special about doing that, you are in the moment with your character and you can shift things as you go long.”
While Teller has become a notable presence in Hollywood, Too Old To Die Young marks a new stage in his career, taking on an entirely new type of character in a medium he's never worked in (save for one episode of The Unusuals in 2009). Martin Jones may be a jarring role for Teller right now, but there' a good chance that his involvement with this show is pointing to the kinds of roles Teller will take in the future.