What You Never Knew About Miles Teller

Miles Teller has come a long way from the small Florida town he grew up in before becoming one of Hollywood's most celebrated leading men. The actor manages to stay grounded — he still has the same friends from high school and remains close with his family. "I want to feel people think I'm a man of the people. Because I feel that way," he told The Guardian.

Audiences were first introduced to the actor when he took on his first movie role in the 2010 drama "Rabbit Hole," where he played a teen who accidentally kills a 4-year-old boy. He went on to score leading roles in more dramas like "Whiplash," "Bleed for This," and "Maverick." "I'm attracted to roles that are close to real life," he told Men's Health of his character choices. And although he earned a mere $8,000 for his leading role in "Whiplash," it's now reported that he snags at least $1 million for every movie gig.

The next leading role he will undoubtedly shine in is playing "The Godfather" executive producer Al Ruddy in the Paramount+ show, "The Offer." And when Teller is not on set, he's relaxing at home with his wife, actress and model Keleigh Sperry, and their French bulldog, Bugsy. Although fans of the versatile actor, whose resume also includes parts in rom-coms, movie musicals, and sci-fi flicks, may think they know all there is to know about him, here are some interesting facts about the talented star.

He started acting because he thought his drama teacher was 'pretty hot'

Miles Teller grew up in a "very rural and Southern" small town in Florida (via Orlando Family Magazine) and attended Lecanto High School. His foray into acting happened quite serendipitously at the end of his sophomore year when his friend was trying out for a play and he tagged along. After partaking in his first production, he was hooked (via Mail Tribune). It didn't hurt that his drama teacher, Beth Bedee, was "pretty hot," which he told The Guardian was the reason he started acting. "From there Beth kind of started basing plays around me ... she saw something in me," he explained to the Mail Tribune. In fact, when TMZ asked him about his instructor, he said that Bedee did in fact know that he thought she was "very attractive," but he never acted on his impulses. 

When he went on to college, he continued studying acting at the prestigious Tisch School of the Arts at New York University. And although he now has a net worth of $14 million, he still owes money from his college days. He explained to Vulture that his business manager advised him not to pay it off since the interest is very low. "I can, if I want to have that badge of accomplishment, but until then I still very much have my NYU loans," he said.

He starred in Footloose in high school and again on the big screen

Although Miles Teller liked to socialize in high school, he also excelled academically, even staying after school to partake in extracurricular activities. "My buddies and I threw all the parties ... but I was also in National Honors Society, president of Drama Club, in Key Club, and honors classes," he told Vanity Fair. One of the shows he performed in Drama Club was "Footloose," where he played Willard, the sidekick to the protagonist, Ren. As fate would have it, six years later, when he was 24, he was cast as the same character in the movie adaptation! " ... that was just a weird coincidence, especially because they thought they had the movie cast three years before I was even eligible to audition for this thing," he told Black Book.

For his performance, Elle called him a "breakout star," and the film's director, Craig Brewer, gushed to the magazine, saying, "When Miles would come in to read, I was just like, 'This is my secret weapon.'" It was also in this movie where Teller showcased some of his dance moves, as he strutted his stuff to "Let's Hear It for the Boy."

Miles Teller got into a serious car crash when he was 20

In 2007, Miles Teller was involved in a near-fatal accident and was told he was lucky to have survived. The then 20-year-old was in the car with his friends, traveling back home to Florida after a Grateful Dead festival. His friend lost control of their vehicle while he was driving at 80 mph and the car flipped eight times, ejecting Teller. "The car landed and I was just laying like 50 feet from the car, unconscious, covered in blood," he told ABC News.

He was later given a staggering statistic: 99.9% of people ejected from a car at that speed would have died (via The Guardian). As a result of his injuries, he had 20 staples put into his shoulder and underwent multiple facial surgeries. In fact, there are still rocks embedded in his face because removing them would cause more scarring. Teller explained that before the facial surgeries, the scars caused him to lose jobs. "When I first started auditioning, people were straight up just like, 'Yeah, Miles is a good actor, [but it] doesn't make sense for this character to have scars,'" Teller told ABC. 

Interestingly enough, the actor has gone on to star in multiple films that involve car crashes like "Rabbit Hole," "Bleed for This," and "Whiplash." 

He met his wife at party for a rock band

It was at a Grammys afterparty for the rock band the Black Keys in 2013 that Miles Teller met his future wife, model and actress Keleigh Sperry. The pair had mutual pals, who were also friends of the "Lonely Boy" crooners. The actor explained that he noticed the brunette beauty early on in the evening and the two struck up a conversation. "I didn't think it went well, but after a few more attempts, I got her to dance with me, and a week later, we went on a date. After we met, I knew she was the one," he explained to Vogue.

When it came time to getting down on one knee, Teller planned something elaborate while the couple was on a safari in Africa. He led his leading lady to a tree that had a note tied to it displaying the date their courtship began, and the date of the proposal. He got down on one knee and said, "This was the first day that I asked you to be my girlfriend, and today was the last day you woke up as my girlfriend" (per People).

He was in a Taylor Swift video and it caused a bit of controversy

Miles Teller can add starring in a music video to his already-lengthy resume. That is because he was in one for none other than Taylor Swift! In the video, directed by Blake Lively, he acts as a groom who is haunted by his ex, played by Swift. And art imitated life for the actor, because the woman who played his bride was his wife, Keleigh Sperry!

The lovebirds definitely made a good impression on the songstress. After the project, T-Swift took to Twitter to gush over the real-life couple, saying, "So grateful for @Miles_Teller for being the greatest dance partner and friend to me. And @keleighteller, who is the coolest living human on planet earth." 

However, the pop star's fans were not too pleased by her casting choice. This was due to the fact that it was reported by the Daily Mail that Teller refused to get the COVID-19 vaccine, contracted the virus, and forced the production of "The Offer" to shut down. The actor defended himself in a since-deleted tweet, saying, "Hey guys, I don't usually feel the need to address rumors on here but I am vaccinated and have been for a while. The only thing I'm anti is hate" (per Billboard).

He's close with his former costar

Miles Teller has starred alongside Shailene Woodley four times, and the dynamic duo has already signed on to do another film together. Their friendship began in 2012, when they were cast as love interests in "The Spectacular Now." In the coming-of-age drama, Teller plays an immature high-school senior whose late-bloomer classmate, played by Woodley, changes his outlook on life. The actress had seen her future costar in "Rabbit Hole," so assumed the actor was shy IRL. "He is the opposite of that, and we just naturally hit it off," she told MTV. She also credited him with helping her have fun on set when she was caught up in a serious moment. "And I think I help ground himself in a way that's perhaps more natural than his other choices," she added.

The besties went on to star in all three movies in the "Divergent" franchise. In fact, when the trailer for the first film in the trilogy was released at the 2013 VMAs, the pair sparked dating rumors for looking a little too cozy (via MTV). They spent the night posing on the red carpet, taking selfies, and whispering in each other's ears, so it's not hard to see why! Teller, however, dispelled the rumor in an interview with Elle.

The pair also spends time together when they aren't on set, and when Woodley was engaged to Aaron Rodgers, they went on a couples' trip and to the Kentucky Derby with Teller and his wife.

He worked out every day to significantly lower his body fat percentage for a role

Miles Teller landed the leading role in "Bleed for This," the true story of Vinny Pazienza, a boxer who broke his neck in a car accident at the height of his career. As a result of the accident, Pazienza had a metal brace screwed into the skull in four places and was told he could never fight again. However, he disobeyed his doctors' orders and began training from his basement, going on to not only box again, but to win multiple times.

Physically, the part was a big undertaking for Teller, who transformed himself in a major to play the legendary fighter. At the start, he underwent blood work which determined that he was at 20 percent body fat and weighed 188 pounds. Because that was way bigger than Pazienza was, Teller worked with a nutritionist and was put on a diet that consisted of protein shakes, grilled chicken, and veggies (per Men's Journal). He also trained with Darrell Foster, who worked with world champion Sugar Ray Leonard. "I wanted Miles to show up to my gym like he was a boxer, not an actor," Foster told Men's Journal.

Teller trained every day for five months. "Once I was boxing, day-to-day was four hours boxing, two hours of weights, maybe another hour of cardio," he told Muscle & Fitness. And in the end, he weighed 168 pounds, with only 6 percent body fat (per Men's Journal).

One of his movies was a major flop and he thought it was 'unjustly critiqued'

In 2015, Miles Teller starred in "Fantastic Four," a superhero movie inspired by the Marvel comics, alongside Michael B. Jordan, Kate Mara, and Jamie Bell. The flick, which racked up multiple Razzie Awards, tanked at the box office, especially considering it was made on a production and marketing budget of a staggering $200 million and only made $56 million domestically. After it was released, it was criticized harshly, with critic Matt Zoller Seitz saying it felt "longer than an afternoon spent at the DMV," and The Atlantic calling it "a dull, sour, claustrophobic mess."

Teller opened up about how he felt about all the criticism on the Happy Sad Confused podcast. He explained that people thought that the actors didn't put enough effort into the expensive, yet poorly-rated project, which couldn't be farther from the truth. "You work harder on the bad films, or the films that turn out maybe not the way you intended, because something's not working. And I thought it was kind of unjustly critiqued that way," he said.

He taught himself how to play the drums

When he was young, Miles Tiller "was not afraid to be musical." "I was not a band geek, per say," he told Harper's Bazaar. Throughout his early years, he dabbled in different instruments and as a result, can play the piano and saxophone. He was also in marching band in middle school, and even played in a youth-group church rock band (via Elle). In an interview with Jimmy Fallon, he revealed a pretty remarkable fact: He taught himself how to play the drums at 15 because he thought drummers were "the coolest guys."

In the film "Whiplash," Miles Teller showcases his skills with a set of drum sticks. On the 2014 drama, the actor played a student at a music conservatory who endures the wrath of its ruthless bandleader. The musically inclined actor actually did all of the drumming that was seen in the film. "I mean this movie for me was by far the closest I've come to life imitating art," he told IndieWire.

In fact, his character tries so hard at the instrument that he practices so ferociously that his hands bleed! And some of that blood on screen is actually Teller's, as he confirmed to IndieWire: "I did have some blood, not nearly as much as my character had."

He was nominated for an award for his kissing skills

Throughout his career, Miles Teller has been recognized for his outstanding work on screen. In 2014, he was nominated, with costars Zac Efron and Michael B. Jordan in "That Awkward Moment", for a Young Hollywood Award for Best Threesome. He was also nominated twice as a Scene Stealer at the Teen Choices Awards for playing Peter in "Allegiant" and "Insurgent." And at the 2015 MTV Movie Awards, he earned a total of three nods for "Whiplash" (via IMDb).

In 2014, the MTV Movie Awards rewarded Teller with a nomination for a very particular skill — lip-locking with Shailene Woodley in "The Spectacular Now." "It's funny, because I feel like usually Best Kiss [nominees] are these hot, romantic moments at MTV, you know? And ours was very sweet and innocent, lots of naïveté," the actress told E! News. Although their first kiss in the film is ultra adorable and undoubtedly award worthy, Teller let People in on a little secret: His costar had foul-smelling clay supplements in her mouth at the time! The duo was beat out by Jennifer Aniston, Emma Roberts, and Will Poulter for their noteworthy smooch in "We're The Millers" (via HuffPost). In an interview with MTV, Teller gave his tips on the proper kissing technique, which included to "take control," "lock eyes," and "compliment" your partner. 

He wanted to be a professional baseball player

Before he started memorizing lines on movie sets, Miles Teller hoped to be sliding into base on baseball fields. "I would have went into baseball. If I was better at baseball, then that was like my first passion," he told the Associated Press. Now, as an actor, he would like to one day star in a sports film. 

The actor roots for the Philadelphia Phillies because he was actually born in Downingtown, Pennsylvania, before moving to Florida. In fact, he's even thrown the first pitch as one of his beloved team's games. In 2015, he fulfilled his childhood baseball dreams by partaking in the All-Star Legends and Celebrity Softball Game, which occurs every year before the All-Star Game. He participated along with celebs like Snoop Dogg, Nick Lachey, and Macklemore (via MLB). "I tell people that I was more excited for this than the Oscars," he said to Esquire.

He's a co-owner of an alcoholic beverage company

Although he makes more than enough cash with his lucrative movie career, the actor still pads his bank account with an additional gig. It all began when he was at a Manhattan liquor store and met the founders of Long Drink, a Finnish canned liquor that's a mix of gin, grapefruit, and soda (via Forbes). After he sampled their unique drink, he was hooked. "I kept hitting up these guys to stock me up," he explained to Forbes. As a result, he'd get the booze shipped to his house and disperse it to family and friends. Then, he came to the realization that instead of asking for product, he could become a partial owner in the company. 

The actor-turned-beverage-owner stressed the fact that his partnership is in no way just a celebrity endorsement. "For me, this is just a matter of showing how Long Drink fits in with my lifestyle, in an organic way. I really believe in it," he said in the Forbes interview. 

He doesn't have an Instagram account

Miles Teller has something in common with his fellow actors Brad Pitt, Jennifer Lawrence, Rachel McAdams, Paul Rudd, and George Clooney (via Distractify) in that he doesn't have an Instagram account. In an interview with Playboy (via Bustle), he explained that the aversion to the 'Gram stems from the fact that people tend to be on their phones too much. "I've been told that having an Instagram account will help me book more roles, get more endorsement deals," he said. "I want to build my fan base through movies and movies alone."

In order to get a glimpse into Teller's personal life, fans will have to peruse his wife Keleigh Sperry's IG. Thankfully, hers is replete with photos of events like his 35th birthday party, their wedding day, and an Italian vacation. The actor does use Twitter, utilizing the platform to share information about his upcoming projects and alcohol company.