Miles Teller on ‘Whiplash,’ ambition & Elvis

October 9, 2014 2:11 AM

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In “Whiplash” (out Friday), he plays an aspiring jazz drummer at a Julliard-like New York music conservatory, playing until his hands bleed to meet the impossible standards of his oppressively perfectionist teacher (J.K. Simmons). The movie, a festival hit since winning a heap of awards at Sundance, rhythmically beats on the theme of ambition and its high sacrifices.

Teller, too, is an up-and-comer, tagged as one of Hollywood’s hottest rising stars. He landed his first movie role, 2010’s “Rabbit Hole,” partly because Nicole Kidman was impressed that he — playing a fragile kid weighed by guilt from a fatal car accident — blushed in the audition.

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