worried about his makeup and stuff.”
Near the end of shooting, Teller was able to cut loose. “Vinny gained weight,” says the actor. “So, I started at 168 and then I had to gain 15 pounds to get to 183 in two and a half weeks … That was fun. It was just like Dunkin’ Donuts every day and going to Federal Hill in Providence and [consuming] this amazing Italian food that I could finally eat.”
“Bleed For This” had the blessing of the real Paz who often showed up on set to answer the questions of cast and crew members.
“The time that I absolutely said I need Vinny to be on set was when I go down to try and bench press for the first time [after the accident],” says the actor. “I just didn’t know how to get underneath the bench with [a halo traction brace] on my head.
“I had to ask him, ‘How do you do that?’ He’s like, ‘Well, I’d get down and then just shimmy over here and start pumping them out, bro.’
After making a big splash with “The Spectacular Now” in 2013, Teller began working on a number of big budget action films, including the “Divergent” series and “Fantastic Four.” But deep down, he prefers what he calls “intense stuff.”
“I’ve been lucky to be put in a nice position, as far as acting goes, where I’m able to get some good scripts,” he says. “I’m more than willing to give everything to them, and I just think they’re cool stories.
“I like intense stuff. When I was in college I wasn’t doing scenes of me sitting at a coffee table talking to the girl and flirting. I was like, ‘No, let’s do this scene where [stuff] is just happening and flying and everyone’s just into it.’”
Upcoming from Teller is “Thank You For Your Service,” a look at how posttraumatic stress disorder affects American servicemen and women; and “Granite Mountain,” a drama about the crew of firefighters who battled a wildfire in Prescott, AZ, in 2013 which claimed the lives of 19 of their members.
Playing boxers, soldiers and firemen is all part of Teller’s plan.
“I like blue collar guys,” says the actor. “Those are guys I can relate to . ... This guy Vinny was just always covered in blood. He broke his nose every fight and he was just the biggest warrior and had more heart than anybody.
“I could [just as easily play] the guy who’s a garbage man or a construction worker. Vinny obviously is a bit of a historical figure but I’m just inspired by everyday people. I’m inspired by the guy who’s working three jobs to [support] his kid. To me, that’s inspiring.”
Miles Teller in “Bleed For This.”
Left to right: Miles Teller, Vinny Paz and Producer Chad Verdi on the set of “Bleed For This.”