IN A LEAGUE OF THEIR OWN
There’s got to be a way to blockbuster – and there undoubtedly will be with the Justice League in town. One of the movie’s stars, Ezra Miller, talks about the challenges of portraying iconic superhero The Flash.
Justice League star Ezra Miller discusses his role in one of the year's biggest blockbusters
No-one who has seen Ezra Miller act will be surprised to learn that he was a sensitive, creative and slightly eccentric child. The 25-year-old actor has built a career on playing the entire spectrum of odd. He was vicious and terrifying in We Need To Talk About Kevin; played the flamboyant-but-self-destructive misfit Patrick in The Perks Of Being A Wallflower; and essayed the part of an uproariously kinky intern in the Amy Poehler comedy Trainwreck.
Miller, who identifies as queer, always looked to pop culture to find characters he identified with; characters who were quirky, passionate, intelligent and challenged the macho cultural idea of who gets to be a hero. And when he didn’t find those characters, he would just make them up.
“As a kid, I also put a lot of time and energy into writing and drawing comics,” he recalls. “I had a whole series about three elderly women who were assassins, which was called I’m Getting
Too Old For This. I even invented a superhero called Super Pig, who was a chameleonic swine of sorts! My nanny has a massive collection of Super Pig merchandise I hand-made, including shirts, action figures and comic book issues; the comics were drawn with one crayon. I was a one-man studio then!”iller admits that The Flash wasn’t one of his favourite heroes as a child, although he later came to connect with the character, noting that they’re both “nerds”.
“I was inspired by crows, cheetahs and mongooses.”
He found that The Flash’s vulnerability made him easier to identify with than more proud and powerful superheroes.
“The Flash – aka Barry Allen – is not infallible or immortal,” Miller notes. “He is very much a fragile, vulnerable human being. He’s also somewhat socially inept. He is also not fearless. My version of Barry experiences crippling anxiety and terror, and he uses wit and humor to deal with that fear. Barry has been endowed with these powers, some of which he’s incapable of handling because he’s human. At the same time, becoming a quantum anomaly of sorts is changing and growing Barry’s perceptual capacities, and his appreciation for everything that’s happening around him. This was all very inspiring for me to explore.”
While Marvel took literally a decade to introduce fans to their individual players, DC is diving straight into the group dynamic of the Justice League. As well as featuring Batman
(Ben Affleck), Wonder Woman (Gal Gadot) and Superman (Henry Cavill), the film also heralds the arrival of many new characters, including Aquaman (Jason Momoa), Cyborg (Ray Fisher) and Steppenwolf (Ciaran Hinds).
Miller is excited to introduce a new team-based film to cinema fans, believing it eliminates some of the individual egoism inherent in singlecharacter films.
“What’s so wonderful about the idea of a team of superheroes is the contradiction it presents to the premise of individual heroism. That’s endemic in superhero mythology, in which one person with power is the only hope for salvation. In the Justice League, there’s a nice reminder that as interconnected beings, we need each other no matter how strong we are.”
The film posits that in unifying across lines of division, the heroes become an even greater force – even though they still have their own individual powers.
“It’s what we do on film sets too, you know?” Miller observes. “With the specification of labour, Arthur, the sound guy, holds the microphone above his head all day long. I pretend to run. Emmy does make up. Jason Momoa breaks