You probably remember him as the cute reject from “Perks of Being a Wallflower”, or as the creepier characters in “We Need to Talk About Kevin” and “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them”.
One thing about Ezra Miller is clear: he’s not afraid to be his authentic self.
With his upcoming role as The Flash in “Justice League”, Miller is back in the spotlight. In an interview for Shortlist, the actor talked about coming out early in his acting career.
During the promotional tour for “Perks of Being a Wallflower” in 2012, he boldly came out as queer for Out magazine. In a different interview, he stated that he was “open to love wherever it can be found.”
Though his openness was applauded by many, he was also told repeatedly that he had done a silly thing and thwarted his potential to be a leading man in Hollywood.
“Folks in the industry, folks outside the industry. People I’ve never spoken to. They said there’s a reason so many gay, queer, gender-fluid people in Hollywood conceal their sexual identity, or their gender identity in their public image.”
This obviously led to times of doubt, but in the end, he knew he hadn’t done anything wrong. “We are the ones. It’s up to us,” he said in the interview, “us to manifest the world we want to exist in. But we’re ready.”
According to Shortlist, Miller is the first queer actor to play a superhero, though that’s not exactly true. The X-Men movies featured Sir Ian McKellen, Alan Cumming, Ellen Page and Anna Paquin, all of them queer actors. However, playing The Flash does make him the first queer actor to play a lead superhero. Despite that, he doesn’t feel pressured or scrutinized in a way that straight actors are not.
“Pressure would only come from a dam, or a block. And when I came out I took the block away, removed the dam. I’ve undammed my identity in the world.”
He’s not the only young actor who heard that he wouldn’t make it if he was out. Cara Delevingne was told by Harvey Weinstein that she would never get straight roles if she was in a public relationship with a woman. But just like Ezra, she refused to be pressured.
This generation of celebrities is refusing to be defined by expectations and heteronormative narratives in Hollywood. It’s super encouraging to see young people in the spotlight be confident about their identities, and Ezra Miller proves that this is not an obstacle for success.