Miles Teller’s Drum Love Started Years Before ‘Whiplash’

Opening October 10 in New York and Los Angeles, Whiplash centers on Andrew Neyman (Miles Teller in a breakout role), a driven jazz drummer who risks it all to learn from revered instructor Terence Fletcher (J.K. Simmons). Fletcher’s emotionally and physically abusive methods push Andrew to the brink at the prestigious music conservatory, and their battle of wills serves as the story’s heart and soul.

The picture is inspired by director/writer Damien Chazelle’s own life in the music world. “I asked Damien some technical questions with drumming because he is a better jazz drummer than I am,” said Teller at the Whiplash press conference. “I was using him for that as much as I could, but for the character, it was all there on the page. It was very clear what Andrew Neyman was all about. For Andrew, he wants to be the greatest drummer of all time and that’s really his sole kind of desire.”

Miles Teller, J.K. Simmons - Whiplash (Sony Pictures Classics, CR: Daniel McFadden)
Miles Teller, J.K. Simmons – Whiplash (Sony Pictures Classics, CR: Daniel McFadden)

Miles Teller’s extensive music background started on the piano at just six years old. Eventually he would move on to drums, and those well honed skills helped ease Whiplash’s seemingly steep learning curve.

Click on the media bar below to hear Miles Teller talk about his music background (J.K. Simmons is also heard on the clip):


Greg Srisavasdi

I've been a movie reviewer/interview since 1991 (as a UCLA Daily Bruin scribe), worked at Westwood One, Deepest Dream owner, co-editor of Hollywood Outbreak, podcast co-host of "CinemAddicts" and "Matt and Greg Used To Interview Movie Stars." I can be reached at for inquiries or whatever the case may be!

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