Cookies help us deliver our Services. By using our Services, you agree to our use of cookies. Learn More.

The Intense Training Miles Teller Underwent For Whiplash

In 2014, Miles Teller and J.K. Simmons went to war from opposite sides of a drum kit in Damien Chazelle's iconic story of obsession and drive in "Whiplash." Teller played the up-and-coming drummer Andrew Neiman, a student hungry for success and the approval of his power-drunk, abusive instructor, Terence Fletcher, played by Simmons. The film was a harrowing coming-of-age hybrid insight into an obsession that went on to earn favorable mention at the Academy Awards, where it was nominated for best picture and earned J.K. Simmons an Oscar for best supporting actor (via IMDb).

However, one part of this incredible drum-hammering spectacle who sadly didn't luck out as well as his co-star come award season was Miles Teller. Even with its stellar reviews (via Rotten Tomatoes) and praise falling to him, much like Simmons, the lead's trophy cabinet remained unfilled following the release of "Whiplash." It was a surprise turn of events, given Teller's performance and the incredible lengths he went to bring his character to life.

Miles Teller took his training to another level to reach the tempo in Whiplash

Sometimes it helps to have skills outside of acting to elevate a performance, which Teller had in spades when it came to his part in "Whiplash." He was already drumming since he was 15 years old but got back into the crash, bang, and swing of things leading up to the film production. Speaking to W Magazine, he revealed he was working with an instructor three times a week, four hours a day, and was under strict requests of how to approach things. "Damien Chazelle, the director of 'Whiplash,' told me, 'Stop working out! Don't go outside!'" Teller recalled. "He wanted me pale and doughy. This is the first movie where I shut myself off from the world. It was, by far, the hardest thing I've ever done."

In all its raw glory, the result is there on the screen, displayed through blood, sweat, and tears, which at the time Teller admitted some of which was his own. The actor recalled to Collider, "I started getting some bloody blisters, and I was bandaging them up and stuff. It was just the nature of filming a movie like this in 19 days with very intense drumming sequences." Now that's a level of dedication that really can't be beaten.