The shady side of Ezra Miller

Ezra Miller is a force to be reckoned with. According to ShortList, the star became "the first queer actor to play a superhero," and it's a big superhero at that. Miller joined the DC Universe — one of the most coveted acting jobs on the planet — when he was cast as The Flash in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. The star has since appeared as the character in Suicide Squad, Justice League, and the CW series Arrow. At the time of this writing, he's gearing up for The Flash's stand-alone, eponymous film.

Needless to say, Miller is a big deal, and he's famously using his high profile to advocate for the LGBTQ community. He told ShortList that he was warned about publicly sharing details of his sexuality, but did so anyway. Why? "We are the ones. It's up to us," he said, "us to manifest the world we want to exist in." That's a beautiful sentiment, but ... what happened?

For most of Miller's expansive career, the star has been regarded as a true artist who unapologetically marches to the beat of his own drum, but some of his antics have turned heads and ruffled feathers along the way. No one emerges from the era of social media unscathed; however, he seems to have finally hit peak-controversy in April 2020. This is the shady side of Ezra Miller. 

Breaking the law was NBD for Ezra Miller

Ezra Miller lives a wildly unapologetic life, and this translated to some legal issues in 2011. New York Magazine reports that the star was shooting The Perks of Being a Wallflower when he was pulled over by Pittsburgh, Pa. police who cuffed him for pot possession. The star claimed, "pot was strewn about, covering me like a quilt," which is decidedly a less conspicuous way to drive around than standing up in the back of a pickup feeling infinite. The Daily Beast reports he was holding onto about 20 grams of the stuff in total.

Miller didn't really see many consequences as a result of the incident. He was hit with disorderly conduct, a $600 fine, and a lecture about influencing the "young extras" on set. And regardless of his personal feelings about cannabis use, Miller didn't exactly learn a lesson about breaking the law, either, telling New York Magazine, "I don't feel like there's any need to hide the fact that I smoke pot. It's a harmless herbal substance that increases sensory appreciation." He also advocated for marijuana legalization during his interview with The Daily Beast.

"[Legalization seems] like a fantastic idea, not only for its curative properties, but some of the strongest bridges in Asia are built of hemp, you can put it in granola, endlessly useful stuff," he said. "At this point, it does seem a little silly that we can't keep some in the ol' backyard!"

Ezra Miller disturbed his friends by taking on a controversial role

Ezra Miller is a magnet for controversial roles — whether he's serving as an underage hookup for Amy Schumer in Trainwreck or ripping a hole in the Harry Potter universe as Albus Dumbledore's brother. In 2011, the star ruffled some feathers when he took the role of a teenage school shooter in We Need to Talk About Kevin. Zimbio called the film one of "the most controversial movies" available on Netflix, and Vogue described Miller's character as a "seeming sociopath from birth."

Though co-star Tilda Swinton's portrayal landed her a Golden Globe nomination, Miller really went in deep when preparing for the role. The star told Vogue that he couldn't talk to his mother through the process because he didn't "want to impose Kevin" on her or have their solid relationship interfere with his character. The ultimate result was a portrayal so unsettling that it bothered some of his friends.

"I do get a certain kind of validation and gratification from the way people will sort of approach me tentatively, with a little bit of fear [after they see the film]," he told Vogue. " ... I had a close friend see it, and we went out to some party afterwards ... I thought we were having a fine time and my friend was like, 'Listen man, I gotta go. It's nothing personal, I love you but I'm just having a really hard time being around you.'"

The love life of Ezra Miller is ... complicated

There's not a whole lot known about Ezra Miller's dating life. He's been linked to a number of rumored A-listers, including Shailene Woodley and Zoe Kravtiz, and he famously told Out in 2012 that he's "queer" and "very much in love with no one in particular." At the time, Miller believed that people his age didn't have the tools to be in responsible monogamous relationships, which could be why he turned to an unconventional dating style. Years later, it still seems to be working for him.

In 2018, the star dove deep into his dating life with Playboy, claiming he was in a "polycule," which the outlet described as "a portmanteau of 'polyamorous molecule.'" In simpler terms, this is basically just Miller's group of concurrent romantic partners. These people included his band Sons of an Illustrious Father and, essentially, anyone else he votes in — but the criteria for entry is strict.

"I'm trying to find queer beings who understand me as a queer being off the bat, who I make almost a familial connection with, and I feel like I'm married to them 25 lifetimes ago from the moment we meet," he told Playboy. "And then they are in the squad — the polycule. And I know they're going to love everyone else in the polycule because we're in the polycule, and we love each other so much." Whatever floats your boat, but do the other members get to choose, too?

How does Ezra Miller really feel about working with Johnny Depp?

Ezra Miller wasn't just a controversial character in the Harry Potter universe (seriously, Albus Dumbledore having a brother certainly raised some questions). He also drummed up controversy when he seemingly took a shot at the Fantastic Beasts casting department in a 2018 Playboy interview.

A year prior, Crimes of Grindelwald came under fire for casting Johnny Depp in a prominent role. At the time, Amber Heard had publicly accused the star of domestic abuse as the pair went through a brutal divorce. The actor, of course, denied the allegations, and according to Playboy, Harry Potter creator J.K. Rowling defended the casting decision, claiming Heard and Depp had a desire to "move forward." At the time of this writing, the scandal is still kicking, and Depp is pursuing a defamation suit against Heard, according to Variety.

Based on the Playboy interview — and Miller's previous outspokenness about the #MeToo movement — it doesn't seem like he wanted to be involved in this sort of scandal. Playboy claimed that the star was "uncharacteristically stymied by" questions about Depp even though he had "absolutely no problem" giving his opinion on any other topic. The star ultimately threw some unspecific shade, claiming "none of [the cast] were consulted" about Depp's involvement. He also rather vaguely stated, "I would say that literally every single aspect of my reality, inclusive of a lot of things that are not fine with me, are fine with me." Okay.   

Noise complaint, anyone?

Ezra Miller has pretty much avoided most of the scandalous tropes of young Hollywood. Well, disregarding the whole pot arrest thing. While he was filming The Perks of Being a Wallflower, one of the shadiest things he did was participate in a wholesome dance party with his cast mates. Somehow, this turned out to be a problem — and it's not even Footloose!

In an interview with the Daily Beast, Miller admitted he went on a "mischievous bonding trip" with his Perks co-stars Emma Watson and Logan Lerman. This turned into some good, ol' teenage debauchery, and the group ran around parking lots in the Pittsburgh, Pa. suburbs "screaming at the top of their lungs." It was a typical suburban high school experience, but things turned sour when they went back to the hotel for a late night, '90s dance party inspired by the Perks movie soundtrack. Not everyone is a fan of '90s jams blasting through a hotel wall.

"We had a four-hour music session 'til 5 in the morning and got a bit of a chastising the next day because a family checked out of the hotel in a hot rage," he told the outlet. Clearly, those people didn't appreciate the gift of being awoken by the sweet voice of Emma Watson rocking out in the early morning. Maybe mind the neighbors, next time. Hotel walls are thin.

The Cannes Film Festival was a formative experience for some child actors who met Ezra Miller there

Much like annoying hotel neighbors by singing to '90s songs a little bit too loud, Ezra Miller's past minor indiscretions seem largely unintentional. The star inadvertently corrupted the innocent children of Moonrise Kingdom at his third Cannes Film Festival in 2012. Hey, it's show-biz. It was only a matter of time.

According to Vulture, Miller — who won the Chopard Trophy for emerging talent alongside Shailene Woodley — was only trying to pay a compliment to Jared Gilman, the lead child actor in the Wes Anderson flick, when he approached the cast outside of a theater and accidentally started cursing like a sailor.

"I was so excited about their performances that I accidentally just kept spewing profanities. I was like, 'Great performances. Great f***ing job!' [Covering his mouth] 'Oh s**t! Oh f**k! I'm so f***ing sorry," he said. "I just immediately played into the role of film as something that corrupts children, which I felt bad about." 

Miller was just 14 years old when he first attended Cannes for his role in Afterschool, so he should know a thing or two about being a kid in a grown up world.

Why did Ezra Miller shun Hollywood?

Ezra Miller has reached the type of fame that most actors dream of: he's starring in a DC Comics film. That's just about as good as it gets, yet the star still rejects the notion of Hollywood and his rising celebrity status despite all of his success. Unlike most A-listers, Miller has no personal social media accounts, though his band has a Facebook and Instagram. According to The Hollywood Reporter, the star doesn't reside in Los Angeles, either. For that matter, he doesn't even live in a glamorous city like New York or London. He's so far removed from Tinsel Town that he's living on a farm in an area of Vermont where he spent summer vacations as a child.

Part of the star's cynicism about Hollywood likely has to do with his own painful #MeToo experience, so you can't really blame him. He bravely shared the incident with THR, though he didn't call out the director and producer by name. "They gave me wine and I was underaged," he said. "They were like, 'Hey, want to be in our movie about gay revolution?' And I was like, 'No, you guys are monsters.' It's a great f***ing age of being like, 'You know what? That s***'s unacceptable,' And it's amazing for a lot of us to watch. 'Cause, like, we all knew it was unacceptable when we f***ing survived it. That's what Hollywood is. I thought we all knew we were sex workers."

A seriously bizarre dream led Ezra Miller to drop out of school

As a teen, it seems like Ezra Miller flippantly made one of the most important decisions of his life: he dropped out of school completely on a whim. Thankfully, the entire thing worked out, but if it were our parents, we'd probably be grounded for the rest of our lives. Speaking with both ShortList and New York Magazine about the decision, the actor admitted he dropped out of his junior year at Hoboken's Hudson School because of a dream involving Beethoven — the composer, not the dog from the 90s flick, although wouldn't that have been amazing? Anyway, the whole thing was extremely serious to the star (in what he describes as his "highly energised, romanticised brain") and it gave him a "burning sense of purpose to make art."

In Miller's dream, Beethoven was crying about how he felt none of his symphonies were any good. Miller encouraged him to write five more. There was also some sort of zombie apocalypse happening, and Miller "woke up in a cold sweat" with the strong sense that he had to drop out.

"I think [the dream is] about how it's the responsibility of every artist to make sacrifices and seemingly irrational decisions in order to carve out their little pebble of work to put on the big, like, art kingdom that everyone's been building for so long," he told New York Magazine.

Ezra Miller's Comic-Con kiss

Remember when Katy Perry made her own shady headlines for giving a 19-year-old American Idol contestant his first kiss on the show? At the time, it was a massive scandal — especially when the The New York Times reported that the hopeful contestant was "a tad bit uncomfortable" — but Ezra Miller had a similar incident that seemingly flew under the radar.

In a 2017 video from Comic-Con (via TMZ), Miller — who seemed a bit plastered in our opinion — was asked by a fan if he was drunk. The star then pleaded his case that The Flash couldn't possibly get drunk because his metabolism was so, well, fast. The fan subsequently asked if he could smell Miller's breath as proof, and that's when Miller planted a big, fat kiss on the man's lips. The crowd cheered, and the man was left absolutely stunned as Miller continued to repeatedly kiss his face. Miller then asked, "How'd it smell?" before walking away.

According to The Forward, the kiss at least looked consensual "based on the fan's non-verbal cues," but it's shocking nonetheless. Who goes around kissing fans without asking first?

What is Ezra Miller smoking?

Ezra Miller likes weed. That's something he's made abundantly clear. He even smoked up a journalist who was profiling him for Playboy and lit a spliff during an interview with The Hollywood Reporter. It almost seems like a requirement in order for the star to give a solid interview, and that's before we bring in his past pot arrest. What we didn't previously know was that Miller has a history of rather bizarre experimentation with substances.

When Miller was 14 years old, he landed his first film role in Afterschool, and he was already an avid smoker at the time, according to New York Magazine. "I would smoke anything back then, man!" he told the publication. "Dried bananas, you know, orange peels. Anything that burns, essentially. Tea used to be not for drinking."

During this time, Miller was already surprisingly comfortable with his sexuality, too. New York Magazine reveals that he "wasn't a virgin" and struggled to be awkward in Afterschool's sex scenes — but let's go back to that smoking thing. Can anyone explain the logic behind rolling a cigarette filled with Lipton?

Did Ezra Miller assault a fan?

Along with his work as an advocate for the LGBTQ community, Ezra Miller has been an outspoken member and supporter of the #MeToo and #TimesUp movements. This made it all the more shocking when the actor — who is known for doing so much good — hit headlines for doing something that looked really, really bad. In April 2020, the star cast himself as the villain when a video surfaced on Twitter that depicted the Justice League star seemingly choke-slamming a woman.

According to Variety, the incident went down around 6 p.m. after Miller was approached by a group of "pushy" fans at a bar in Reykjavik, Iceland called Prikið Kaffihús. In the video, a woman gears up for what looks like a play fight. Miller appears to ask, "Did you want to fight?" before grabbing the woman by the throat and pushing her to the ground as an onlooker yells, "Whoa, bro. Bro!"

While it's impossible to tell if Miller was joking from the video, Variety's source claimed it was a "serious altercation," and the actor was escorted off the premises. According to ET Canada, the video was originally posted on Reddit, where someone who claimed to be at the scene alleged that Miller spit on them and staff members, showed them scars from previous fights, and stood outside for "at least 10 minutes" barefoot while bouncers waited for the cops. At the time of this writing, Miller has yet to publicly comment.