(L to R) LOGAN LERMAN, EZRA MILLER and EMMA WATSON star in THE PERKS OF BEING A WALLFLOWER Ph: John Bramley © 2011 Summit Entertainment, LLC. All rights reserved.
Updated: October 29, 2012 6:15AM
The perks of being Ezra Miller include a walk in Central Park and a street show that breaks out while he’s on the phone for an interview.
“What more do you want than an entire bus filled with street performing artists?” says Miller in an excited voice. “They’re killing me right now with their talent.”
The same is being said about Miller. He is killing critics with his role as Patrick in “The Perks of Being a Wallflower.” Already there’s Oscar buzz for his role as a teen secure in his sexuality.
“I’m really happy to have played someone who is exuberant, proud and vibrant,” Miller says. “He’s secure in his own happiness and existence. He retains his joy, despite the fact that the other kids give him a hard time and society gives him a hard time.
“You can hold your own defiantly. You can break the rules and cross lines in order to find out what’s true.”
“Perks,” based on the best-selling book by writer-and-now-director Stephen Chbosky, centers on a shy freshman with emotional issues (Logan Lerman), taken under the wings of two seniors (Miller and Emma Watson) as they teach him about life and love.
“We confront real issues that have gone unaddressed in pop culture for a while,” he says. “The reach of issues that are grappled with in the film is immense.”
Miller, 19, a native of Hoboken, N.J., read “Perks” when he was 14. “I loved Patrick from the start,” he says. “He’s not an egomaniac, but he loves himself. He sees his own good and his own worth. He can love and support all the people he values in life in a way that’s honest.”
Miller had the chilling title role in “We Need to Talk About Kevin” (2011), about a troubled high school student who goes on the type of rampage that makes headlines. The role was why he wanted to do “Perks.”
“He was such a hard character that I wanted to play someone who was heartwarming my next time out,” he says with a laugh. “This reinvigorated me toward playing Patrick.”
He began his career training to be an opera singer, but switched to acting.
“My future is all about speculation,” he says, mentioning that he’s also recording a disc with his band. “I’m also just trying to fuse back to my city of New York while I determine my next move. That move usually makes itself painfully clear.”
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