Actor Ezra Miller was thrilled to land a role in the Fantastic Beasts films because it gave him the chance to meet J.K. Rowling and thank her for helping him get through his teens.
Like his sad, abused and withered character Credence Barebone in Rowling’s new movies, Ezra put up with his fair share of torment from bullies at school, thanks largely to a speech impediment – and he turned to audio cassettes of the author’s Harry Potter books to cheer himself up.
“I was teased as a youngster with strange interests, with a speech impediment,” he tells WENN. “I was an easy target.
“Also, when I started going through puberty and having confusing feelings about wanting to kiss people – not all of them being girls, there were moments in my life where I felt ostracised from my contemporaries or my peers.
“Those times were very painful but also very formative because they prompt us to step outside of society and to look at the world with fresh eyes, which is why I think so many of our great minds have been ostracised folks and disenfranchised people. In those years of bullying I would come home and listen to Harry Potter for a few to several hours every single day while I ate instant ramen (noodles).”
Miller admits it’s not a time in his life he likes to look back on, but the memories have helped him play some difficult characters, like Barebone.
“It was a bit of a sad time in my life but you do what you have to do to get through times that are hard, and to have a resource like these (Harry Potter) stories that remind you of what’s good in the world and in yourself. It was helpful to me in many ways I can’t fully understand.”
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