Ezra Miller: “Art Is the Only Thing That I Have”
Miller, an advocate for LGBTQ+ visibility and mental health promotion, took his Playboy photoshoot as an opportunity to make a statement about nonconformity and individualism.
There’s an importance to the application of ideologies of freedom in how you secure space for non-conformity and to enforce individualism, to be the person who you are.
His self-selected attire for the shoot, which included fishnets, high heels, bunny ears, and more, reflected this statement.
According to Miller, a teacher he had in kindergarten led him to art.
I started singing because this woman, my kindergarten music teacher, did a very particular type of witchcraft, which is something a true artist can do to any child who carries a creative energy. Essentially, you just point your wand—which is your finger—at that child, and you say, ‘You are an artist.’
Directing an artist toward art is indeed a magical act. If Miller hadn’t turned to art, not only would the world be deprived of his marvelous music and acting career, but also, his life might have taken a very different path.
Art is the only thing that I have. If I didn’t have art, I’d be so f***ing dead—so long ago, I’d be dead. I probably would have done it myself.
Miller also discussed his experience with abuse.
I’ve survived abuse for sure, for sure, in a lot of capacities, starting from a pretty young age. There was a close friend who I had a sexual relationship with who really, really turned on me in a violent way. So that Perks [of Being a Wallflower] story was pretty close to home for me.
He went on to reference abuse and misconduct in the entertainment industry.
Of course I’ve been in audition situations where sexuality was totally being leveraged. It’s really important to acknowledge the diversity of voices who have experienced this shit, and all genders, all capacities, all types of people. Everyone is victim to it. Everyone is a survivor of it.
Also in the interview, Miller discusses sexuality. He refers to himself as a “sexual being” and refers to his group of sexual partners as the “polycule” – a portmanteau for “polyamorous” and “molecule.”
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. 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.
Miller also makes connections between his own sex life and that of his characters, particularly discussing getting into the role of Credence.
There’s definitely a lot of sexless, lonely time when playing Credence. Absolutely—alone, alone, alone, alone, alone.
So what does Miller have to say about the LGBTQ+ representation in Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald? Unsurprisingly, he trusts Rowling.
Knowing that Jo [Rowling], with that brilliant mind for the ambiguity of people—morally, in terms of how we classify them on a spectrum from good to evil—I knew that she would be interested in exploring.
And what about Johnny Depp’s role in the film? Miller shares his diplomatic thoughts when the Playboy interviewer asks Miller if he is “fine” with working with Depp.
Look, I bring forth my work to this job, and I do the best that I can. 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. It’s amazing how far the banner of all good can extend.
It seems that Miller is always extending his banner for good! We are loving the powerful images and comments in this piece. See the full article and photoshoot here.