Love, Superheroes, and Staying Humble: Erykah Badu Interviews Ezra Miller
Ezra Miller may be Credence Barebone to most Harry Potter fans, but the actor is beginning a whirlwind press tour for another major franchise: Justice League. Leading up to the film’s release on November 17, Interview spoke with the actor about life, performing, and just about everything else.
Interviewing Ezra for the magazine was singer-songwriter Erykah Badu, and the pair’s conversation first turns to a love they both share: performing (in addition to being an actor, Ezra is also in a band, Sons of an Illustrious Father). One of the first things we learn is that Miller can sing in two tones at once – one of three “superpowers” he reveals to Badu.
I genuinely think I have a hugging superpower. I’m starting to master the transformative hug. I have a strange memory ability. There’s a lot of information that I don’t cognitively know but that seems to rise up at moments of need. That feels like a superpower. Something that nobody knows about me is that I discovered at a young age that I could sing in two tones. I don’t do this in performance because it’s something very special to me. But I’ve learned that it’s a practice that goes back far in time.
The whole interview has an offbeat and joyous feel – somehow, Ezra even manages to turn talking about his Justice League character, the Flash, into a poetic musing on human connectivity, prompted by Badu asking the actor for his definition of love.
[I]f I had to try to sum up love, I’d describe it as connective tissue, as the blood of the universe or the water that runs through all of the cosmos. The Flash’s symbol is a lightning bolt over the heart. If there’s any sort of superpower we desperately need right now, it’s this transcendental force that reminds us of union and connection. I know it sounds a little cheesy and cliché, but I think that superhero stories come from somewhere. We make these aspirational images—whether it be wizards or superheroes— to remind us that we actually have this capacity in ourselves already. I think that electricity can run through disconnected wires, no matter how broken and mangled they are. Superheroes, every single one of them, come from the world of imagination, and they’re played by humans, they’re written by humans, and it’s in the belief that we invest in these characters that they come to life.
He also shares some thoughts on the importance of humility in an industry that tends to glorify its heroes, keeping in mind that the real joys of acting are not in fame but in connecting with other people.
The most important part of my practice as an artist has been remembering to stay humble. There is so much hurt, so much sorrow, so much pain in the world, and I think when you’re born and bred into privilege, it’s easier to have a closed perspective on things. But there’s this opportunity that’s open to all of us to let empathy connect us back to one another.
Be sure to read the full interview – and see the rest of Interview‘s striking photo shoot – right here!