Miles Teller Talks 'Insurgent' Character Development & Throwing Knives

If you are ready to see Miles Teller get punched in the face, Insurgent is the movie for you. In it, he plays the self-serving all-around a-hole Peter, who in Divergent did everything in his power to kill Tris (Shailene Woodley) and in this film repeats some of those patterns, but has a brief moment of altruism that benefits our protagonists.

When Screen Rant sat down with Teller recently to talk about the film, we focused on his character's one redeeming moment, whether or not he's picked up any new movie skills in addition to the knife-throwing he learned for the first movie and laughed out loud when he completely shut down and shook his head at our mere mention of the words 'fantastic' and 'four.'

Peter in this, I was so glad to have a moment where you like him in this.

It's good, right?

It is. When you first took on the character, what did you want his arc to be and what are you happy that you get to play?

Well I think you're fighting to make him likable, especially in the first one. And then I remember I was having a hard time, I beat up Shailene, I beat up Tris in the first one, so I said, 'That's tough, man. You're beating up a girl.' And they said, 'Well that's the world.' I said, 'Alright.' And then I stabbed someone in the eye with a butter knife just so that I make sure I'm not eliminated from this Dauntless world and that was kind of hard to make him redeeming but in this one you get to see a little more of his complexities. Obviously he has motives, his biggest motive is to save himself and in this movie you see him for the first time think about somebody else and try to pay them back or return the favor and he's really an integral alliance for Tris in this film.

Miles Teller in Fantastic Four (2015)
Miles Teller in 'Fantastic Four'

I'm always fascinated from the outside-looking-in when actors get to learn skills, especially for fight sequences. Is there one thing you got to do as Peter that you're excited to have on your résumé?

Yeah throwing knives. For the first one we had a whole boot camp of stuff, this one there is not as much because this one we're out of that whole Dauntless training and we're just kind of doing our thing. But in the first one we got to throw knives and do a little gun tactical work which was cool and some basic fight training which was fun.

Any of those skills translate for Fantastic Four?

[Breaks eye contact, looks down and shakes his head] That's a whole other thing. I haven't seen anything [any footage], just that trailer.


The Divergent Series: Insurgent opens March 20, 2015.

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