Wentworth MillerSource Your high quality source for Wentworth
11 May 2008   1 Comment

Wentworth Miller is best known for his role as Michael Scofield in the TV series Prison Break. Born to American parents in Oxfordshire in 1972, he returned to New York at the age of one. After graduating from Princeton he worked as a production assistant before breaking into TV. He is single and lives alone in Los Angeles.

I gotta bust out of this sex symbol jail

A gaggle of teenage girls stands outside the George V hotel in Paris. They are clutching pens, notebooks and photographs of themselves and look like they could use a shower. I ask them how long they have been waiting but rather than answer they dissolve into giggles and shout questions of their own: “Have you met him?”; “What is he like?”; “What room number?”.

The person they are waiting for is Wentworth Miller, star of the hit series Prison Break and the first television actor to attain sex symbol status since George Clooney put on his stethoscope in ER.

For those who haven’t followed the plot with more twists than an Elvis rendition of Jailhouse Rock, the action centres on Miller’s character, Michael Scofield, trying to clear his brother of a crime he didn’t commit. The first series showed the pair incarcerated and escaping, the second showed them on the run from a mysterious government agency and the third has them back in jail, this time in Panama.

The show has grown from cult favourite to mainstream hit and made stars of its ensemble cast, but in his Parisian hotel room Miller doesn’t seem too happy. He says he has a cold and is hoarse from giving a radio interview earlier in the day. His shaved head is drooped low and his speech is barely audible and punctuated with long, intense pauses.

Has he met his female friends outside? “The whole sex-symbol angle isn’t something that I expected from the series,” he says flatly. What? Even when his character flaunts a full-body tattoo of the escape route, ensuring extensive bare-torso footage? “Well, when it first started . . . I mean, it is about two prisoners – that’s not the most attractive place to be seen in. I like the fans but I still find it awkward and odd if people come up and introduce themselves.”

Miller, 35, is a latecomer to fame. Before PB (as fans know it) he was a jobbing actor with parts such as a student who turned into a sea monster in an early episode of Buffy the Vampire Slayer. To make ends meet he also worked behind the scenes in production companies, while living alone in a small flat in Los Angeles. “I had been auditioning on and off for four or five years,” he says. “It is a challenging business, especially when you are out of work, as I was sometimes; you wake up at 2am thinking, ‘I am never going to get another job.’ But I had nowhere else to turn; you have to stick it out.”

In 2005, just when he had almost resigned himself to a career on the sidelines, he was put up for a TV series about a group of cons. “I was the very last person they auditioned for the part,” he says. “I got the script on Friday and auditioned on the Monday, had a call-back on Tuesday night – and they were shooting a pilot the following Wednesday in Chicago.”

The location meant commuting between LA and Chicago, and it was while on the road that Miller got his first taste of fame. “On one of my cross-country trips back to LA I was going at around 75mph and was pulled over by a traffic cop. I put my hands up straight away and didn’t try to work the Hollywood angle but he knew me, said his wife was a huge fan and sent me on my way with a warning.

“That was in direct contrast to my trip from LA to Chicago before the series was shown: I was pulled over for doing 80mph and got a ticket. There was no card to play.”

At the time, he was driving an old Mercedes 300 CD. Today he drives a Toyota Highlander hybrid, although he isn’t sold on the green agenda. “A friend of mine says the whole eco thing is just a cover story – it’s not about saving the planet; it’s about saving our asses: the Earth will be fine.”

Despite his all-American looks, Miller has a British passport and was born in Chipping Norton while his father was a Rhodes scholar at Oxford. Neither his mother, a teacher, nor his father, a lawyer, was particularly happy with his decision to pursue a career in acting. “All the emphasis was on a good education, and then I went to Princeton, which was an excellent university but a very conservative one. It was thought that acting was more of a hobby, not a career, and I should put that sort of thing aside on graduating and go to med school or law school or Wall Street.”

Instead, after graduating with a degree in English literature, he got in an old Toyota Cressida and struck out for LA. “That initial trip was five or six days. I hadn’t driven that much before so there I was with a change of clothes and a tennis racket and a bottle of water in the spare seat to spritz myself down with because the air-con was broken. I felt like I was leaving and shutting the door behind me and not sure what was beyond the next bend.”

Now, as filming of the fourth series of his show gets under way, Miller is plotting to break out of TV and into movies. “The danger is that you get trapped in a box, season after season. You need to start working yourself out of that box and reinventing yourself. I am looking forward to that – [but] at least I am not worrying about my rent.”

Notwithstanding the French teens guarding the hotel doors, it may be his toughest escape yet. “The movie offers I get involve a government conspiracy or a character who is in prison,” he says wearily. “Or someone who is going to prison or has just got out of prison.”

My stuff…

On my CD changer This Is Spinal Tap, the soundtrack to the “rockumentary”

On my DVD player The Shining, with Jack Nicholson

In my parking space A Toyota Highlander hybrid

I would never throw away My iPhone

Source: http://www.timesonline.co.uk/

  • leslie
    Posted on May 17, 2008

    your a good actor i admire your work

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