“Spider’s Head,” which premieres June 17 on Netflix, is very different from director Joseph Kosinski’s latest film, “Best Shooter: Maverick.” But one thing they certainly have in common is Miles Teller as a headliner. However, in the new Netflix sci-fi thriller, he plays a prisoner who is unlucky, not a promising Navy pilot. The audience joins his character Jeff on a dark and winding path, where he is accompanied by film partners Chris Hemsworth and Jerny Smollett.
Based on George Saunders’ short story “Escape from the Spider’s Head”, first published in the New Yorker magazine in 2010, the action of the Spider’s Head takes place in a mysterious prison where metal bars are used for scientific experiments. Hemsworth plays Steve Abnes, a charming department head who makes prisoners feel at home until his requests start to get too intimidating. While Jeff is coping with the additional burden on his conscience after the experiments, the only light he finds in the dark is his cellmate Lizzie (Smollett).
Link: Hemsworth and Teller bring up an intriguing thriller in the movie “Spider’s Head”.
Screen Rant talked to Teller about what makes him return to projects with director Joseph Kosinski, how he sees the blossoming relationship between the characters Jeff and Lizzie and what attracts him in various roles.
Screen Rant: It’s quite obvious that you like working with Joe Kosinki, or it’s a very strange hostage situation. Can you tell us about the process of your cooperation with him?
Miles Teller: Joe is just a person I respect a lot. Visually, I think he’s one of the best directors working right now. I think it always makes an actor’s job easier. When you know that the worlds will be so interesting, it makes your job easier.
Speaking of entertainment, this story has so many points of view, even from an ethical point of view. Have you caught yourself thinking, what would you do if you were in Jeff and Lizzie’s place?
Miles Teller: I think so. Yeah, a lot of times you’re like, “This is so confusing.” You feel dirty, you feel used, you feel manipulated — you feel all these things, and I think these are some of the worst feelings you can experience.
100%, I think that’s why George Saunders is such a great writer and why science fiction is so well suited for the audience and the screen. Because it represents a slightly altered reality or a parallel universe. But yes, it makes you think, and it makes you feel.
I like Jeff and Lizzie’s relationship and the dynamic between you and Jerny. Can you tell me about working with her and what he sees in her?
Miles Teller: I also really liked this relationship. Because when you think about these two characters who are very careful and don’t think they deserve certain things. They feel that there will always be a hole, and something they are trying to live with and struggle with.
Look, it’s a tough environment for two people to meet. The fact that they really know how to find solace in each other and be the most trusted person; to be the person with whom they can really talk? It’s strong, and ultimately it’s what helps them get through it. I don’t think they could have done it without the second one.
Absolutely. You always choose really interesting projects, as well as very eclectic projects. What attracts you to these different roles?
Miles Teller: This is a balanced approach based on several things.
I think it all starts, first of all, with the script. It’s a very directorial tool. So if you can work with a great director, consider yourself lucky because you are in good hands. And actors and all that. But, yes, it’s really about the script.
You also have to think about what this experience will turn into, because you have been living with this character for many months. There are certain places above your head that are more difficult than others. But I think, in the end, I just want to do projects where people feel something. I am very emotionally drawn to projects; it really tends to be a connection that I have.
Summary of the film “Spider’s Head”
Two prisoners establish a bond while struggling with their past in an ultra-modern prison run by a brilliant visionary who experiments with his subjects with mind-altering drugs.
Also check out our interview with Spiderhead composer Joseph Trapanese.