Ezra Miller, star of new Harry Potter spin-off film ‘Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them’, has spoken out about the homophobic bullying he faced as a teen and the fictional boy wizard that helped him cope.
Speaking to WENN, Ezra discussed feeling alienated as a teenager. As a queer youngster, he claims he felt distanced from his peer group and sought comfort listening to Stephen Fry narrate the Harry Potter books.
He said: “I was teased as a youngster with strange interests, with a speech impediment. I was an easy target.”
“When I started going through puberty and having confusing feelings about wanting to kiss people – not all of them being girls, there were moments in my life where I felt ostracized from my contemporaries or my peers.”
“Those times were very painful, but also very formative because they prompt us to step outside of society and to look at the world with fresh eyes, which is why I think so many of our great minds have been ostracised folks and disenfranchised people.”
“In those years of bullying I would come home and listen to Harry Potter for a few to several hours every single day while I ate instant ramen.”
‘Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them’ worked some box office magic on opening weekend, taking an estimated $75m in North American cinemas and in the marking the biggest box office weekend in the UK of 2016 so far.
Some reviewers have said the film is a thinly-veiled metaphor for gay rights, and suggested that this is the latest in writer JK Rowling’s LGBT campaigning.