5 Questions with Wentworth Miller

by Steve Duffy

EDGE Media Network Contributor

Friday February 12, 2016

Wentworth Miller's break-out role was as in the Fox series "Prison Break" in which he played a brilliant engineer who concocts an elaborate plan to free his incarcerated brother, whom he believes was wrongly convicted of a murder. The show ran for five seasons and photos of the strikingly handsome actor with his body covered in tattoos turned him into an Internet meme. Along with his success, though, were gay rumors, which he denied at first, then acknowledged in 2013 in a letter posted on the GLAAD website after turning down an invitation to take part in a Russian film festival in protest towards their government sanctioned discrimination of its LGBT citizens. He wrote that he "cannot in good conscience participate in a celebratory occasion hosted by a country where people like myself are being systematically denied their basic right to live and love openly."

After "Prison Break" ended, he turned to screenwriting, penning under the name of Ted Foulke the screenplay to the well-received indie 2013 thriller "Stoker," loosely suggested by the Hitchcock classic "Shadow of a Doubt." He chose to use a pseudonym because he "just wanted the scripts to sink or swim on their own." The film, which marked the English language debut of South Korean director Park Chan-wook (best-known for "Oldboy"), received mostly good reviews.

Miller returned to acting in the summer of 2014 as in a recurring role as the supervillain Leonard Snart / Captain Cold in CW's "The Flash," a role he's reprising on the network's latest DC Comics-based series "Legends of Tomorrow." The show is a spin-off of the already successful CW DC Comic-based series "Arrow" and "The Flash." If the first few episodes are any indication of the show, then this spinoff series is going to be just as successful as its predecessors.

EDGE caught up with Miller recently for a Q&A.

EDGE: What was it about the role of Captain Cold that had you return to TV?

Wentworth Miller: Initially it wasn't about the role. When I got the offer I'd never even heard of Captain Cold. It was about going back to work after a break from acting. Getting my feet wet. And as far as what I found on the page, when the character was first introduced -- this was back on 'The Flash' -- it didn't resonate with me. I got where the writers were coming from, but their version felt very traditional. Very classic crime boss. A throwback. I'm more interested in Captain Cold as a throw forward. How is he progressive? And progressed? And I've been exploring that in his walk, his talk, his dress. The way he carries himself. I pitched him to the writers as pansexual. I feel confident that if Captain Cold met another superhero or villain with the right combination of smarts, and wit, and badassery, he'd be into them. Their sex or gender would be totally irrelevant.

EDGE: Are there any similarities between you and Leonard Snart/Captain Cold?

Wentworth Miller: If there are similarities, I'm keeping them to myself. When 'Prison Break' was on the air I was constantly being asked if and in what ways I was like my character. And I'd try and outline certain commonalities. But I don't think that's helpful. Ultimately. There are enough fans out there who think of me as 'Michael,' who address me as 'Michael' online and on the street, without me helping to sell the idea that we're the same person. So I'm choosing to handle that question differently this time around.

EDGE: If you have not watched 'Arrow' or 'The Flash' do you need to before watching Legends?

Wentworth Miller: No idea. I don't watch any of these shows. Actually at the moment I'm not watching TV period. Nothing against the medium. I was a big TV watcher not too long ago. But I was using it to check out. Take a break from reality. From my reality specifically. These days I'm looking to be as present in my life as possible.

EDGE: It is time for a gay superhero on TV and who do you think it should be?

Wentworth Miller: I don't know. All of them?

EDGE: After you came out, did you feel that there was a possibly that you may lose your career?

Wentworth Miller: No. At the time I was writing, not acting. So I wasn't worried about missing out on any roles. To be honest, the decision to come out didn't have much to do with Hollywood. My focus was on using my coming out to help draw more attention to Russia's abuse of its LGBTQ community. And to speaking my truth publicly.

For more information on DC's Legends of Tomorrow visit www.cwtv.com and tune in to "Legends of Tomorrow" on Thursdays at 8 p.m. on The CW.