The Tragic Downfall of Ezra Miller: How to Cope When Your Heroes Become Villains
A year ago, Ezra Miller was the “hero” who could do no wrong, and today, their fans have successfully villainized them. In a world infected with constant scandals of late, why have Miller’s actions shocked and disappointed people the most?
Have you ever wondered why most brands out there, no matter how big or small, strive to get an actor and flaunt their respective products via them? Is it because they are famous — it is a part of the bigger answer, but the real reason is how the general public perceives them. More often than not, we are swayed by the kind of projects an actor stars in and paint a picture of how they must be in real life based on the type of characters they play.
So, when they advertise a product, it benefits from the positive perception the general public has of the said actor.
This is even more true when it comes to those who have had the fortune of performing the role of albeit fictional but legendary superheroes on the silver screen. The script-driven self-sacrificing, heroic actions of an actor’s character directly translate into “they can’t do nothing wrong in real life either.” But when they do, it doesn’t take long to catapult their hero status to that of a villain, which is not decided by the severity of their actions but how much they disappointed their fans who saw them as the living embodiment of perfection.
And that’s the story of Hollywood actor Ezra Miller goes whose upcoming DC project, The Flash, has transitioned from being the most anticipated film to a topic that is enough to make people cringe.
The Almost-Epic-Future Ezra Miller Lost
Ezra Miller is an actor of great potential, ever since they made their debut with a breakout performance in 2008’s Afterschool. Their presence on the cinema landscape became all the more noticeable with films like Perks of Being a Wallflower and We Need to Talk About Kevin. But what really put them on the map was a performance in 2016 as DC’s Barry Allen, the fastest man alive in Batman vs Superman.
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The DCEU has been stuck in a vicious cycle of trial and many errors when it comes to picking the right actors to breathe life in its widely-beloved superheroes. The fact that Ezra Miller struck a chord with many DC fans as an instantly likable Barry Allen, aka Flash, was a miracle in itself.
Their likeability factor skyrocketed with 2017’s Justice League — even though the film was thrashed by critics for its thin characters, Miller’s performance was majorly praised and erased any doubts regarding their upcoming solo superhero venture, The Flash.
Ezra Miller and Their Long List of Eyebrow-Raising Controversies and Allegations
Then came 2020, and it all went downhill for the actor whose public image only deteriorated from hereon.
A video (since deleted) of Ezra Miller choking a woman outside a bar and throwing her to the ground surfaced. At the time, the matter didn’t pick up much steam but it did kickstart the formation of a very negative perception when it came to the actor. The debate about whether they are the right choice to be associated with two of the biggest franchises — DCEU and the Fantastic Beasts films — became a sporadic fixture on social media platforms.
But its status soon became permanent as 2022 rolled in and Miller indulged in a string of incidents that more than just raised eyebrows. Since March, the Perks of Being a Wallflower star has been caught between assault charges, restraining orders, getting arrested, having a relationship with a minor, charges of burglary, and running an illegal marijuana operation. According to a Vanity Fair source, Miller saw themselves as “the next Messiah,” and that, “the Freemasons were sending demons out to kill” them.
The list is long and frightening and doesn’t end there with multiple allegations of abuse, grooming, and emotional manipulation of minors.
The actor recently apologized for the concerning behavior exhibited in the past few months, revealing that they are suffering complex health issues, and assured they are “committed to doing the necessary work to get back to a healthy, safe and productive stage in my life.”
To say that fans were alarmed, disappointed, and saddened by Miller’s actions would be the understatement of the decade. The apology itself came too late to do much damage control.
If cinema has taught us anything, it’s that the protagonist is never wrong and can’t do anything remotely inappropriate — they are the hero, they overcome shortcomings, protect others, catch the bad guys, solve the seemingly irreversible crises, and ultimately save the day.
Fans rarely get the chance to meet an actor in real life and get to know what they are truly like, we build celebrities up based on their fictional characterization. But the fact that we tend to over-idolize an actor in turn makes their wrongdoings akin to a major betrayal against how one perceived them.
So, how to overcome this crushing disappointment? By allowing ourselves to realize a truth we refuse to acknowledge…
Ezra Miller Is Not Defined by Their Fictional Portrayals
…and that goes for every actor out there. In a world where people are obsessed with perfection, to fall for a fake construct, to play make-believe that at least someone is above the so-called “flaws,” and is seemingly “perfect” is an alluring choice. The world of fiction has always held a stronger sway compared to real life, which is filled with its fair share of ups and downs.
It is easy to not differentiate between the real and reel life of an actor and believe that their characters, blessed with script-driven plot armor, define their authentic personality.
We have to voluntarily allow ourselves to acknowledge the truth, and choose to not be influenced by our misconceptions. That starts with realizing that actors are only humans — capable of making the worst decisions against their better judgment, committing regrettable actions, and not always making the right choices.
Fiction will forever remain a source of entertainment and a momentary escape from real life. Also, it is totally okay to find inspiration in a made-up character but that doesn’t include projecting their characteristics on the actor who plays them. It would be like setting a course for the Sun and expecting not to be burned to a crisp just because it was shown as a famous tourist spot in some fantasy film.
While Ezra Miller is accountable for their past behavior, we are the ones that put them on a metaphorical pedestal, so the crushing disappointment we undergo in light of their actions is on us.