There have been many powerful coming-out statements, but few as elegant and considered as Miller’s letter this August declining an invitation to be honored at the St. Petersburg International Film Festival. “As someone who has enjoyed visiting Russia in the past and can also claim a degree of Russian ancestry, it would make me happy to say yes. However, as a gay man, I must decline,” Miller wrote to festival director Maria Averbakh.
“Like everyone, I’d been reading reports online about what was happening in Russia,” Miller says. “So when the invitation arrived, I thought, There is no way I can say yes. Then it occurred to me that if I made my response public, it might help draw additional attention to the situation. It felt like the right move at the right time.”
Best known to millions of Americans for his role as Michael Scofield in the hit Fox series Prison Break (for which he was nominated for a Golden Globe in 2006), Miller has since transitioned from acting to writing. He was responsible for the screenplay to this year’s well-received thriller Stoker, starring Nicole Kidman, Matthew Goode, and Mia Wasikowska, and has another screenplay, The Disappointments Room, in development with Voltage Pictures and Christine Vachon’s Killer Films.
Miller took another courageous step in September, appearing at a Seattle event for the Human Rights Campaign, where he opened up about his suicide attempts as a teenager, concluding with a powerful statement of intent: “Let me be to someone else what no one was to me. Let me send a message to that kid, maybe in America, maybe someplace far overseas, maybe somewhere deep inside — a kid who is being targeted at home or at school or in the streets — that someone is watching and listening and caring, that there is an ‘us,’ that there is a ‘we,’ and that kid or teenager or adult is loved and they are not alone.”
Out asked Miller, who praises the Mankind Project for much of his personal growth — “It sounded way out of my comfort zone, but I was looking for a change, shift, growth” — to consider what he might say to his 15-year-old self. Here’s how he replied:
“There are plenty of things I’d say to my 15-year-old self, especially prior to his suicide attempt. However, I’d have things to say to him in the aftermath as well. I remember carrying around deep feelings of shame after I tried to kill myself, feeling like I’d stumbled or failed life’s exam. That I was now ‘damaged goods.’ What I would say to that younger self — what I’d say to anyone who’s walked a similar road — is to focus less on the fact that you nearly ended your life and more on the fact that you survived, that you lived to tell the tale. And then tell it. I’d say, ‘What you think of as scars are medals. They’re badges of honor, testifying to something inside you that is determined and tenacious and enduring.’ That’s why when someone who knows my story approaches me with a ‘poor you’ attitude, my response is, ‘Don’t feel sorry for me. Because I know what it is to be tested. I know what it’s like to be broken and to have to pick myself up again. I know who I am in those moments. And I’m stronger for it.’ There are people out there who have never been tested, who have never been broken, so when life eventually comes for them they can’t say for sure how they’ll respond. Maybe they’ll pick themselves up and maybe they won’t. And my heart goes out to them. Because sooner or later, life comes for everybody.”
D.J. Caruso has signed on to direct The Disappointments Room, a supernatural thriller being produced by Geyer Kosinski of Media Talent Group and Mark Damon of Foresight Unlimited.
Foresight will sell the movie at AFM with Envision Entertainment, PalmStar Media Capital and Merced Media Partners co-financing. Relativity is in final negotiations to pick up domestic distribution.
Kate Beckinsale has the offer to star as a mother who moves her family to a nice Colonial manse in the country. The woman slowly begins to lose her sanity as she learns of the home’s bloody past and is afflicted by visions of a dead girl.
Wentworth Miller, the Prison Break star who wrote Stoker, the Fox Searchlight thriller which starred Mia Wasikowska and Nicole Kidman, penned Disappointments, which will be executive produced by Demarest Films’s Sam Englebardt and William Johnson.
Also executive producing are Foresight’s Tamara Birkemoe, PalmStar’s Kevin Frakes, Merced’s Raj Brinder Singh and Envision’s Remington Chase and Stepan Martirosyan.
Wentworth Miller has revealed he tried to commit suicide at 15-years-old as he struggled to keep his homosexuality a secret.
The 41-year-old actor made the shocking revelations during a speech at the Human Rights Campaign Dinner in Seattle on Saturday night.
He added that his first attempt to kill himself was ‘the first time’ among multiple occasions.
‘Every day was a test and there was a 1000 ways to fail,’ the Prison Break actor told the hushed audience in a video obtained by TMZ.
‘A 1000 ways to betray yourself. to not come up to someone else’s standard as to what was acceptable and what was normal.
‘And when you fail the test, which was guaranteed, there was a price to pay. Emotional, psychological. physical. And like many of you I paid that price.
‘The first time I tried to kill myself, I was 15,’ he added. ‘I waited until my family went away for the weekend. I was alone in the house and I swallowed a bottle of pills.
‘I don’t remember what happened over the next couple of days, but I’m pretty sure come Monday morning, I was on the bus back to school pretending everything was fine.’ (more…)
He made the revelation in a letter declining an invitation to a film festival in Russia.
Prison Break star Wentworth Miller has declined an invitation to the St. Petersburg International Film Festival, saying that as a gay man he disapproves of the Russian government’s crackdown on homosexuals.
Miller had been invited to appear as a guest of honor at the festival. “As a gay man, I must decline,” he said.
The actor, 41, whose sexual orientation has been the subject of speculation in the past, came out in a letter he sent on Wednesday to festival organizers.
Wentworth’s letter, which is posted on GLAAD’s website, thanks festival organizers for an invitation but states “I am deeply troubled by the current attitude toward and treatment of gay men and women by the Russian government.”
“Wentworth’s bold show of support sends a powerful message to LGBT Russians, who are facing extreme violence and persecution: you are not alone,” said a statement from GLAAD representative Wilson Cruz, who is also an actor (My So-Called Life).
Miller’s announcement comes amid international condemnation of Russia’s recent crackdown on homosexuals. Stringent new laws prescribe fines for people accused of spreading “propaganda of non-traditional sexual relations” to minors. Gay pride rallies are banned, as is the adoption of Russian-born children by same-sex couples. And foreign visitors suspected of being gay can now be detained for up to 15 days, which has raised concerns worldwide as Russia prepares to host the 2014 Winter Olympics.