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Fantastic Beasts star Ezra Miller says Harry Potter helped him deal with homophobic bullying

2016-11-21
Fantastic Beasts star Ezra Miller has revealed that he found comfort in the wizarding world of Harry Potter during his own "painful" years of bullying as an adolescent. The 24-year-old actor, who stars as the mysterious and troubled Credence Barebone in JK Rowling's new Potter spin-off series, told WENN that the author's iconic book series helped him find the "good in the world" after his growing desire to kiss boys as a teenager left him feeling "ostracised" from his peers. "I was teased as a youngster with strange interests, with a speech impediment. I was an easy target," admitted Miller, who came out in 2012 and who identifies as queer. "Also, 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 ostracised 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." He continued: "It was a bit of a sad time in my life but you do what you have to do to get through times that are hard." "And to have a resource like these [Harry Potter] stories that remind you of what’s good in the world and in yourself, it was helpful to me in many ways I can’t fully understand." After rising to prominence as the titular character of dark psychological dram We Need to Talk About Kevin in 2011, Miller went on to appear opposite Harry Potter star Emma Watson in 2012 romantic teen drama The Perks of Being a Wallflower, in which he played gay high school student Patrick. The New Jersey native - who became openly queer man to front a superhero film when he was cast as The Flash in upcoming DC Comics blockbuster Justice League - revealed last week that he "never" considered hiding his sexuality to get ahead in Hollywood. "Maybe it sounds cheesy, but I just wanted to realise my true self," he said. Fantastic Beast and Where to Find Them is in cinemas now - read our review here. More stories: Review | Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them 11 pictures that prove why Ricky Martin and fiancé  Jwan Yosef are total #RelationshipGoals