The 27-year-old actor portrays Andrew Neiman, a drum prodigy under the tutelage of maestro Terence Fletcher (J.K. Simmons) at a prestigious school for music. Neiman hopes to become a jazz great, and is subject to Fletcher's harsh methods of instruction. The film questions how far a teacher is allowed to go to bring out the best in a student, and addresses the consequences of such methods.
The film is written and directed by Damien Chazelle, and co-stars Melissa Benoist, Austin Stowell, Jayson Blair and Kavita Patil. The movie opened the 2014 Sundance Film Festival to rave reviews, and will be screened at the 2014 Toronto International Film Festival in September. Whiplash opens in theaters October 10.
Teller is known for his role in The Spectacular Now, and also starred as Peter in Divergent. The actor is scheduled to appear in Two Night Stand in August, and Insurgent, The Fantastic Four, Bleed for This and La La Land in 2015.