Teller’s first and middle names are John and Jane. How do you pronounce his first name, Teller? Jane, John, Teller. He’s from the Bronx. How is he different from the others on the show, Bill Cosby and Melvyn Bragg? They’re not quite as famous. They’re not as well liked as Teller, because Teller is a little different than them. When you watch Teller you really do lose control of yourself because you feel the powerlessness of it all and there’s really nothing else to do.
How is he treated by the other cast members on the show? Is anyone ever a little upset that he’s so popular with kids, that he has to be so self-conscious and cautious and kind of a celebrity? No, nobody on the show ever is upset that he’s such a star. On the other hand, it makes sense in an odd way. If you are a celebrity and a star like this has such a public persona, you’re going to have many public confrontations. If you look at the celebrities from the past, there have to be a few big ones every year, and if no one gets outed, then the rest of them can just live in relative anonymity.
On playing Teller for a year: Teller’s got the world of a young boy, but he’s still this very intelligent guy and he’s also got to deal with a lot of the things of being young — such as his mother and his sister being away at college. It’s so hard to be a 13-year-old and have a mother who’s away for college, so it’s very hard to be a 13-year-old and try to balance school and work. I didn’t find Teller a great teacher. Teller might be a great teacher, I don’t know. I’ve been around enough kids who were good teachers in school who don’t come up on television as being so good.
On working with Robert Wagner: They’re so good together. Wagner is a director, and Teller will write. He also takes care of the actors. Wagner is the director who has most of the credits for the show. He’s worked on a number of the greatest movies, like Annie Hall and The Sound of Music. The director and the actor are such a special thing. There is just such an intimate intimacy.
On making a movie about his life: Teller is very much a storyteller; he’s an
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