Although Wentworth Miller made his first on-screen appearance more than 15 years ago in 1998, he is best known for his role as Michael Scofield on FOX’s popular drama, Prison Break. Michael Scofield, the brother of convicted murderer, Lincoln Burrows, was an incredibly smart and talented structural engineer. When Burrows was sentenced to prison for murdering Terrence Steadman, brother of the United States’ Vice President, Scofield devises a plan to help him escape from prison. As a part of the plan, Scofield himself commits a crime in order to be convicted and gain access to the jail. During the show’s run Michael Scofield became one of TV’s most popular fictional characters and in turn Wentworth Miller became one of the entertainments industry’s most talked about stars. Like his on-screen character, Miller kept a relatively low profile off-screen and fans everywhere were curious about the prime time hunk. However, since Prison Break’s end in 2009, Miller has shared some very interesting information about his personal life. Here are five facts you should know about Wentworth Miller.
5. He has a degree from Princeton.
Wentworth Miller graduated from Princeton University in 1995 with a bachelor’s degree in English Literature. During his junior year at Princeton, Miller found himself in some trouble after publishing a controversial racially charged cartoon in the Daily Princeton which resulted in him being labeled a bigot on campus.
4. He wrote screen plays after Prison Break ended.
Miller always enjoyed writing; but, he claims that “it was at Princeton that I learned to think of myself as not a writer. My freshman fall, I applied to the creative writing program and was promptly hosed. … And with good reason. I don’t remember what I submitted, but I’m sure it wasn’t very good. Anyway, I continued to think of myself as ‘not a writer’ well into my 30s.” However, when FOX’s hit series, Prison Break, ended in 2009, Miller took a hiatus from acting to pursue his interest in writing. Under the pseudonym Ted Foulke, Miller wrote his first script, Stoker, in the four weeks after Prison Break’s end. Miller said that he used a pseudonym because he “wanted the scripts to sink or swim on their own,” and feared that using his real name would affect how his work was received. Stoker, a psychological thriller which starred Nicole Kidman, was released in 2013. The film tells the story of a young girl, India (Mia Wasikowska), whose life takes a tragic turn when her father dies a sudden tragic death, and she is left with her unstable mother (Nicole Kidman). Miller said that the film was heavily inspired and influenced by Alfred Hitchcock’s 1943 film, Shadow of a Doubt. Stoker received mostly positive reviews and was nominated for several awards including a 2014 Saturn Award for Best International Film.
3. He has struggled with depression most of his life.
Wentworth Miller has admitted to struggling with depression for the majority of his life. During an interview he shared that he has found a positive outlet for his feelings. Once a suicidal teen who saw no way out, he is now “part of a group called the ManKind Project. It’s a circle of men I sit in with every week that’s a safe sounding board for whatever’s up for me: good, bad, ugly, really ugly. We know how to respond to someone coming out now—we’ve had that training—but admit you’re sad or that you’ve thought about suicide and people don’t know what to do. With sadness, particularly with men, that conversation is unfamiliar.” Miller also admitted that his feelings of depression also caused him to eat unhealthily and gain weight because he “was looking to food as a fix for something missing inside. It was about putting layers of protection around me.”
2. He is of mixed race ancestry.
Wentworth Miller comes from a very diverse racial and ethnic background. His mother is of Russian, French, Dutch, Syrian, Lebanese, and Swedish descent, while his father is a combination of African-American, Jamaican, English, German, Jewish, and Cherokee ancestry. Although Miller considers himself a “minority” he has described his experiences as a mixed raced person as challenging; however, he notes, “everyone has their challenges. I’m not going to pretend it was any more difficult than being anything else, than having any other kind of attribute that might distinguish a person for ill in the eyes of some. My experience is that I find myself having to constantly define myself to others, day-in, day-out…There is the sense of being between communities and you sometimes wonder if you don’t have to answer to any group or interest, that you’re some sort of racial Lone Ranger, but the flip side of that is that a racial community, functioning at its best, provides not only a sense of identity–that luxury of looking into another’s face and seeing yourself reflected back at you–but a sense of security and support.”
1. He came out as gay in 2013.
After years of denying allegations that he was gay, Wentworth Miller publicly revealed his sexuality in an open letter rejecting his invitation to the St. Petersburg International Film Festival. Miller’s letter stated that “as a gay man” he must decline due to Russia’s very anti-gay sentiments. Miller admitted that during his time on Prison Break he “was feeding a fantasy,” which made him reluctant to come out because he feared that his sexuality would negatively affect his career. However, he has since said that opening up about who he really is has made him “feel more fully expressed.”
(Photo by Kiyoshi Ota/Getty Images)