CITRUS COUNTY, Fla. — Way before Miles Teller took to the skies in Top Gun: Maverick, he learned his acting craft at Lecanto High School.
But how does a kid from Citrus County make it to starring in the Top Gun sequel with Tom Cruise? Teller said he got his start, thanks to a great teacher.
“I had a really great high school drama teacher," he said. "Her name was Beth Bedee. Even as a teenager I felt she was preparing me to college for which I did. And then professional."
ABC Action News spoke to Teller back at the 2020 Super Bowl in Miami. However, the COVID-19 pandemic forced the movie to be delayed for two years.
Now, it’s finally hitting theaters this week and the teacher Teller’s attributed his success to is is excited to see it.
“I grew up on Top Gun," Bedee said. "I have to show my daughters the original movie so they can totally get what Maverick is about."
Bedee still teaches acting in Citrus County and recalled Teller had the ‘it factor' from the beginning.
“He’s given me a lot of credit and I thank him for that," she said. "That’s been very generous. I’ll accept that but I think that he has a god-given talent. I just gave him the opportunity to display it. And he ran with it."
Teller has starred in Whiplash which was nominated for Best Picture, the Divergent Series and many other movies.
But nothing as big as Top Gun.
“Such an iconic movie," Teller said. "I’m playing the son of such an iconic character. People still for Halloween are dressing up as Maverick and Goose, so big shoes to fill. But, Tom wasn’t going to make a sequel to this movie unless he did it absolutely right. And I think that’s what he did man. It’s for real. No green screen. It was a lot of work."
Teller has returned to Citrus County and met with drama students. He said he’s proud of where he comes from and his teacher said she’s proud of where he’s going
“Here I am watching him in London at the premiere of Top Gun, shaking hands with the future King of England," Teller said. "That was like wow to me and paling around with Tom Cruise."
Top Gun: Maverick hit theaters nationwide this week.