If you’re a music fanatic like me, you’ll probably have noticed an exceptionally handsome yet mysterious-looking man starring alongside Mariah Carey in her videos for It’s Like That and We Belong Together. Shot consecutively, It’s Like That was the first video to feature the handsome Wentworth Miller. He shows up at the end of a party donning a mask, upsetting the bride-to-be on the night before her wedding, and leaving viewers wondering who the handsome stranger might be.
The answer was to be found in the follow-up video, for We Belong Together. Set on the wedding day, the mysterious stranger is anxiously watching the ceremony from a safe distance, obviously madly in love with Mariah. When she starts walking down the aisle, the look of torment on his face had many people shouting “Don’t do it!!” Then, just before Mariah says “I Do”, she glances to the right and sees the gorgeously distressed Wentworth. She picks up the hems of her excessive wedding dress faster than a prostitute in an old Western-movie and runs to him; the two driving off into the sunset.
Okay, it’s probably not the most original storyboard in music video history, but Mariah got a Grammy nomination for Song of the Year, and the world was enchanted by the striking face of Wentworth Miller. Luckily for us we’ll be seeing much more of Wentworth Miller’s face and body from 24 January once the Golden Globe-nominated Prison Break starts on Mnet.
Born in Chipping Norton in England in 1972 and raised in Brooklyn, the 1.87m tall Wentworth Miller graduated from Princeton with a degree in English. And it’s clear he’s not just a pretty face. According to Miller, he wrote his Thesis “on the idea of doubling and the gender identity construct in Jane Eyre and The Wide Sargasso Sea – which, I guess, is also about identifying yourself; perceiving yourself through the eyes of the dominant white male hierarchy”, he told an interviewer.
After relocating to Los Angeles, he at first pursued a behind-the-scenes career in the entertainment industry, turning an internship into a paying job developing TV movies and burgeoning career. However, it wasn’t long before he developed an urge to be in front of the camera and, according to Miller, when he told his boss that he was going to quite to start acting, she said “…She said ‘I think you’re making a mistake. I think you’ll live to regret it”.
He nearly did, suffering through some financially bleak times. But backed by a committed management team, he landed a series of small roles in which he not only learnt fast but also earned precious attention. Guest roles included appearances in series’ like Buffy The Vampire Slayer, Popular, ER, The Sharon Osbourne Show and Joan of Arcadia. He scored his first starring role in Dinotopia and subsequently had roles in feature films like Underworld (with Kate Beckinsale) and The Human Stain (alongside Anthony Hopkins).
The Mariah Carey videos and his leading role in Prison Break followed, proving that Wentworth Miller is breaking out as one of the USA’s brightest new stars. Prison Break is an acclaimed prison drama that stars the delicious Miller as Michael Scofield, a structural engineer whose brother, Lincoln (played by Dominic Purcell), is convicted of a sensational murder and put on death row.
Convinced of his brother’s innocence and desperate to prove it – mounting evidence against him aside – Michael decides to do something drastic in an attempt to clear his brother’s name. After robbing a bank he is placed in the same prison as Lincoln, armed with the blueprints to the prison and a very elaborate plan to get them both out.
Every week another piece of the puzzle falls into place as Michael masterminds the ultimate prison break and attempts to solve the conspiracy that put his brother there in the first place.
Miller describes the show as, “’…a thriller, but it’s really a family drama … It’s really the story of: How far would one go to save a loved one? And in Michael’s case, it’s to the wall. Each episode will be his resolve and ruthlessness and brilliance running smack into the brick wall that is chance and fate and human nature and all those things you cannot predict or prepare for.”
A standout feature of the role is the character’s almost full body tattoo, something which needed to be applied every day for the shoot. “It takes about four to five hours to apply, if you’ve got two people working on you. It’s a series of decals that fit together like puzzles”. There are two very lucky makeup people out there…
The always expected rumours that Miller might be gay have been doing the rounds since he starred in Mariah’s videos – especially if one believes A Socialite’s Life, a website dedicated to dishing up fresh gossip news. The website reports that he was seen holding hands with another tall-dark-and-handsome man at a party hosted by T-Mobile.
Nevertheless, he has talked in interviews about the pros and cons of dating actresses, and has been seen on the arms of various lovely ladies. But whether he’s gay or not, he remains a spectacularly handsome man. His striking features (which include one green and one hazel eye) stem from his Black, Jamaican, English, German, French, Dutch, Syrian and Lebanese descents. However, it does appear as if his acting talents have not gone by unnoticed either as he was nominated for a Golden Globe this year in the category “Best Actor in a Drama Series”.
Unfortunately Wentworth lost out (along with Patrick Dempsey – Grey’s Anatomy, Matthew Fox – Lost, and Kiefer Sutherland – 24) to Hugh Laurie for House). But he certainly had my vote (with Matthew Fox in a close second position), at least in the looks department.
But this is clearly just the beginning of an interesting career. As Wentworth said in an interview, “The road has been what it’s been and it’s taken me as long as it’s taken to get here and I don’t regret a second. It doesn’t get any better than this.”
Prison Break starts on Tuesday, 24 January 2006 at 20:30 on Mnet.