Jonny Lee Miller is currently in London, doing a West End play called A Mirror. The play has gotten great reviews and everyone’s like “wow, Jonny should do more stage work.” It’s also a little bit funny to see JLM do so much promotion for this play, much more than he did for The Crown (where he played John Major). Jonny’s latest interview in the Independent is actually the first time he’s addressed Angelina Jolie’s comments that she told Jonny about Harvey Weinstein assaulting her back in the 1990s. Jolie has said, in a couple of interviews, that after Weinstein assaulted her, she told Jonny and some other industry people to stay away from Weinstein.. In 2021, Jolie told the Guardian: “It was beyond a pass, it was something I had to escape. I stayed away and warned people about him. I remember telling Jonny, my first husband, who was great about it, to spread the word to other guys – don’t let girls go alone with him. I was asked to do The Aviator, but I said no because he was involved. I never associated or worked with him again. It was hard for me when Brad did.” Jonny finally spoke about it and he’s also speaking about his twelfth year of sobriety. Some highlights:
He was a nightmare in his 20s: “I was a nightmare! I got sent on all these meetings and auditions, and I was just not good at any of it. God, I had a very embarrassing audition for Baz Luhrmann’s Romeo + Juliet. I didn’t get that I was supposed to be, like, prepared about Shakespeare…. It still makes me cringe. It’s just the way it went down. But here we are. F*** it! It’s whatever, man.”
He flailed around while his friends (Jude Law, Ewan McGregor) became movie stars: “I was young and foolish. I suppose I had a certain amount of arrogance, where I was like… ‘This is bulls***!’ So I ran away from my life and hid in LA for a couple of years, not taking advantage of career opportunities. But that’s just how life is sometimes. I wasn’t really smart about stuff.”
On Angelina Jolie telling him about Harvey Weinstein: “My memory is a bit hazy, but I remember feeling fury. I actually wanted to be more proactive about it, but it was 100 per cent her decision and you have to swallow your male bulls***. I was gonna hire someone to f***ing…” He trails off. “But I didn’t. I had some connections.” I laugh, nervously. Miller does not. And Jolie told him not to? “Yeah. Because it would mean it becomes about you, right? And you wanting to prove how much you care – ‘No one’s going to f***ing do that to my people.’ But what you need to do is listen to your partner. Amazingly, that was the one thing I was able to get right. You know, I was raised by women. I have three sisters. And [Jolie] is a very smart lady. She knows what’s best for her.”
Living with Jude Law in the early days. He says he was the messier of the two – he remembers Law being an early “nester”, someone stylish and resourceful, while he was more scatterbrained. When Miller got Hackers and the pair moved to nicer digs in Primrose Hill, it was Law who carefully boxed up all of his belongings for him while he was overseas filming.
He’s never felt particularly creative. “I’m imaginative, but I’m not creative. My sisters are creative. They can draw and paint. But I don’t, and can’t, and don’t have a desire to. Acting is more observational, I suppose. You’re fulfilling someone else’s vision, so you’re just a small part of it.”
Coparenting his 15-year-old son Buster with his ex Michele Hicks. “Again, it comes back to swallowing your pride. You’ve got to remember who the most important person in any given situation is.” He’s relieved that his son appears to have absolutely no interest in acting. “I think that might be quite healthy. I feel like wanting to express yourself when you’re little might be to do with things not being great at home. You’re wanting to be heard. And mine and Michele’s whole f***ing vibe is that he’s heard.”
He’s more than 12 years sober: During a podcast appearance in December, he said he had spent much of the aftermath of Trainspotting in a haze: he was addicted to heroin for several years, before replacing it with alcohol and cocaine. In 2012, he got sober. “I’d never talked about it for a number of reasons, partly out of worry about getting insured for work. But f*** that, you know? You never know who needs to hear a positive story.” He tells me he’s reluctant to go into too much detail about his struggles today, having already “spilled his guts” on the aforementioned podcast. “But getting sober was the best thing I’ve ever done. Oddly, Elementary came along when I’d been sober for about six months. And honestly it was a gift.”
Before his promotion for this play, I honestly didn’t know that he had spent years addicted to heroin, cocaine and alcohol, nor did I realize that he had started talking about his sobriety in recent months. It adds another layer to his performance and work in Elementary, which is (IMO) one of the best television shows about addiction and recovery, all of it beautifully and movingly acted by JLM. As for what he says about Jolie and Weinstein… from what Jolie has said, she really appreciated the fact that Jonny listened to her and believed her. I wonder if she knew that Jonny had a moment where he was going to organize a hit on Weinstein. And the way he still talks about Angie, never a bad word, full of praise – sob, they need to get back together.
Photos courtesy of Avalon Red.