‘Joe Bell’ Interview: Reid Miller On the Challenge of Playing Real-Life Bullied Teen Jadin Bell

It can’t be easy to star in your first major film under any circumstances. But to also portray a real-life figure such as Jadin Bell, whose suicide in 2013 brought attention to the impact of bullying on members of the LGBTQ community, the challenge was even greater. By all accounts, rising star Reid Miller met that challenge in Joe Bell, breathing life into the film and becoming its emotional heart.

I had the pleasure of talking with Reid Miller about his performance in Joe Bell, in which he stars alongside Mark Wahlberg and Connie Britton. The film is about Jadin’s father, Joe, who goes on a cross-country journey fueled by grief, in hopes of preventing the spread of hate that ultimately killed his son. Reid talked about his own bullying experiences, and how that informed his portrayal of Jadin. We also discussed working alongside Wahlberg and his hope of making an action movie with him someday in the future.

Joe Bell opens in theaters on July 23rd. You can check out my review here and the interview below!

Travis Hopson has been reviewing movies before he even knew there was such a thing. Having grown up on a combination of bad '80s movies, pro wrestling, comic books, and hip-hop, Travis is uniquely positioned to geek out on just about everything under the sun. A vampire who walks during the day and refuses to sleep, Travis is the co-creator and lead writer for Punch Drunk Critics. He is also a contributor to Good Morning Washington, WBAL Morning News, and WETA Around Town. In the five minutes a day he's not working, Travis is also a voice actor, podcaster, and Twitch gamer. Travis is a voting member of the Critics Choice Association (CCA), Washington DC Area Film Critics Association (WAFCA), and Late Night programmer for the Lakefront Film Festival.