LOS ANGELES - Miles Teller may have picked up a diverse and interesting array of film projects, but you could argue they're all keeping him in shape.

For "Whiplash," out in theaters Friday, Teller would practice drums for hours every day for weeks in preparation for the film, literally playing opposite of J.K. Simmons.

He took on stunts for his forthcoming lead role in "Fantastic Four," as Mr. Fantastic.

And for biopic "Bleed For This," like in his prep for "Whiplash," Teller literally bleeds, to play boxer Vinnie Panzienza.

"Drumming is physically tiring, but boxing, youre looking at some of the most conditioned athletes in the world," Teller said in our recent interview. Shooting for "Bleed" starts in November, and the 27-year-old actor already found some philosophy to it, how "anybody can throw a better punch, but your heart and desire -- that's all you."

Teller told HitFix about his biggest professional desires, and keeping them in check: In "Whiplash," his character Andrew works hard to try and become one of the greatest jazz drummers in the world. In Hollywood, "thankfully and luckily," Teller's landed in some intense, award-garnering projects, but "one of the first things I got really close on was 'The Descendents,'" which would have put him across, again, from "Divergent" and "Spectacular Now" cohort Shailene Woodley. "I met with Alexander Payne and auditioned for him... They said I was their 'California choice' for it. Then they went to new york and found somebody else."

Watch the rest of our interview above, on the skills for "Fantastic Four" versus "Whiplash,"  why Teller will "never be able to be thinking about a movie objectively" again, and what it'll take for him to be in a "jump off a building, shooting people in the face" kind of film.

"Whiplash" is directed by Damien Chazelle and made its debut at the 2014 Sundance Film Festival early this year. It hits theaters Friday (Oct. 10).

After five years as a columnist and editor at Billboard, Katie Hasty joined HitFix in 2009 for music and film reporting out of New York. The Midwest native has worked as a writer, music promoter and in A&R since 1999 and performs with her band Numbers And Letters.