The "Spectacular Now" actor plays anxious lead Andrew in the music school-based flick, which follows his aspirations to rise from being a good drummer to a great one, under the terror-inducing thumb of ensemble conductor Terence Fletcher (J.K. Simmons).
"It's an exhausting film to watch," Teller told HitFix on the red carpet at Sundance. "My mom's gonna have a hard time watching this one."
Teller said "Whiplash" was filmed in only 19 days, though his jazz training beforehand ought to be tacked on. He posted photos from rehearsals earlier this year of his busted hands, bleeding from blisters from practice.
It seems like a far cry from his forthcoming role in "Divergent," a much bigger-budget film that will almost certainly raise his profile.
"Oh man I'm gonna be such an *sshole after divergent," he joked.
Check out the full interview with Teller above, on the other instruments he's played and his favorite drummer of all time.