Adam Driver

From Wikipedia the free encyclopedia

Adam Driver
Adam Driver attending the Japan premiere of 'Star Wars: The Last Jedi' in 2017
Driver at the Tokyo premiere of Star Wars: The Last Jedi in 2017
Born
Adam Douglas Driver

(1983-11-19) November 19, 1983 (age 40)
Alma mater
OccupationActor
Years active2009–present
Spouse
Joanne Tucker
(m. 2013)
Children2
RelativesHenry Tucker (grandfather-in-law)
AwardsFull list
Military career
Allegiance United States
Service/branch United States Marine Corps
RankLance corporal

Adam Douglas Driver (born November 19, 1983) is an American actor. Recognized for his collaborations with auteur filmmakers, he is the recipient of various accolades, including nominations for two Academy Awards, four Primetime Emmy Awards, and a Tony Award.

Driver made his Broadway debut in Mrs. Warren's Profession (2010) and subsequently appeared in Man and Boy (2011). He rose to prominence with a supporting role in the HBO series Girls (2012–2017), for which he received three consecutive Primetime Emmy nominations. He began his film career in supporting roles in Lincoln (2012), Frances Ha (2012) and Inside Llewyn Davis (2013). He won the Volpi Cup for Best Actor for a leading role in Hungry Hearts (2014).

Driver gained wider recognition for playing Kylo Ren in the Star Wars sequel trilogy (2015–2019). He played a poet in Paterson (2016), and had supporting roles in the religious epic Silence (2016) and the heist comedy Logan Lucky (2017). In 2019, he returned to the stage in the Broadway revival of Burn This, for which he was nominated for the Tony Award for Best Actor in a Play. He garnered consecutive Academy Award nominations: Best Supporting Actor for BlacKkKlansman (2018) and Best Actor for Marriage Story (2019).[1] He has since starred in Ridley Scott's 2021 period films The Last Duel and House of Gucci, and played Enzo Ferrari in Michael Mann’s biopic Ferrari (2023).[2]

Driver is a veteran of the U.S. Marine Corps.[3][4] He also was the founder of Arts in the Armed Forces, a non-profit that provided free arts programming to American active-duty service members, veterans, military support staff, and their families worldwide.[5]

Early life

[edit]
Driver as a U.S. Marine in 2002

Driver was born on November 19, 1983,[6] in Fontana, California,[7] the son of Nancy Wright (née Needham), a paralegal, and Joe Douglas Driver.[8][9] Director Terry Gilliam has claimed that Driver has Native American ancestry,[10] though Driver has no known Native American ancestors. His father's family is from Arkansas, and his mother's family is from Indiana. His stepfather, Rodney G. Wright, is a minister at a Baptist church.[11][12] After he was born his family immediately moved to San Diego where he lived until he was seven years old. Driver then moved with his older sister and mother to his mother's hometown Mishawaka, Indiana, where he graduated from Mishawaka High School in 2001.[13][14] Driver was raised Baptist, and sang in the choir at church.[15]

Driver has described his teenage self as a "misfit"; he told M Magazine that he climbed radio towers, set objects on fire, and co-founded a fight club with friends, inspired by the 1999 film Fight Club.[16] Throughout high school, he was active in choir and theater, participating in school productions of How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying, Into the Woods, and Guys and Dolls.[17] He applied to The Juilliard School for drama knowing that they would not look at his grades from high school, but was not accepted.[18] After high school, he worked as a door-to-door salesman selling Kirby vacuum cleaners and as a telemarketer for a basement waterproofing company and Ben Franklin Construction.[19]

When Driver was eighteen he attempted to start his acting career in Los Angeles, leaving Indiana by car and breaking down in Amarillo, Texas. He spent his money repairing his car only to make it to Santa Monica where he lived in a hostel for 48 hours and was scammed by a real estate agent he paid to find him an apartment. He realized he did not have enough money to live, returning to Indiana after only a week away from home.[20]

Shortly after the September 11 attacks, Driver enlisted in the United States Marine Corps.[6] He was assigned to Weapons Company, 1st Battalion, 1st Marines as an 81mm mortar man.[21] He served for two years and eight months before fracturing his sternum while mountain biking.[22] He was medically discharged with the rank of Lance Corporal.

Subsequently, Driver attended the University of Indianapolis for a year before auditioning again for Juilliard, this time succeeding. He got the news he was accepted while at work at the Target Distribution Center in Indianapolis. Driver has said that his classmates saw him as an intimidating and volatile figure, and he struggled to fit into a lifestyle so different from the Marines.[16] He was a member of the Drama Division's Group 38 from 2005 to 2009, where he met his future wife, Joanne Tucker. He graduated with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in 2009.[23]

Career

[edit]

2009–2014: Early work

[edit]
Driver at the 2014 Toronto International Film Festival

After graduating from Juilliard, Driver moved to New York City, appearing in both Broadway and off-Broadway productions. Like many aspiring actors, he occasionally worked as a busboy and waiter.[24] Driver appeared in several television shows and short films. He played a repentant witness and reluctant accomplice to an unsolved assault in the final episode of the television series The Unusuals. He made his film debut in Clint Eastwood's biographical film J. Edgar.

In 2012, Driver was cast in the HBO comedy-drama series Girls, as the emotionally unstable boyfriend of a writer (Lena Dunham). He received three nominations for the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series for his role.[25] Driver played telegraph and cipher officer Samuel Beckwith in Steven Spielberg's historical drama Lincoln, and Lev Shapiro in Noah Baumbach's comedy-drama Frances Ha.[26] He starred in the drama Not Waving But Drowning and the romantic-comedy Gayby. He garnered major off-Broadway recognition for playing Cliff, a working-class Welsh houseguest in Look Back in Anger, and won the Lucille Lortel Award for Outstanding Featured Actor in a Play.[27]

In 2013, Driver appeared in the drama Bluebird and the romantic-comedy What If. He played a musician in the Coen Brothers' black comedy Inside Llewyn Davis, and photographer Rick Smolan in the drama Tracks. In 2014, he played a despairing father in the drama Hungry Hearts, an aspiring filmmaker in Noah Baumbach's comedy While We're Young, and the black sheep of a dysfunctional Jewish family in the comedy-drama This Is Where I Leave You. For his performance in Hungry Hearts, Driver won the Volpi Cup for Best Actor at the 71st Venice International Film Festival.[28] For Vogue's September 2013 issue, Driver appeared alongside Canadian model Daria Werbowy set in Ireland, photographed by Annie Leibovitz.[29]

2015–2019: Worldwide recognition

[edit]
Driver promoting Star Wars: The Force Awakens at the 2015 San Diego Comic-Con International

In early 2014, Driver was cast as villain Kylo Ren in Star Wars: The Force Awakens (2015).[30][31] It was released on December 18, 2015, to commercial and critical success.[32] He reprised the role in The Last Jedi (2017)[33] and The Rise of Skywalker (2019).[34] His performance was positively received; David Edelstein of Vulture wrote, "the core of The Last Jedi — of this whole trilogy, it seems — is Driver's Kylo Ren, who ranks with cinema's most fascinating human monsters."[35] Peter Bradshaw of The Guardian highlighted Driver's performance in his review of The Force Awakens, calling him "gorgeously cruel, spiteful and capricious... very suited to Kylo Ren's fastidious and amused contempt for his enemies' weakness and compassion."[36]

Driver had a supporting role in Jeff Nichols' science fiction film Midnight Special, which was released on March 18, 2016.[37][38] He played a 17th-century Portuguese Jesuit priest in Martin Scorsese's historical film Silence (2016).[39] While filming, Driver lost almost 50 pounds.[40] In Jim Jarmusch's drama film Paterson, Driver played the eponymous bus driver and poetry writer.[41] It premiered at the 69th Cannes Film Festival and was released on December 28, 2016.[42][43] Driver's performance was acclaimed[44][45] and he received multiple nominations for Best Actor from critics' associations, winning several, including the Los Angeles Film Critics Association Award for Best Actor.[46] Peter Travers of Rolling Stone wrote "Driver's indelibly moving portrayal is so lived-in and lyrical you hardly recognize it as acting."[47] Paterson was included in many critics' top ten lists of best films of 2016.[48]

In 2017, Driver made a cameo in Noah Baumbach's The Meyerowitz Stories, making his third appearance in one of their films. It premiered at the 70th Cannes Film Festival and was released on October 13, 2017.[49] He played Clyde, a one-armed Iraq War veteran, in Steven Soderbergh's Logan Lucky, which was released on August 18, 2017.[50] Driver played a Jewish police detective, who infiltrates the Ku Klux Klan in Spike Lee's comedy-drama BlacKkKlansman. It premiered at 71st Cannes Film Festival and was released on August 10, 2018.[51] He received critical acclaim for his performance in the film and was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor and the Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actor. Driver played Toby Grummett in Terry Gilliam's adventure-comedy film The Man Who Killed Don Quixote (2018), which also premiered at Cannes.[52]

In 2019, Driver played Daniel J. Jones in Scott Z. Burns' political drama The Report, which premiered at the Sundance Film Festival in Utah. That same year, Driver returned to Broadway to play Pale against Keri Russell in Michael Mayer's directed 2019 production of Lanford Wilson's Burn This, receiving acclaim for his explosive performance and a nomination for the Tony Award for Best Actor in a Play.[53] He was part of the ensemble cast of Jim Jarmusch's zombie comedy film The Dead Don't Die, which premiered at the 72nd Cannes Film Festival and was released on June 14, 2019. That same year, Driver starred opposite Scarlett Johansson in Noah Baumbach's Marriage Story, which premiered at the 76th Venice International Film Festival.[54][55] Reviewing the film in The Hollywood Reporter, critic Jon Frosch noted that Driver "delivers a brilliantly inhabited and shaded portrait" of a man undergoing a divorce.[56] For his performance, he received nominations for the Academy Award for Best Actor, BAFTA Award for Best Actor in a Leading Role, and the Golden Globe Award for Best Actor – Motion Picture Drama.[57]

2020–present

[edit]

On January 25, 2020, Driver returned to host Saturday Night Live for the third time with musical guest Halsey.

In 2020, Driver became the subject of a running gag on Last Week Tonight with John Oliver, in which Oliver expressed several strange masochistic fantasies about Driver, referencing his muscular build and masculine appearance. Driver eventually appeared on the final episode of the season and "demanded an apology".[58] In 2021, he went viral for his shirtless appearance in the advertising campaign for Burberry's masculine fragrance Hero.[59] Driver again returned for the advertising campaign for the eau de parfum concentration of Hero in 2022.[60][61]

In 2021, Driver starred in Leos Carax's long-awaited musical drama film Annette, which premiered at the 74th Cannes Film Festival.[62][63][64] He had a leading role in Ridley Scott's historical drama The Last Duel, along with the biopic crime film House of Gucci, which covers the assassination of Maurizio Gucci, and was also directed by Scott.[65] Equally praised by critics and directors,[66] Driver's acting has a unique signature style that displays skittish, unpredictable physicality with full-bodied enthusiasm like Denis Lavant and Buster Keaton.[67][68]

In 2022, Driver starred in the apocalyptic black comedy film White Noise, which marks his fifth collaboration with Baumbach.[69] Driver starred in the science fiction film 65 and is scheduled to star in Jeff Nichols' historical film Yankee Commandante.[70] Driver played Enzo Ferrari in Michael Mann's biopic film Ferrari.[71] In May 2023, it was announced that Driver would be an honorary starter for the 107th running of the Indianapolis 500 auto race.[72] On December 9, 2023, Driver hosted Saturday Night Live for the fourth time with musical guest Olivia Rodrigo.[73]

He joined the cast for Francis Ford Coppola's film Megalopolis.[74]

Personal life

[edit]

Driver married his longtime partner Joanne Tucker in June 2013, whom he met while attending Juilliard.[75] Tucker is the granddaughter of Bermudian politician Henry Tucker.[76] The couple have a son, whose birth they kept private from the press for two years. Tucker gave birth to a second child, a girl, in early 2023.[77] They live in Brooklyn Heights with their children and dog.[78] Driver is the founder of Arts in the Armed Forces (AITAF), a nonprofit that performs theater for all branches of the military in the United States and abroad.[79][80]

Driver has said on multiple occasions that he dislikes watching or listening to his own performances. During a radio interview with NPR's Fresh Air, he chose not to continue with the interview after the host played a clip from Marriage Story. The executive producer of the radio show later claimed that Driver was warned to remove his headphones before the clip played, and that the show did something similar with Driver during a 2015 interview. During the same interview, Driver stated he dislikes watching or listening to his acting work.[81] He says his usual technique is to leave the theater and "then I go back and, when the lights come up, I stand up. I pretend that I was there the whole time."[82]

Filmography

[edit]
Driver attending the premiere of Paterson at the 2016 Cannes Film Festival

Film

[edit]
Key
Denotes productions that have not yet been released
Year Title Role Notes
2011 J. Edgar Walter Lyle
2012 Gayby Neil
Not Waving But Drowning Adam
Frances Ha Lev Shapiro
Lincoln Samuel Beckwith
2013 Bluebird Walter
Inside Llewyn Davis Al Cody
Tracks Rick Smolan
What If Allan
2014 Hungry Hearts Jude
While We're Young Jamie Massey
This Is Where I Leave You Phillip Altman
2015 Star Wars: The Force Awakens Kylo Ren
2016 Midnight Special Paul Sevier
Paterson Paterson
Silence Father Francisco Garupe
2017 The Meyerowitz Stories Randy
Logan Lucky Clyde Logan
Star Wars: The Last Jedi Kylo Ren
2018 BlacKkKlansman Det. Philip "Flip" Zimmerman
The Man Who Killed Don Quixote Toby Grummett
2019 The Report Daniel J. Jones
The Dead Don't Die Officer Ronald Peterson
Marriage Story Charlie Barber
Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker Ben Solo / Kylo Ren
2021 Annette Henry McHenry Also producer
The Last Duel Jacques le Gris
House of Gucci Maurizio Gucci
2022 White Noise Jack Gladney
2023 65 Commander Mills
Ferrari Enzo Ferrari Also executive producer
2024 Megalopolis Cesar Catilina
TBA Father, Mother, Sister, Brother TBA Post-production

Television

[edit]
Year Title Role Notes
2009 The Wonderful Maladys Zed Unaired pilot; filmed in May 2009
The Unusuals Will Slansky Episode: "The E.I.D."
2010 Law & Order Robby Vickery Episode: "Brilliant Disguise"
You Don't Know Jack Glen Stetson Television film
2012 Law & Order: Special Victims Unit Jason Roberts Episode: "Theatre Tricks"
2012–2017 Girls Adam Sackler 49 episodes
2015 The Simpsons Adam Sackler (voice) Episode: "Every Man's Dream"
2016–2023 Saturday Night Live Himself (host) 4 episodes
2017 Bob's Burgers Art the Artist (voice) Two-part episode: "The Bleakening"
2018 Joseph Pulitzer: Voice of the People Narrator (voice) Television documentary
2020 Last Week Tonight with John Oliver Himself Episode: "Trump & Election Results"

Theater

[edit]
Year Title Role Venue Production type
2009 Slipping Chris Rattlestick Playwrights Theater Off-Broadway
The Retributionists Dov Kaplinsky Playwrights Horizons
2010 Little Doc Ric Rattlestick Playwrights Theater
The Forest Bulanov East 13th Street Theater
Mrs. Warren's Profession Frank Gardner American Airlines Theatre Broadway
2010–2011 Angels in America Louis Ironson Signature Theatre Company Off-Broadway
2011 Man and Boy Basil Anthony American Airlines Theatre Broadway
2012 Look Back in Anger Cliff Lewis Roundabout Theatre Company Off-Broadway
2019 Burn This Pale Hudson Theatre Broadway

Video games

[edit]
Year Title Voice role
2015 Disney Infinity 3.0 Kylo Ren
2016 Lego Star Wars: The Force Awakens

Theme park attractions

[edit]
Year Title Role Venue
2019–2020 Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance Kylo Ren Disneyland / Disney's Hollywood Studios

Awards and nominations

[edit]

For his work on television, Driver has received four Primetime Emmy Award nominations. He received three nominations for his performance in Girls, from 2013, 2014 and 2015, in the Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series category. In 2020, he also received a nomination for Outstanding Guest Actor in a Comedy Series for his guest hosting role on Saturday Night Live. For his work in films, he has been nominated twice for an Academy Award, for his performances in BlacKkKlansman (2018) and Marriage Story (2019). He also received British Academy Film Award, Golden Globe Award, and Screen Actors Guild Award (SAG) nominations for those films as well. He also received a SAG Award nomination for Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture as a part of the ensemble of Steven Spielberg's Lincoln. In 2019, he received a Tony Award nomination for Best Actor in a Play for his performance in Burn This at the 73rd Tony Awards.

References

[edit]
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