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Adam Driver –

Driver in BlacKkKlansman, in a performance
for which he was nominated for Best Supporting Actor.

About Adam Driver (1983 – )

Driver was born in San Diego, the son of Nancy (née Needham), a paralegal, and Joe Douglas Driver. His father's family is from Arkansas and his mother's family is from Indiana. After his parents divorced, they each remarried. His stepfather is a Baptist minister. His stepmother works for the Arkansas State Library in Little Rock. His ancestry includes English, Dutch, German, Irish and Scottish.

When Driver was seven years old, he moved with his mother to her hometown of Mishawaka, Indiana, where he grew up. Driver had a religious upbringing, and sang in choir at church. He attended Mishawaka High School, where he graduated in 2001. He appeared in several high school plays and was an accomplished singer in the school's choir.

Shortly after the September 11 attacks, Driver joined the United States Marine Corps and was assigned to Weapons Company, 1st Battalion, 1st Marines as an 81mm mortar man. He served for two years and eight months before suffering an injury while mountain biking. He was medically discharged before his unit deployed to Iraq for the Iraq War. After leaving the Marines, Driver attended the University of Indianapolis for a year; he transferred to the Juilliard School to study drama. He was a member of the Drama Division's Group 38 (2005–2009), along with his future wife Joanne Tucker. He graduated with a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in 2009.

Following his graduation from Juilliard, Driver began acting in New York City, appearing in both Broadway and off-Broadway productions. Like many other aspiring actors, he occasionally worked as a busboy and waiter. Along with appearing in the television film You Don't Know Jack (2010), Driver appeared in several television shows and short films. He made his feature film debut in Clint Eastwood's J. Edgar (2011).

In 2012, Driver was cast in the current HBO hit comedy-drama series Girls, as the lead character's emotionally unstable boyfriend Adam Sackler. To date, he has received three nominations for the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series for his role. Apart from appearing in the short film Not Waving But Drowning and the film Gayby, Driver had key roles in two critically acclaimed films of 2012. He played Samuel Beckwith in Steven Spielberg's Lincoln and played Lev Shapiro in Noah Baumbach's Frances Ha.

Driver appeared in four films in 2013; Bluebird, The F Word, Inside Llewyn Davis as musician Al Cody in the Coen Brothers's film, and as photographer Rick Smolan in Tracks.

In 2014, he played despairing father Jude in the Italian film Hungry Hearts, Philip Altman in This Is Where I Leave You, and aspiring filmmaker Jaime in While We're Young, starring Naomi Watts and Ben Stiller. For his role in Hungry Hearts, Driver won the Volpi Cup for Best Actor at the 71st Venice International Film Festival.

In February 2014, Variety reported that Driver would play villain Kylo Ren in J. J. Abrams' Star Wars: The Force Awakens (2015). The Force Awakens was released in December 2015 to commercial and critical success. Peter Bradshaw of The Guardian highlighted Driver's performance, calling him "gorgeously cruel, spiteful and capricious... very suited to Kylo Ren's fastidious and amused contempt for his enemies' weakness and compassion."

In 2016, Driver played a supporting role in Jeff Nichols' sci-fi thriller Midnight Special, which was released on March 18. He also co-starred in Martin Scorsese's historical drama Silence as Father Francisco Garupe, a 17th-century Portuguese Jesuit priest, alongside Andrew Garfield. In preparation for the role, Driver lost almost 50 pounds. Jim Jarmusch's drama Paterson was Driver's final film of 2016, in which he played Paterson, a bus driver who writes poetry. The film premiered at Cannes Film Festival and was released on December 28, 2016. Driver's performance was acclaimed and he received multiple nominations for Best Actor from critics associations, winning several. Peter Travers of Rolling Stone wrote "Driver's indelibly moving portrayal is so lived-in and lyrical you hardly recognize it as acting." Paterson was included in many critics' top ten lists of best films of 2016.

In 2017, Driver played a cameo in Noah Baumbach's The Meyerowitz Stories as Randy, marking his third appearance in one of Baumbach's films. The film premiered at Cannes Film Festival and was released in October of that year on Netflix. He also portrayed Clyde, a one-armed redneck veteran, in Steven Soderbergh's Logan Lucky, which was released in August. He reprised his role as Kylo Ren in Star Wars: The Last Jedi, which was released in 2017. His performance was positively received, with his character lauded as the best in the series: 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."

In 2018, Driver portrayed a Jewish police detective, Phillip "Flip" Zimmerman, who helps infiltrate the Ku Klux Klan in Spike Lee's comedy-drama BlacKkKlansman. The film premiered at Cannes Film Festival and was theatrically released on August 10. He received critical acclaim for his performance and was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Actor in a Supporting Role. Driver also starred as the lead character Toby Grisoni in Terry Gilliam's adventure-comedy The Man Who Killed Don Quixote, which also premiered at Cannes. In 2019, he starred as Daniel Jones in Scott Z. Burns' political drama The Report, which premiered at the Sundance Film Festival in Utah. Driver returned to Broadway to play Pale against Keri Russell in a Michael Mayer-directed production of Lanford Wilson's Burn This.

Driver is set to co-star with Scarlett Johansson in the upcoming untitled Noah Baumbach project. He's also part of the ensemble cast of the upcoming Jim Jarmusch zombie comedy The Dead Don't Die and is set to star in Sylvester Stallone's Tough As They Come and Leos Carax's upcoming music drama Annette. He will also again reprise his role as Kylo Ren, this time in Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker.

Driver married his longtime girlfriend, Joanne Tucker, on June 22, 2013. He runs a nonprofit organization, Arts in the Armed Forces, which stages performances for military personnel. He considers John Cassavetes to be the model for the type of creative life he would like to emulate.

Adam Driver's movie credits include...

Year Movie Role
2010You Don't Know Jack Glen Stetson
2011J. Edgar Walter Lyle
2012Gayby Neil
2012Not Waving But Drowning Adam
2012Lincoln Samuel Beckwith
2012Frances Ha Lev Shapiro
2013Bluebird Walter
2013Inside Llewyn Davis Al Cody
2013Tracks Rick Smolan
2013The F Word (aka What If) Allan
2014Hungry Hearts Jude
2014This Is Where I Leave You Phillip Altman
2015While We're Young Jamie Massey
2015Star Wars: The Force Awakens Kylo Ren
2016Midnight Special
2016SilenceFather Francisco Garupe
2017The Meyerowitz StoriesRandy
2017Logan LuckyClyde Logan
2017Star Wars: The Last JediKylo Ren/Ben Solo
2018BlacKkKlansmanFlip Zimmerman
2018The Man Who Killed Don QuixoteToby Grisoni
2018Untitled Noah Baumbach ProjectCharlie
2019The Torture Report
2019Star Wars IXKylo Ren/Ben Solo

Adam Driver's television credits include...

Year Show/Series Role
2009 The Wonderful Maladys Zed
2009 The Unusuals Will Slansky
2010 Law & Order Robby Vickery
Girls Adam Sackler
2015 The Simpsons Adam Sackler (voice)
2016 Saturday Night Live Host
2016 Galaxy World of Alisa Bol (voice)

Nominations/Awards won by Adam Driver include...

Year Movie Award
2018 BlacKkKlansman Best Supporting Actor — Nominated

Memorable Quotes

“Something I learned in the Marine Corps that I've applied to acting is, one, taking direction, and then working with a group of people to accomplish a mission and knowing your role within that team.”

“Just the service aspect of running a nonprofit is so gratifying because it takes the attention off yourself. I'm not an acting monk or anything. I'm not, like, the most well-adjusted actor. But it's really designed to focus on yourself, or it can be. So it's good to have something else to focus on that reminds you that it's not always about you. ”

“I'm like a sight gag, I have this really big face...I don't totally get it. I mean, when I read for Girls (2012) I was, like, the script says 'Handsome Carpenter,' so someone else is going to get the part. They'll have someone handsome, not me. I mean, I'm not in any danger of getting leading-man parts.”

“The deadly thing in my job is to attach too much meaning to everything. You have to have a sense of humor about yourself...I'm definitely trying to figure this all out as I go along, how to craft a career. As things get bigger, I have days of depression, sitting in the house and wondering 'What are you doing? Is it even relevant?'”

“In the military, you learn the essence of people. You see so many examples of self-sacrifice and moral courage. In the rest of life you don't get that many opportunities to be sure of your friends.”

“At the Emmy awards, everybody runs up to you and says, 'Aren't you having the time of your life?' I mean, I was never after trying to get an Emmy. The whole spectacle seems cheesy and dated. The thing that motivates me most is being petrified of not having a place to put my voice.”

Did You Know

Served in the Marine Corps, and now runs a non-profit foundation called Arts in the Armed Forces that stages theatrical performances for military personnel.

Says he originally passed on his Adam Sackler role in Girls (2012) because he thought TV was evil.

Does not watch his own performances onscreen, and even declines to listen to audio clips of himself while being interviewed on the radio.

While serving in the Marines, he missed active duty in Iraq due to a mountain biking accident in which he broke his sternum.

BlacKkKlansman-1 BlacKkKlansman-3 BlacKkKlansman-4_John_David_Washington BlacKkKlansman-5_Michael_Buscemi_and_John_David_Washington BlacKkKlansman-6_Jarrod_LaBine_and_Paul_Walter_Hauser
Adam Driver in BlacKkKlansman (2018)... third picture with John David Washington... fourth picture with Michael Buscemi and John David Washington... bottom picture with Jarrod LaBine and Paul Walter Hauser.

Driver in Logan Lucky (2017)... top picture
with Daniel Craig... bottom picture with Channing Tatum.
As Paterson in Paterson (2016)... top and
bottom pictures with Golshifteh Farahani.
adam-driver adam-driver
Hooded and helmeted as Kylo Ren in
Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens (2015).
In Frances Ha (2012).
In Hungry Hearts (2014).
In Inside Llewyn Davis (2013).
With Lena Dunham in Girls (2012-Present).
In Lincoln (2012).
In Not Waving But Drowning (2012).
In This is Where I Leave You (2014).
In Tracks (2013).
In What If (aka The F Word) (2013).
Adam Driver in While We're Young (2015).