Driver at the Japan premiere of Star Wars: The Last Jedi in 2017
Adam Douglas Driver
November 19, 1983
San Diego, California, U.S.
|Alma mater||Juilliard School (B.F.A.)|
|Service/||United States Marine Corps|
|Years of service||2002–2004|
|Unit||1st Battalion 1st Marines|
Adam Douglas Driver (born November 19, 1983) is an American actor, and former US Marine. He is the recipient of numerous accolades, including the Volpi Cup for Best Actor, as well as nominations for a Tony Award, two Academy Awards, and four Emmy Awards.
A former Lance Corporal in the United States Marine Corps, 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 comedy-drama series Girls (2012–2017), for which he received three consecutive Emmy nominations. Driver began his film career in supporting roles in films such as Lincoln (2012), Frances Ha (2012), Inside Llewyn Davis (2013), and Silence (2016). He won the Volpi Cup for Best Actor for his lead role in the drama Hungry Hearts (2014) and starred as a poet in Jim Jarmusch's Paterson (2016).
Driver gained wider recognition for playing Kylo Ren in the Star Wars sequel trilogy (2015–2019). In 2019, he returned to theater with Burn This, for which he was nominated for the Tony Award for Best Actor in a Play. He received two consecutive nominations at the Academy Awards; Best Supporting Actor for BlacKkKlansman (2018) and Best Actor for Marriage Story (2019).
Driver is the founder of Arts in the Armed Forces, a nonprofit that provides free arts programming to American active-duty service members, veterans, military support staff, and their families around the world.
Adam Douglas Driver was born on November 19, 1983, in San Diego, California, the son of Nancy Wright (née Needham), a paralegal, and Joe Douglas Driver. He has Dutch, English, German, Irish, and Scottish ancestry.[better source needed] 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. When Driver was seven years old, he moved with his older sister and mother to his mother's hometown Mishawaka, Indiana, where he graduated from Mishawaka High School in 2001. Driver was raised Baptist, and sang in the choir at church.
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. 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. He applied to the Juilliard School for drama but was rejected.
Shortly after the September 11 attacks, Driver enlisted in the United States Marine Corps. He was assigned to Weapons Company, 1st Battalion, 1st Marines as an 81mm mortar man. He served for two years and eight months before fracturing his sternum while mountain biking. 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. Driver 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. He was a member of the Drama Division's Group 38 (2005–2009), where he met his future wife, Joanne Tucker. He graduated with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in 2009.
Early career, Girls, and breakthrough (2009–2014)
After graduating from Juilliard, Driver began his acting career in New York City, appearing in both Broadway and off-Broadway productions. Like many aspiring actors, he occasionally worked as a busboy and waiter. Driver also appeared in several television shows and short films. His first television role was in the final episode of The Unusuals, as a repentant witness and reluctant accomplice to an unsolved assault. He made his film debut in Clint Eastwood's biographical drama film J. Edgar.
In 2012, Driver was cast in the HBO comedy-drama series Girls, as the emotionally unstable Adam Sackler, the boyfriend of the lead character Hannah Horvath (Lena Dunham). He received three nominations for the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series for his role. The same year, Driver played supporting roles in two critically acclaimed films, as telegraph and cipher officer Samuel Beckwith in Steven Spielberg's historical drama Lincoln, and Lev Shapiro in Noah Baumbach's comedy-drama Frances Ha. He also appeared 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, winning the Lucille Lortel Award for Outstanding Featured Actor in a Play.
In 2013, Driver appeared in the drama Bluebird and the romantic-comedy What If. He played Al Cody, a musician, in the Coen Brothers' black comedy Inside Llewyn Davis, and photographer Rick Smolan in the drama Tracks. In 2014, he played Jude, a despairing father, in the drama Hungry Hearts; Jamie, an aspiring filmmaker, in Noah Baumbach's comedy While We're Young; and Phillip, 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.
Mainstream success (2015–present)
In early 2014, Driver was cast as villain Kylo Ren in Star Wars: The Force Awakens (2015). The Force Awakens was released on December 18, 2015 to commercial and critical success. He reprised the role in The Last Jedi (2017) and The Rise of Skywalker (2019). 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." 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."
In 2016, Driver played a supporting role in Jeff Nichols' sci-fi thriller Midnight Special, which was released on March 18, 2016. He also co-starred in Martin Scorsese's historical drama Silence (2016) as Father Francisco Garupe, a 17th-century Portuguese Jesuit priest, alongside Andrew Garfield and Liam Neeson. 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 the title character, 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, including the Los Angeles Film Critics Association Award for Best Actor. 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 on October 13, 2017 on Netflix. He also portrayed Clyde, a one-armed Iraq War veteran, in Steven Soderbergh's Logan Lucky, which was released on August 18, 2017. 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 in the film and was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Actor in a Supporting Role and the Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actor. 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 early 2019, Driver starred as Daniel Jones in Scott Z. Burns' political drama The Report, which premiered at the Sundance Film Festival in Utah. He returned to Broadway to play Pale against Keri Russell in a Michael Mayer-directed 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. He was part of the ensemble cast of the Jim Jarmusch zombie comedy film The Dead Don't Die, which was released on June 14, 2019. That same year, he co-starred with Scarlett Johansson in Noah Baumbach's Marriage Story, which premiered at the Venice Film Festival. 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. He received a nomination for the Academy Award for Best Actor.
Driver will next star in Leos Carax's music drama Annette, and in Ridley Scott's film The Last Duel and Gucci. Driver is set to star in the science fiction film 65 and Jeff Nichols' historical film Yankee Commandante.
Driver married Joanne Tucker in June 2013. They have a son, whose birth they kept hidden from the press for two years. They live in Brooklyn Heights with their son and dog. Driver is the founder of Arts in the Armed Forces (AITAF), a nonprofit that performs theatre for all branches of the military in the United States and abroad.
Driver has expressed on many occasions that he does not like to watch or listen 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 take off his headphones before the clip played and that the show did something similar with Driver during a 2015 interview. During the same 2015 interview, Driver is quoted as saying he hates viewing or listening to his works.
|2009||The Unusuals||Will Slansky||Episode: "The E.I.D."|
|2010||Law & Order||Robby Vickery||Episode: "Brilliant Disguise"|
|2010||You Don't Know Jack||Glen Stetson||Television film|
|2010||The Wonderful Maladys||Zed||Pilot|
|2012||Law & Order: Special Victims Unit||Jason Roberts||Episode: "Theatre Tricks"|
|2012–17||Girls||Adam Sackler||49 episodes|
|2015||The Simpsons||Adam Sackler (voice)||Episode: "Every Man's Dream"|
|2016–20||Saturday Night Live||Himself (host)||3 episodes|
|2017||Bob's Burgers||Art the Artist (voice)||Episodes: "The Bleakening: Part 1 & 2"|
|2015||Disney Infinity 3.0||Kylo Ren|
|2016||Lego Star Wars: The Force Awakens||Kylo Ren|
|2009||Slipping||Chris||Rattlestick Playwrights Theater||off-broadway|
|2009||The Retributionists||Dov Kaplinsky||Playwrights Horizons||off-broadway|
|2010||Little Doc||Ric||Rattlestick Playwrights Theater||off-broadway|
|2010||The Forest||Bulanov||East 13th Street Theatre||off-broadway|
|2010||Mrs. Warren's Profession||Frank Gardner||American Airlines Theatre||broadway|
|2010–2011||Angels in America||Louis Ironson||Peter Norton Space||off-broadway|
|2011||Man and Boy||Basil Anthony||American Airlines Theatre||broadway|
|2012||Look Back in Anger||Cliff Lewis||Laura Pels Theatre||off-broadway|
|2019||Burn This||Pale||Hudson Theatre||broadway|
Theme park attractions
|2019||Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance||Kylo Ren / Ben Solo||Disney's Hollywood Studios|
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