Hailing from a small-town in Indiana, Adam Driver has risen to stardom seemingly in the blink of an eye since his role as Kylo Ren in the Star Wars sequel franchise. Since 2009, the talented performer has made a name for himself and managed to avoid the snares of typecasting, playing a broad range of roles that have earned him critical acclaim.
Working alongside Oscar-winning actors and world-renowned directors, such as Martin Scorsese, his career has shown little signs of slowing down simply because his time as Kylo Ren has come to a close. Largely private, Driver keeps much of his personal life to himself, but there are still many fascinating and inspiring fun facts about the Academy Award nominated actor.
10 He Turns 37 On November 19th
Born on November 19th of 1983 in San Diego, California, Adam Douglass Driver only lived a short part of his childhood on the sunny West Coast. When he was 7-years-old, he moved to his mother’s home state of Indiana. There, he grew up in Mishawaka, a city that boasts a booming population of less than 50,000 people.
Driver had aspirations of returning to California early in his life, and even tried to move to Los Angeles once as a teenager, a stint that only lasted a couple of days before he packed up to move back home.
9 He Is 6’2
Often towering over many fellow cast members, Adam Driver stands at a little over 6 feet 2 inches tall. Though thin-faced and lanky in some of his earlier roles, such as HBO’s Girls, recently, his size has been even more emphasized by the extra muscle.
His new look came about for his role as Kylo Ren in The Last Jedi and The Rise Of Skywalker, a transformation that sparked countless memes commenting on his shocking, new physique.
8 He Joined The Marines Post 9/11
Driver joined the United States Marine Corp when he was only 19-years-old. The actor attributes his sense of eagerness to serve his country in part to the tragedy of the 9/11 terrorist attack, as well as a failed attempt at applying to Julliard. “September 11 happened and all my friends were like, ‘Let’s join the military’, and I was the only one who actually did.”
The now-famous actor served in the Marines in a weapons platoon from 2002 to 2004, when he was medically separated from the military due to badly breaking his collarbone in a biking accident.
7 He Sang ‘Happy Birthday’ At His Julliard Audition
Driver joined the military in part because his application to the world-famous performing arts school was rejected shortly after finishing high school. His ambitions didn’t die there. Post military separation, Driver got another chance at his dream school.
Performing a monologue from Richard III, this time he got in, despite being underprepared for the singing portion of the audition and choosing to simply sing ‘Happy Birthday’ on the spot.
6 His Wife Is Also An Actress
While attending Julliard, Driver met and worked with his future wife, Joanne Tucker. She has acted with him in stage plays, as well as appearing alongside him in several movies, including the 2012 romantic dramedy, Gayby. The couple married in June of 2013, but their shared passion for the arts continues.
Not only have they founded and co-run a charity together, but she recently had a brief role in The Report, a political drama starring Adam Driver, based on the true story of a Senate staffer and his work that uncovered unsettling government secrets.
5 He Kept His Son A Secret From The Press
Notoriously private, Adam Driver and Joanne Tucker managed to pull off a stunt that very few A-List celebrities manage. They hid both the pregnancy and birth of their son until he was around two years old.
Describing it as a covert “military operation”, his reasoning was simply that being in the public eye so prominently makes it difficult to have a private life – and certainly would make it difficult for a child. Little is known about his son and the couple still chooses to keep their lives to themselves.
4 He Starved Himself For His Role In ‘Silence’
Gaining muscle mass for Star Wars isn’t the first dramatical physical transformation that Adam Driver has attempted. He lost 50 pounds to look appropriately starved and frail for his role in Martin Scorcese’s historical drama, Silence.
“It’s only bad in that scenes wouldn’t work, or we’d try to figure out how to adjust something, and you have no ideas, you know, ’cause you’re so hungry.” Though understandable for a movie about Jesuit missionaries being hunted, tortured, and killed in 17th century Japan, it’s still an astonishing task to take on for a job.
3 He Can’t Stand Watching Himself On TV
It’s easy to assume that actors have full confidence that comes from regularly performing in front of crowds or starring in blockbuster hits, but it isn’t always the case. Adam Driver has spoken about his severe anxiety when it comes to watching himself on screen.
Though he did attend the Star Wars premieres, the actor often politely requests to not see or hear clips when they are played in interviews. He allegedly walked out when an interviewer ignored him and played the clip anyway.
2 He Starred Alongside Another Star Wars Actress On Broadway
Adam Driver may be big in movies and television, but his true love is for the stage. He has starred in theatre productions throughout his early career, and recently took his love for stage acting back to Broadway. He starred alongside Keri Russell in Burn This, which ran from April to July of 2019.
Around the same time, Russell also played a part as Zorii Bliss in The Rise Of Skywalker, though her character’s interactions were primarily with Oscar Isaac’s character, rather than Driver’s.
1 He Co-Founded “Arts In The Armed Forces”
Driver may have had to leave the military after only a few years of service, but it is still a huge part of his life. Believing fiercely in the power of art, specifically for its therapeutic value, he co-founded “Arts In The Armed Forces” with Joanne Tucker in 2006.
Based in Brooklyn, this non-profit organization bring the performing arts to military members, both domestic and overseas, completely free. The charity also organizes writing competitions for military and veterans to attempt to give them a boost in getting their artistic work out into the world.
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