From the Army to Hollywood: How Ex-Marine Adam Driver Became an A-List Actor

So here’s the thing about Adam Driver: he’s young (age 36 at the moment), he’s popping up on movie and TV screens just about everywhere, and there’s something about him that people either hate or absolutely love. Whether you saw him on HBO’s Girls, in Star Wars as Kylo Ren, or in his last Netflix movie Marriage Story, something about him makes it hard not to feel something – whatever that is. Are you attracted to him or annoyed by him? Confused by him or wanna be him? Call it what you will, but there is just something about this dude.

Adam Driver with fire behind him in the film Star Wars: The Force Awakens. / Lena Dunham and Adam Driver on the set of Girls. / Adam and his wife, Joanne Tucker, at the premiere of Star Wars: The Force Awakens. / Photograph of Adam Driver acting in a play.
Photo by David James, Lucasfilm, Bad Robot, Walt Disney Studios, Kobal, / Apatow Productions, Kobal, / Michael Buckner, Variety, / Matthew Murphy, The Guardian

What I’m here to say today is that this young man with a mysterious aura has a lot more to him than just Hollywood movies and long, kind of greasy hair. The guy has a real heart. Despite being so young, he’s already covered being a marine, a musician, a theater actor, and even founded a non-profit organization that performs for those in the military. Oh, and then there’s the fact that he’s an A-list actor.

Wanna know more about him? Read on…

He Joined the Army after 9/11

“September 11 happened, and all my friends were like ‘Let’s join the military!’ and I was the only one who actually did.”

Adam Driver, born on November 19, 1983, is the son of Nancy Wright, a paralegal, and Joe Driver, a preacher. He was born in San Diego but grew up in Indiana. He started acting in plays when he was a student at Mishawaka High School. He graduated in 2001. It was after the attacks on September 11, 2001, that Driver got thrown into frequent discussions about joining the military.

Adam Driver in his Marine Corps dress blues.
Source: Courtesy Rodney Wright

He and his friends talked about it, but it was an argument with his stepdad that made an impact. “I was having an argument with my stepfather, and he was like, ‘Why don’t you join the Marine Corps?’ And I was like, ‘Noooo! Well, maybe, actually …’ I went and saw the recruiter, who was like, ‘Are you on the run from the cops? Because we’ve never had someone want to leave so fast,'” Driver said in an interview with Rolling Stone.

The Seed Was Planted

Despite the fight with his stepfather, a seed was planted. But he wasn’t ready to shave his head and strap on his boots just yet. His passion for acting was calling him first. He applied to Juilliard, the prestigious art school, but got rejected. He then went on his own to try and make it in the acting world, but he didn’t have much success.

Adam Driver in an army uniform and helmet.
Source: Twitter

It wasn’t until 9/11 that he was struck – he knew what he had to do. The rejection by Julliard pushed him to do what he knew inside was the right decision for him at the time. Joining the United States Marine Corps was a major event in Adam’s Driver life. And it happened at a major turning point in his life (and the world’s).

The Military Helped Him Succeed as an Actor

Even though Adam was never an athlete or joined any kind of organization that had a sense of fraternity, he easily adapted to Marine Corps culture. The Marines gave him structure and unity he never experienced before. He trained hard but looked forward to getting deployed with his friends. But he had an unfortunate accident that ended up changing his plans.

Adam Driver is trying on a bomb vest with military personnel.
Source: Imgur

Adam got into a mountain biking accident before deploying and injured his sternum. He tried to lessen the pain and his debilitated state by training even harder than before. Which was like only really done to show that he was okay. (Is that a guy thing?) Anyway, after two years of service with no actual time in the field, the young marine was medically discharged.

He Wanted to Smoke and Act

Getting discharged from the army depressed him, but something that happened to him earlier gave him the clarity and drive he needed it. One day during military training, he and his fellow troops conducted field exercises with white phosphorous. Instead of hitting the target, one of the phosphorous shells burst above the men in the field. He watched the white cloud fall in slow-motion, nearly killing everyone.

Adam Driver is smoking a cigarette on a roof in a long black jacket.
Source: Instagram

Adam said he immediately focused on what he wanted to do in the real world: he wanted to smoke and be an actor. “I was like, ‘I’m going to smoke cigarettes and be an actor when I get out.’ Those were my two thoughts,” he remarked. “I wanted to smoke cigarettes and be an actor.”

Studying Drama and Making Ends Meet

You might think that joining the military would steer him far away from Hollywood, but actually, all his military experience did was strengthen his determination to make it as an actor. When he got back to the U.S., he applied to Julliard again. And this time, he made it in. He started to study drama. Adam graduated in 2009 and started acting in Broadway and off-Broadway plays.

Brandon Uranowitz, Michael Mayer, Kerri Russell, and Adam Driver at opening night for their Broadway play in New York.
Photo by Andrew H. Walker /

At that point, he had moved back in with his mother and stepfather, and they weren’t going to let him be a mooch. Firstly, they charged him $200 per month to live under their roof – his family home. To make ends meet, he had to find odd jobs to pay the bills. Driver worked as a door-to-door vacuum salesman for some time and also as a telemarketer for a basement-waterproofing business.

He Was a Little Denice the Menace

Driver was 7 when his parents divorced. In an interview with WWD, Adam described the people of the town Mishawaka in Indiana as really great, but he was candid about life there. “There’s not really anything to do,” he said. “People like to cruise in front of Taco Bell. Tradewinds is the restaurant I used to go to all the time. They would have the ‘panquake,’ which is all-you-can-eat pancakes.”

Photograph of a younger Adam Driver in his yearbook. / Photograph of Adam Driver in high school hanging around in a leather jacket.
Source: Pinterest / Twitter

Since there wasn’t a lot going on, teenaged Adam and his friends had to find ways to entertain themselves, which sometimes included starting fires and making questionable snacks. “We would climb radio towers, set things on fire. We tried to set a tire on fire. That was really hard,” he described. “There’s a place behind Kroger where we would dumpster-dive for potato chips. One dumpster, there was a chip factory behind it, and they used to throw out all their old potato chips.”

He Started His Own Fight Club…In High School

Adam Driver has described his younger self as a misfit. He revealed that he was inspired to start a fight club of his own at school, after seeing the film Fight Club. “They had a big grassy field behind f***in’ Celebrations Unlimited, an event space that people rent out to get married or whatever, and we would go out there in the middle of the night and beat the s**t out of our neighbors,” Driver explained to Rolling Stone.

Adam Drivers Yearbook photo with some classmate’s photos surrounding. / Adam Drivers yearbook photo with a button-down shirt and a tie.
Source: @ajtimar / Twitter

Driver also explained (this time in an interview with NPR) that he also got grounded a lot by his parents. He said that he didn’t get good grades and really wasn’t interested in school, but he was interested in doing plays. “But then, you know, the idea of going to New York or – I don’t know why I didn’t think about – well, actually I did think about California.”

He Moved To Hollywood as a Teen, But…

After getting rejected by Julliard and before joining the Marines, Adam tried his luck at becoming an actor. And you know what that means – he did what every aspiring actor does. He went through the right of passage and moved to California. He drove to Hollywood to pursue his dream. But, things didn’t go as planned so much.

Adam Driver wearing a tan suit and acting in Mrs. Warrens Profession play on opening night.
Photo by Carolyn Contino / BEI /

As if it was scripted for a movie, Adam’s 1990 Lincoln Town Car broke down outside of Amarillo, Texas. By the time he got to California, he was out of cash and had to go back home. It had only been two days. “It was really embarrassing, actually,” Driver said. “I had said goodbye to friends and family, like, ‘So long, guys! I’m out of this s**thole town, on to something!’ Literally, like, four days later, I was moving back in with my fridge.”

He Met His Wife at Julliard

When Adam started studying at Julliard, he found more than just an educational foundation. He met his future wife, Joanne Tucker. The two got married in 2013 and have been together ever since. For anyone who has seen Adam Driver play the boyfriend or husband in movies and series, it’s kind of hard not to imagine him as a quirky and sloppy kind of guy, right?

Joanne Tucker and Adam Driver are sitting at desks in a school.
Source: Instagram

Well, apparently, he’s nothing like his character on Girls. Adam and Joanne are notoriously private. So private that they even managed to keep their two-year-old son a secret! But in an interview with the New Yorker, Adam finally confirmed that he and Joanne are indeed parents. He said keeping their baby secret was “a military operation.” He described how “My job is to be a spy—to be in public and live life and have experience. But, when you feel like you’re the focus, it’s really hard to do that.”

He and His Wife Founded a Non-Profit

Adam was inspired by his time in the Marines, and so he and his wife decided that they want to give back. To who? To marines. Arts in the Armed Forces is a nonprofit organization that the couple founded in 2008. The organization’s goal is to connect current duty service members, vets, military support staff, and their families from around the world to the theater for free.

Adam and Michael Kacer, a soldier in his dress blues, posing for cameras at the Stand Up for Heroes event in New York.
Photo by Stephen Lovekin /

“It’s [aim is] to bring thought-provoking theater-based troop entertainment to an audience that wouldn’t normally be associated with theater,” Driver told the Guardian. Based on his own experience, Driver believes that the theater community is a beneficial resource for soldiers and veterans who might be having a tough time expressing what they’re going through. Transitioning back to normal life is nowhere near easy.

That’s a Lot of Kissing

At one point in the 2000s, Driver was really thriving in the theatre world, playing important roles in two different plays at the same time. One was an LGBT-themed play called Slipping, and the other was a period drama piece called The Retributionists. And one part about being in these plays was that he found himself (in his own words) “making out with four people a day.” That’s gotta be tiring…

A photograph of Adam Driver with the rest of the cast from the Roundabout Theatre Company.
Photo by Carolyn Contino / BEI /

He would first kiss two women during rehearsals for The Retributionists during the day, and then he would have to kiss his male co-star while practicing for the play Slipping in the evening. And by the end of the night, he would come home to his girlfriend (now wife), Joanne. According to Adam, he went through “a lot of mouthwash and toothpaste before [he] got home.”

His Wife Taught Him a Few Lessons

Adam and Joanne may share a love of acting and work together on a non-profit, but she was the “more evolved” one when it came to style and self-grooming. As Adam put it: “I just kept dressing like a 15-year-old until my wife was basically like, ‘You know, you should wear long pants now. Maybe shorts are good for some people, but not you. And maybe you should get your toe looked at, ’cause, you know, it looks like a turtle shell.'”

Phil Winser, Dree Hemingway, Joanne Tucker, and Adam Driver at a film screening party, all dressed up.
Photo by Amanda Schwab / Starpix /

Their love also grew stronger thanks to humor…and cheese. Driver told in a 2009 interview that “She taught me what Gouda cheese is. And that you shouldn’t talk with your mouth full and spit on the sidewalk.” So there’s acting, charity, grooming, and cheese. Oh, and humor. Gotta have humor.

Theater Made Him Less Aggressive

Theater and acting in plays and playwrights gave Adam a medium to express himself. He told NPR how he was able to use language to express himself and not aggression. “I noticed in myself how, when I was able to like put things into words that I would be less aggressive. And the first people that I thought of, as I thought of all the time at that time, was the people that I served with.”

Adam Driver is talking to soldiers in uniform while they are eating a meal.
Source: Tumblr

One of the first plays performed for troops through his foundation was a play called China. Laura Linney read it. The play was about an employer reprimanding a female employee for not wearing a bra and not following a dress code. While a male Marine said he didn’t like that part of the play, female Marines were actually coming out of the same performance, saying how they loved that monologue in particular.

He’s a Talented Musician

Apart from being a proven actor, Adam is also a talented singer. Both Adam’s father and stepfather are preachers. So considering how he grew up with at least preacher in the home, he got to show off his chops by singing in the church choir. Beyond that, he also learned piano in school.

Adam Driver, Justin Timberlake, and Oscar Issac are performing in a recording studio in the film called Inside Llewyn David.
Source: Moviestore /

The church choir and taking piano lessons is one thing. Taking it to Hollywood level is another thing altogether. Adam got to show off his singing skills in the Coen Brothers’ film, Inside Llewyn Davis.

It’s a movie about the New York City-folk scene in the 1960s, where Driver actually played his own music live during the shoot. And for those of you who have seen Marriage Story, he has a scene there, too, where his voice reveals a rather intimate side of himself.

He Didn’t Want to Audition for Girls

Why is this article even being written? Adam Driver wouldn’t be as big as he is right now if it weren’t for the role that put him on the map. That’s right – Girls. And the role that hurled Driver to fame almost never happened for him. The actor later admitted to passing up the opportunity to audition for Girls at first, as he didn’t want to be on TV.

Lena Dunham and Adam Driver on the set of Girls.
Source: Apatow Productions / Kobal /

In an interview with Bustle, Adam admitted that his first thought was, “TV’s the devil, whatever, but then I read the thing. Lena [Dunham] is a very rare writer, very unpretentious. When things become precious or sentimental, that kills it for me.” He then decided to take the role of Adam Sackler, and he made it to all six seasons of the critically acclaimed series.

Driver didn’t bother to tell his parents about his new breakthrough role. According to Adam, “It’s just hard to keep in contact… We have very different lives.”

Lena Was Star Struck

Lena Dunham, the writer, and star of Girls, admitted that she was really impressed by Driver. She said she was totally “star-struck” by him, even though it was the first time ever seeing him. After having already caught Lena’s eye, he walked in for a screen test holding his motorcycle helmet, which she thought was “highly intriguing.”

Lena and Adam are walking around a hardware store picking stuff out on the set of Girls.
Source: Apatow Productions /

She got up from the table and read with him, later revealing that “All I could mutter was, ‘Wow, you have the same name as this character,’ like a total dingbat.” It looks like Lena was quite smitten with Adam. And she wasn’t alone. Driver’s role in Girls made him into a sex symbol – something he never ever would have imagined.

Popping His Love Scene Cherry

I can’t imagine onscreen love scenes as being particularly easy to shoot. Not for the actors and not for the crew in the room. Only one word comes to mind: AWKWARD! Adam Driver shot his first-ever sex scene on the set of Girls. He was initially hesitant to film something so private, but Lena Dunham’s own confidence and comfort with herself is what inspired him to go through with it.

Lena Dunham was riding on the handlebars of Adam Drivers bike on the set of Girls.
Source: Apatow Productions /

Driver is actually more surprised than anyone at the sex symbol status he’s earned since his time on the series. According to Driver, “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.” Or so he thought!

He’s Not a Fan of Social Media

The fact that he and his wife Joanne were even able to hide their child from the world was mostly because Adam Driver doesn’t make appearances on social media. Driver has barely any social media accounts at all. He says he finds himself unable to understand all this new technology to the point where he’s even “scared of it.”

Adam Driver and Joanne Tucker at the premiere of Star Wars: The Rise of Luke Skywalker.
Source: AFF-USA /

Curious about his wife? Joanne has actually had a cameo on Girls and Showtime’s series Billions. She has also been seen in the movie Zero Days (among others) and does some voice-over work in Ken Burns’ Prohibition and the Roosevelts. Joanne, like her hubby, has a slew of off-Broadway credits. And if you watched the 2019 Academy Awards, you likely saw her holding on to Driver’s arm on the red carpet.

A Unique Twitter Account

As I mentioned, Adam was possibly the most surprised by the fact that he became a sex symbol after being seen on Girls. His role on the show garnered a surprising following of people who view him as a sexy. And oddly enough, there is at least one Twitter account that’s devoted entirely to Adam’s chest.

A screenshot of some twitter accounts which fans have made for Adam Driver.
Source: Twitter

There was Gap’s “Back to Blue” campaign and a photoshoot by Vogue that Adam took part in. According to Lena Dunham, she has “been asked what he smells like more times than [she’d] care to admit.” Which begs the question: what does he smell like?

Fun fact: Driver doesn’t even own cable. He once remarked: “I’ve actually tried getting cable, like, three different times and goddamn, it’s expensive.”

Becoming Kylo Ren

Before Adam Driver was ultimately chosen to play the role of Kylo Ren in Star Wars: The Force Awakens, the studio seriously considered actors Hugo Weaving or Michael Fassbender to take on the role instead. While some pure Star Wars fans weren’t happy with the choice of casting, some fans and non-fans alike were actually compelled by Driver’s portrayal of Kylo Ren.

The main cast of Star Wars: The Force Awakens, all in character.
Source: Lucasfilm / Badrobot / Walt Disney Studios / Kobal /

As it turns out, Driver had a lot of inspiration to portray Kylo Ren. When it comes to troubled relationships with a father, Driver has some personal experience. He not only has a strained relationship with his biological father, but he also struggled with living in a strict and religious household imposed by his stepfather, the Baptist preacher.

He Hates Watching Himself on Screen

Driver has admitted that he has a hard time not being in control. He’s actually like many other actors (believe it or not) that are uncomfortable watching themselves on screen. Because of this, Adam stopped watching himself in his roles after the pilot for Girls. He only made one exception, and that was for Star Wars: The Force Awakens.

Adam and his wife, Joanne Tucker, at the premiere of Star Wars: The Force Awakens.
Photo by Michael Buckner / Variety /

“Because we did so much work on it … It seemed like I should try getting over it,” Driver explained of his decision to watch The Force Awakens. “And it’s Star Wars. I literally can’t believe that I was in it.” According to Driver, the fact that he was wearing a mask through most of the film helped a great deal, but the whole experience was so “disconcerting” that he almost threw up in the cinema!

Staying in Character, Staying Sane

Driver would stay in Kylo Ren’s character throughout the whole shoot of Star Wars: The Force Awakens. He kept his helmet on when the cameras weren’t even rolling. Staying in character wasn’t that hard for him. But it was juggling the schedules that took a toll on him. Things got insane when Driver was starring in both Girls and Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens.

Oscar Isaac, Domhnall Gleeson, and Adam Driver all in character from a scene in Star Wars.
Source: Lucasfilm / Bad Robot / Walk Disney Studios / Kobal /

He had to fly back and forth between New York and London to honor both his commitments. When he was filming Star Wars Episode VIII: The Last Jedi, Adam revealed that he bought himself a ping pong table for all the downtime on set. He said how his fonder memories are of playing ping pong with the different members of the while still in costume. Now, that’s a sight to see!

He Lost 50 Pounds for Silence

Before filming started for Martin Scorsese’s 2016 film, Silence, Driver, and co-star, Andrew Garfield decided to do some of their own research to properly portray Jesuit missionaries. They spent a full week at a Jesuit retreat in Wales, following all the strict rules, including one that forbade them to speak. Talk about silence!

Adam Driver in the rain from a scene in the film Silence.
Source: Moviestore /

When Driver landed the lead role in Scorsese’s historical drama, he took the role seriously. And that means more than just one week of silence at a retreat. He also chose to lose 50 pounds. 30 pounds were lost before production, and 20 more were lost while filming. “You’re so hungry and so tired at some points that there’s nothing you can do—you’re not adding anything on top of what you’re doing,” he said in an interview. “You only have enough energy to convey what you’re doing, so it’s great. I don’t think I’ve ever taken it to the extreme before.”

His First Feature Film

Driver’s first feature film was Clint Eastwood’s biopic, the big-budget period film, J. Edgar. The movie was based on the life of FBI boss J. Edgar Hoover. While Adam did play a small role in the fill, it’s not bad for his first time on the big screen! But Adam went on to film other movies, albeit small independent films. That is, before being cast for the Star Wars movies.

Greta Gerwig and Michael Zegen on camera with Adam Driver for the movie Frances Ha.
Source: Pine District / Kobal /

Adam Driver was cast for an indie film called Paterson. And his role struck a chord because he lived up to his name. He got a license to drive a bus. Driver said how he wanted to be able to go into “autopilot mode” while driving. He figured it would enhance his own performance. It would also allow for more camera angles during filming.

How He Convinced Julliard

Are you wondering how Adam succeeded the second time around to get accepted at Julliard? Driver turned to THE Poet himself, William Shakespeare, to help him out. Adam performed the opening monologue from Richard III, which the judges were impressed with, and thus, it convinced them that this young man has some talent up his sleeve.

Photograph of Adam Driver acting in a play. / A picture of William Shakespeare.
Photo by Matthew Murphy, The Guardian / Source: Pinterest

Getting into Juilliard meant moving to New York City and finding somewhere to live. In fear of finding an affordable place, he made stayed with his stepmother’s uncle. But, since this uncle only had the top floor of the house to himself, Driver was forced to live in his closet. He had “two full bags of clothing,” which meant that he lived this Harry Potter kind of lifestyle until he found a place of his own.

Marriage Story

Have you seen Marriage Story on Netflix yet? If not, go watch it. It’s kind of (well more than just kind of) depressing. But it’s realistic and well done. And if you didn’t catch from the title, it’s about marriage. The movie was written and directed by Noah Baumbach, a director with whom Driver has a very good working relationship.

Adam Driver with Laura Dern and Scarlett Johansson at the Marriage Story photocall laughing together.
Source: David Fisher /

Baumbach first cast Driver in his 2012 movie Frances Ha. After that, they collaborated together on While We’re Young and The Meyerowitz Stories. Driver himself declared, “I could work with him on anything.” Driver has trouble taking in all his amazing movie successes, or maybe he just avoids thinking about it. “I often think that someone is hanging in the sidelines,” he said, “with, like, a big fly swatter. I’m waiting for reality to hit.”

Making of the Movie

Noah Baumbach, 50, took from and went beyond his own divorce with Jennifer Jason Leigh to make such an intense screenplay. Scarlett Johansson, 35, plays Nicole, a stage actress who performs in her husband’s (Adam Driver’s) New York-based theater company. But the two separate, and Nicole and their son move to Los Angeles for a TV pilot she secured.

Adam Driver and Scarlet Johansson on the subway in the movie Marriage Story.
Source: Netflix / IMDB

In an interview with the cast, including Laura Dern (who plays Nicole’s lawyer), Johansson credited Baumbach’s curation of the cast. She said, “It’s sort of like a dinner party, and you have to figure out how all these pieces fit to make a really memorable and a great night.” She also said of working with the cast:  “I think we all share a similar sense of humor where we appreciate the irony of life and can also find hilarity in miserable things…because some miserable things are also hilarious.”

Method Acting?

When it comes to auditions, actors have to put a lot on the line, and they deal with that kind of pressure in their own ways. Driver has something of a strategy that might seem a bit unorthodox. He has explained how he trained himself to hate the characters that he was auditioning for. That way, if he didn’t get the part, he could console himself with the idea that he “didn’t like those people anyway!”

Noah Baumbach, Adam Driver, and Laura Dern answering questions at the film screening of Marriage Story in New York.
Source: MJ Photos / BAFTA /

Then there were the moments when he was appearing in Girls, where Adam would find himself getting recognized for his role on the show. He said how the reactions were not always positive. More than one person outright called him an “asshole” while he was shopping at a store. I think that the woman got confused and thought she was at home watching TV.

The Actors of Arts in the Armed Forces

For Driver’s organization, Arts in the Armed Forces, the company puts actual soldiers into plays, and sometimes with major celebrities, like Susan Sarandon and Lauren Ambrose. According to Adam, he was inspired by the Dallas cheerleaders, who were normally called upon to provide live entertainment when he was in the military. He said that while he “could watch cheerleaders all day,” he still “felt like the military could handle something a little more thought-provoking.”

Adam Driver and fellow AITAF actors are standing around near a stage rehearsing.
Source: Vice News

After each performance, the creative team talks with the audience of soldiers and military men through a question and answer session. Their goal isn’t just to provide an enjoyable evening but to use the emotional shared experience to open up conversations. They want to bridge the gap between military and civilian and family members. Other famous actors who have participated in the organization are Mark Ruffalo, Rachel Brosnahan, Laura Linney, Laurence Fishburne, Keegan-Michael Key, Michael Shannon, and Christian Slater, to name a few.

He Never Really Left the Service

Adam’s organization is his way to continue his service. In his NPR interview, he said how he still feels “connected to that community although I’ve done other things.” He also went to say how “the military and the acting world are actually so similar in my kind of take on it. You know, you have a group of people trying to accomplish a mission that’s greater than themselves.”

Adam Driver wearing a military vest with soldiers and a military helicopter behind them.
Source: Tumblr

“It’s not about one person. You know, to have an effective gun team…everyone has their specific role, and you have to know what your role is and when to kind of show up and be there and when to kind of back away.” And in terms of a leader: “you have usually someone leading it, you know, a platoon leader or a director, and sometimes they know what they’re doing, and sometimes they really don’t know what they’re doing. And that’s frustrating.”

The Man Who Killed Don Quixote

Adam Driver was in the Terry Gilliam film, The Man Who Killed Don Quixote, which has been 20 years in the making. Despite the movie project shutting down a few times even after he signed on, Adam stuck with it until Gilliam got it back up and running. According to Gilliam, Driver’s devotion to the film has only proven that he’s the guy Gilliam has “been looking for all these years.”

Jonathan Pryce and Adam Driver on horses in The Man Who Killed Don Quixote.
Source: Alacran Pictures / IMDB

When commenting on the film, Adam jokingly asked when he would ever get another chance to “wear a pair of crushed velvet pants on the back of a horse standing in a volcano in Spain?” He’s probably right. I mean, let’s face it – some opportunities are once in a lifetime.

The Watch Campaign with Brad Pitt and Charlize Theron

But it wasn’t for a movie or charity project. The power trio was selected by the Swiss watch company Breitling for their so-called “Cinema Squad.” Aside from wearing fancy watches and standing around looking cool for photoshoots, the three big shots simply had to promote the new Premier B01 Chronograph 42 model.

Adam Driver was wearing his watch. / Bratt Pitt was posing with his watch.
Source: Twitter / Photo by Anthony Harvey, /

Driver, with more than a decade into his career, is still not comfortable with all of the perks that come with the territory. “Bougie things drive me crazy still,” he said at a Breitling boutique event in Manhattan. “I mean, a lot of things in my life now are…the younger version of me would probably hate myself.” But he does accept that he can get behind Breitling as he really is a fan of their watches.

A Strange Relationship with Food

Apparently, Adam used to eat an entire chicken every day. ”It got tiring – go to the store, buy it, eat it. It’s a mess,” he said. So, what he started to do was eat six eggs per day (four of them with the yolks). “I have a control problem. I hate the feeling of not being in control.” If that rings an OCD bell, then this will, too: he works out obsessively. “I feel like I have to move violently once a day, or I’ll lose my mind.”

Adam Driver at a movie premiere in Los Angeles. / Four rows of Rotisserie chickens cooking with potatoes underneath.
Photo by Kathy Hutchings, / Jordan Gooch,

Eggs and chicken aren’t the only strange part about Adam’s diet. He once almost threw up after eating pizza for a scene. He told NPR: “I did a pizza commercial. Actually, I don’t even think it was for pizza. I think it was just in the scene we ate a bunch of pizza. This was right when I got out of the military, and when I was living in Indianapolis. And it was, you know, taking anything that came my way… I just remember we ate a lot of pizza, and I got really sick.”

He Has a Cat Doppelganger

Sometimes, some animals look like people. And then there are the animals that look like famous people. This Balinese cat was originally named Corey, but due to all of the comments he got on social media about how he looked a lot like Adam Driver, he became known as Kylo Ren. Ren’s owner, Emily McCombs, said that Adam Driver has an open invitation to hang out.

Instagram post of Adam Driver and a cat that looks like him
Source: Instagram

“If he ever wants to come to meet his doppelgänger, he’s welcome to.” Kylo Ren (the cat) is nothing like the Star Wars villain. “So many people have fallen in love with the way he looks, and obviously I did too, but once I got him home, it turns out he has the most amazing personality. He’s loving and sweet. He’s a supreme snuggler,” Emily said.

Wanna see more * animal-celebrity doppelgangers? * NOTE

He Made His Classmates Cry

During his time at Julliard, Adam would accidentally make his peers cry during his performances. Driver’s innately intense, and if you combine that with his self-admitted aggression that he cultivated in the army, you get some emotional scenes during drama school performances. “Just being in the military, you’re so violent,” he told M Magazine in a 2014 interview.

Adam Driver and Michael Urie were performing in Angels in America.
Source: Tumblr

“We got into fights about just random things all the time. I don’t think as aggressively as I did when I was in the Marine Corps. I made people in my school cry because it was just the way I was used to talking to people,” he explained.  “I felt like I wanted to do it! Really hard! Whatever it was! And I needed to calm down a little bit.”

Intensity on the Set of Star Wars

In 2014, Variety broke the exciting news that Adam Driver was cast as the villain in Star Wars: Episode VII. At that point, Star Wars fans only knew that his role was to be in the same vein as Darth Vader. They just didn’t know what or who exactly. Eventually, the role would be revealed as Kylo Ren, and Episode VII earned the official film title The Force Awakens before it took over the box office in 2015.

Adam Driver in costume on the set of Star Wars the Force Awakens intensely going after someone.
Source: Lucasfilm / Bad Robot / Walt Disney Studios / Kobal /

But it was a huge deal for Driver, whose acting really impressed director J.J. Abrams. So much so that he didn’t even have to audition for the part! But according to some of his castmates, he tackled the role with maybe a bit too much of his trademark intensity.

He’s Moody and Intense

“He’s very moody and intense,” Mark Hamill said in an interview with Variety. “I remember saying to Adam, ‘I don’t know how you work, or your technique. But, at some point, you were my nephew. I probably bounced you on my knee. I probably babysat for you. There’s that side, and now we’re both estranged from the Skywalker family. All I’m suggesting is if you’d like, maybe we could go to lunch; we could get together and hang out.'”

Kathleen Kennedy and Mark Hamill joking around while Adam Driver stands intensely.
Photo by Masatoshi Okauchi /

Sounds kind, right? Well, according to Hamill, Adam took a pass on his offering to hang out. But it wasn’t just Hamill. Apparently, he was that way with the whole cast despite John Boyega’s attempts to take him to the light side. “I give Adam hugs randomly, just for no reason. He just stands there. He just waits for me to be done,” Boyega said. Truthfully, I can picture it easily.

“That’s Just the Way That Marines Are”

One morning, Adam and a friend missed physical training at Camp Pendleton in San Diego, and their captain told them to go and exercise on their own. Driver had a mountain bike, and he plunged down a steep cliff at too high of a speed. “That’s just the way that Marines are off-hours,” he described of his days in the army.

Adam Driver and his wife were hanging out with some Marines at lunch.
Source: Tumblr

“Most injuries happen for Marines when they’re off base. You’re going to Oceanside and getting in fights or going to Tijuana, being chased by the militia. You’re getting drunk all the time and driving your car. Your job involves a lot of adrenaline, so you seek it in other ways.” That joy ride on the bike was the ride he broke his sternum on.

His Thoughts on Kylo Ren

Driver liked to play Kylo Ren as younger than his actual age, and that’s what makes his portrayal more compelling. He was a “confused, angry man-boy” with powerful forces whispering in his ear. Then when you see him as pre-Dark Side Ben Solo, the character is still unexpectedly sympathetic.

Adam Driver as Kylo Ren in Star Wars: The Force Awakens.

“There’s something in having an antagonist who is a little more vulnerable. That seems to be more relatable and human than just someone who is a psychopath,” Driver explained of his character. Some of his best moments as Kylo were done in silence when we see the pain in his eyes. A lot of Driver’s acting is written on his face. This is just one reason why the guy is such a good actor!