Driver at the Japan premiere of
Star Wars: The Last Jedi in 2017
Adam Douglas Driver
November 19, 1983
|Alma mater||Juilliard School|
Joanne Tucker (m. 2013)
|Allegiance||United States of America|
|Service/||United States Marine Corps|
|Years of service||2002–2005|
Adam Douglas Driver (born November 19, 1983) is an American actor. He rose to prominence in the supporting role of Adam Sackler in the HBO comedy-drama series Girls (2012–2017), for which he received three consecutive nominations for the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series. He made his Broadway debut in Mrs. Warren's Profession in 2010. In 2011, he returned to Broadway in Man and Boy and made his feature film debut in J. Edgar.
Driver has played supporting roles in a wide range of films, including Lincoln (2012), Frances Ha (2012), Inside Llewyn Davis (2013), and Silence (2016). He won the Volpi Cup for Best Actor at the Venice Film Festival for his performance in Hungry Hearts (2014); he also received several accolades for his lead performance in Jim Jarmusch's Paterson (2016). In 2018, Driver received Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor and Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actor nominations for his performance in the film BlacKkKlansman.
Driver gained wider recognition and acclaim for playing the main antagonist Kylo Ren in the Star Wars sequel trilogy, first in The Force Awakens (2015), followed by The Last Jedi (2017). He is set to reprise the role in Episode IX (2019).
Driver is the Founder of Arts in the Armed Forces, a non-profit that brings high-quality arts programming to active-duty service members, veterans, military support staff and their families around the world free of charge.
Driver was born in San Diego, California, the son of Nancy Wright (née Sneedham), a paralegal, and Joe Douglas Driver. 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, and Driver was raised Baptist. He has English, Irish, Scottish, German, and Dutch ancestry. When Driver was seven years old, he moved with his older sister and mother to her hometown of Mishawaka, Indiana, and attended Mishawaka High School where he graduated in 2001. Driver had a religious upbringing and sang in the choir at church.
As a teenager, Driver described himself as a "misfit," telling M Magazine that he climbed radio towers, set objects on fire, and co-founded a fight club with his friends after being inspired by the film Fight Club. After high school, and before his military service, Driver worked as a door-to-door salesman selling Kirby vacuum cleaners and as a telemarketer for a basement waterproofing company and Ben Franklin Construction.
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 with no deployments before breaking his sternum while mountain biking. He was medically discharged. After leaving the Marine Corps, Driver attended the University of Indianapolis for a year, then transferred to the Juilliard School to study drama. Driver said that he was seen as an intimidating and volatile figure by his classmates, and struggled to fit into a lifestyle so different from the Marines. 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.
In 2006, he and his wife Joanne Tucker started Arts in the Armed Forces.
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. He made his feature film debut in Clint Eastwood's biographical drama J. Edgar in 2011.
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). During the show's run 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. Additionally, 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 tragedy Inside Llewyn Davis, and photographer Rick Smolan in the drama Tracks. In 2014, he played Jude, a despairing father, in the drama Hungry Hearts, Jaime, an aspiring filmmaker, in Noah Baumbach's comedy While We're Young, and Philip, 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.
In February 2014, Variety reported that Driver would play the villain, Kylo Ren, in J. J. Abrams' Star Wars: The Force Awakens (2015). On April 29, 2014, he was confirmed as a cast member. The Force Awakens was released on December 18, 2015 to commercial and critical success. Peter Bradshaw of The Guardian highlighted Driver's performance in his review of the film 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. In preparation for his role, Driver lost almost 50 pounds in weight. 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, 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 redneck veteran, in Steven Soderbergh's Logan Lucky, which was released on August 18, 2017. He reprised his role as Kylo Ren in Star Wars: The Last Jedi, which was released on December 15, 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 in the film and was nominated for the Academy 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 the same festival.
Driver will co-star with Scarlett Johansson in the upcoming Untitled Noah Baumbach Project. He is set to star in The Report directed by Scott Z. Burns. He's also part of the ensemble cast of the upcoming Jim Jarmusch zombie comedy movie The Dead Don't Die. Driver is also attached to star in Sylvester Stallone's Tough As They Come, and Leos Carax's upcoming music drama Annette. He is expected to reprise his role as Kylo Ren in Star Wars: Episode IX.
|Denotes films that have not yet been released|
|2011||J. Edgar||Walter Lyle||Clint Eastwood|
|2012||Not Waving But Drowning||Adam||Devyn Waitt|
|2012||Frances Ha||Lev Shapiro||Noah Baumbach|
|2012||Lincoln||Samuel Beckwith||Steven Spielberg|
|2013||Inside Llewyn Davis||Al Cody||Coen brothers|
|2013||Tracks||Rick Smolan||John Curran|
|2013||What If||Allan||Michael Dowse|
|2014||Hungry Hearts||Jude||Saverio Costanzo|
|2014||While We're Young||Jamie Massey||Noah Baumbach|
|2014||This Is Where I Leave You||Phillip Altman||Shawn Levy|
|2015||Star Wars: The Force Awakens||Ben Solo / Kylo Ren||J. J. Abrams|
|2016||Midnight Special||Paul Sevier||Jeff Nichols|
|2016||Silence||Father Francisco Garupe||Martin Scorsese|
|2017||The Meyerowitz Stories||Randy||Noah Baumbach|
|2017||Logan Lucky||Clyde Logan||Steven Soderbergh|
|2017||Star Wars: The Last Jedi||Ben Solo / Kylo Ren||Rian Johnson|
|2018||BlacKkKlansman||Detective Philip "Flip" Zimmerman||Spike Lee|
|2018||The Man Who Killed Don Quixote||Toby Grisoni||Terry Gilliam|
|2019||The Report||Daniel Jones||Scott Z. Burns|
|2019||Untitled Noah Baumbach Project||Charlie||Noah Baumbach||Post-production|
|2019||The Dead Don't Die||Officer Ronald Peterson||Jim Jarmusch||Post-production|
|2019||Star Wars: Episode IX||Ben Solo / Kylo Ren||J. J. Abrams||Post-production|
|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"|
|2012–2017||Girls||Adam Sackler||49 episodes|
|2015||The Simpsons||Adam Sackler (voice)||Episode: "Every Man's Dream"|
|2016–2018||Saturday Night Live||Himself (host)||Episodes: "Adam Driver/Chris Stapleton", "Adam Driver/Kanye West"|
|2017||Bob's Burgers||Art the Artist (voice)||Episodes: "The Bleakening: Part 1 & 2"|
|2019||Star Wars Resistance||Kylo Ren (voice)|
|2015||Disney Infinity 3.0||Ben Solo / Kylo Ren||Voice|
|2016||Lego Star Wars: The Force Awakens||Ben Solo / Kylo Ren||Voice|
|2009||Slipping||Chris||Rattlestick Playwrights Theater|
|2009||The Retributionists||Dov Kaplinsky||Playwrights Horizons|
|2010||Little Doc||Ric||Rattlestick Playwrights Theater|
|2010||The Forest||Bulanov||East 13th Street Theatre|
|2010||Mrs. Warren's Profession||Frank Gardner||American Airlines Theatre|
|2010–2011||Angels in America||Louis Ironson||Peter Norton Space|
|2011||Man and Boy||Basil Anthony||American Airlines Theatre|
|2012||Look Back in Anger||Cliff Lewis||Laura Pels Theatre|
|2019||Burn This||Pale||Hudson Theatre|
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