Adam Driver

Adam Douglas Driver (born November 19, 1983) is an American actor.[1][2] A former Lance Corporal in the Marines, 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. He gained wider recognition for playing Ben Solo / Kylo Ren in the Star Wars sequel trilogy films The Force Awakens (2015), The Last Jedi (2017), and The Rise of Skywalker (2019).

Adam Driver
Driver at the Japan premiere of Star Wars: The Last Jedi in 2017
Adam Douglas Driver

(1983-11-19) November 19, 1983
ResidenceBrooklyn Heights, Brooklyn, New York, U.S.
Alma materJuilliard School
Years active2009–present
Joanne Tucker (m. 2013)
AwardsFull list
Military career
Allegiance United States
Service/branch United States Marine Corps
Years of service2002–2005
Rank Lance Corporal
Unit 1st Battalion 1st Marines

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 the LAFCA Best Actor for playing a poet in Jim Jarmusch's Paterson (2016). He earned significant acclaim for starring as a police detective in BlacKkKlansman (2018) and a theater director in Marriage Story (2019), earning an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor nomination for the former. He made his Broadway debut in Mrs. Warren's Profession (2010) and subsequently appeared in Man and Boy (2011). In 2019, he returned to theater with Burn This, for which he was nominated for the Tony Award for Best Actor in a Play.

Driver is the co-founder of Arts in the Armed Forces, a non-profit that provides free high-quality arts programming to active-duty service members, veterans, military support staff, and their families around the world. He founded the organization with his wife, actress Joanne Tucker, in 2006.

Early life

Adam Douglas Driver was born on November 19, 1983, in San Diego, California,[3] the son of Nancy Wright (née Needham), a paralegal, and Joe Douglas Driver.[4][5][6] 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.[7][8] He has Dutch, English, German, Irish, and Scottish ancestry.[9] When Driver was seven years old, he moved with his older sister and mother to his mother's hometown of Mishawaka, Indiana, where he graduated from Mishawaka High School in 2001.[10][11] He was raised Baptist and sang in the choir at church.[12]

Driver has described his younger self as a "misfit" and told 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.[13] After high school, and before his military service, 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.[14] After high school, he applied to the Juilliard School for drama, but was rejected.

Shortly after the September 11 attacks, Driver joined the Marines[15] and was assigned to Weapons Company, 1st Battalion, 1st Marines as an 81mm mortar man.[16] He served for two years and eight months before dislocating his sternum while mountain biking.[17] He was medically discharged with the rank of Lance Corporal. He then 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.[13] 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 BFA degree in 2009.[18]


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.[19] Driver also appeared in several television shows and short films. His first on-screen appearance was in the series finale of The Unusuals in 2009 as a repentant witness and reluctant accomplice to an unsolved assault. 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.[20] 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.[21] 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.[22]

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; 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.[23]

Mainstream and critical success (2015–present)

In February 2014, Variety reported that Driver would play Kylo Ren, in J. J. Abrams' Star Wars: The Force Awakens (2015).[24] On April 29, 2014, he was confirmed as a cast member.[25] The Force Awakens was released on December 18, 2015 to commercial and critical success.[26] 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."[27]

In 2016, Driver played a supporting role in Jeff Nichols' sci-fi thriller Midnight Special, which was released on March 18, 2016.[28][29] 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.[30][31] In preparation for the role, Driver lost almost 50 pounds.[32] 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.[33] The film premiered at Cannes Film Festival and was released on December 28, 2016.[34][35] Driver's performance was acclaimed[36][37] and he received multiple nominations for Best Actor from critics associations, winning several, including the Los Angeles Film Critics Association Award for Best Actor.[38] Peter Travers of Rolling Stone wrote "Driver's indelibly moving portrayal is so lived-in and lyrical you hardly recognize it as acting."[39] Paterson was included in many critics' top ten lists of best films of 2016.[40]

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.[41] He also portrayed Clyde, a one-armed Iraq War veteran, in Steven Soderbergh's Logan Lucky, which was released on August 18, 2017.[42] He reprised his role as Kylo Ren in Star Wars: The Last Jedi, which was released on December 15, 2017.[43] 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."[44]

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.[45] 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.[46]

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.[47] He was part of the ensemble cast of the Jim Jarmusch zombie comedy movie The Dead Don't Die, which was released on June 14, 2019. Later the same year, he co-starred with Scarlett Johansson in Noah Baumbach's Marriage Story, which premiered at the Venice Film Festival.[48][49] Reviewing the film in The Hollywood Reporter, critic Jon Frosch noted that Driver "delivers a brilliantly inhabited and shaded portrait of a man."[50]

Upcoming projects

He is set to star in Sylvester Stallone's Tough As They Come[51] and Leos Carax's upcoming music drama Annette.[52] He will also reprise his role in Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker.[53]

Personal life

Driver married actress Joanne Tucker in June 2013.[54] They have a son, whose birth they kept hidden from the press for two years.[55] They live in Brooklyn Heights with their son and a pet dog.[56]

Driver and his wife are co-founders of Arts in the Armed Forces (AITAF), a non-profit that performs theatre for all branches of the military in the United States and abroad.[57]

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. [58]



Year Title Role Director Notes
2011 J. Edgar Walter Lyle Clint Eastwood
2012 Gayby Neil Jonathan Lisecki
2012 Not Waving But Drowning Adam Devyn Waitt
2012 Frances Ha Lev Shapiro Noah Baumbach
2012 Lincoln Samuel Beckwith Steven Spielberg
2013 Bluebird Walter Lance Edmands
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 Kylo Ren / Ben Solo J. J. Abrams
2016 Midnight Special Paul Sevier Jeff Nichols
2016 Paterson Paterson Jim Jarmusch
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 Kylo Ren / Ben Solo 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 The Dead Don't Die Officer Ronald Peterson Jim Jarmusch
2019 Marriage Story Charlie Barber Noah Baumbach
2019 Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker Kylo Ren / Ben Solo J. J. Abrams [59]
TBA Annette Henry McHenry Leos Carax Post-production


Year Title Role Notes
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"
TBA SpongeBob SquarePants Hal (voice) Episode: "Pearl's New Boyfriend"

Video games

Year Title Voice role Notes
2015 Disney Infinity 3.0 Kylo Ren
2016 Lego Star Wars: The Force Awakens Kylo Ren


Year Title Role Venue
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

Awards and nominations


  1. Brady, Tara (December 29, 2016). "Adam Driver, accidental superstar, on Star Wars, Scorsese and stepping up after 9/11". The Irish Times. Retrieved June 16, 2018.
  2. "Adam Driver Talks About His Most Favorite Birthday Gift Ever". W Magazine. November 19, 2017. Retrieved February 3, 2018.
  3. Feinberg, Scott (December 5, 2016). "'Awards Chatter' Podcast — Adam Driver ('Paterson' and 'Silence')". The Hollywood Reporter.
  4. "Adam Driver: 'Girls' Heartthrob Coming to a Theater or Magazine Cover Near You". Epoch Times. September 20, 2014. Retrieved December 1, 2015.
  5. Grigoriadis, Vanessa. "Adam Driver on Playing Lena Dunham's Boyfriend". Vulture. Retrieved January 22, 2014.
  6. Ransbottom, Virginia (December 28, 2007). "Exploring possibilities Mishawaka grad takes challenging path on course to Broadway". South Bend Tribune. Archived from the original on November 9, 2013. Retrieved January 22, 2014.
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  9. "6 things to know about Adam Driver". Metro. April 30, 2014. Retrieved September 1, 2019.
  10. Kennedy, Mark (October 14, 2011). "In the driver's seat: Adam Driver's hot career". Reading Eagle. Retrieved January 20, 2014.
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  29. "Warner Bros Pushes Ben Affleck's 'Live By Night', Dates 'Midnight Special' & 3 Others". Deadline Hollywood. May 6, 2014. Retrieved May 7, 2014.
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  42. Hayes, Dade (May 28, 2017). "'Logan Lucky' Trailer Reunites 'Magic Mike' Team–Plus Daniel Craig as Joe Bang". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved June 13, 2018.
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  46. Keslassy, Elsa (April 19, 2018). "Cannes Adds Lars von Trier's 'The House That Jack Built,' Sets Terry Gilliam's 'Don Quixote' as Closer". Variety. Retrieved April 19, 2018.
  47. Clement, Olivia (March 15, 2019). "Burn This, Starring Keri Russell and Adam Driver, Begins on Broadway". Playbill. Retrieved April 8, 2019.
  48. Kroll, Justin (November 17, 2017). "Noah Baumbach Casts Adam Driver, Scarlett Johansson, Laura Dern in Next Film". Variety. Retrieved November 18, 2017.
  49. "Marriage Story First Reviews: Scarlett Johansson and Adam Driver Shine in Noah Baumbach's Best Film Yet". Retrieved August 30, 2019.
  50. "'Marriage Story': Film Review | Venice 2019". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved November 20, 2019.
  51. Fleming Jr., Mike (January 3, 2017). "Sylvester Stallone To Helm 'Tough As They Come,' Starring With Adam Driver". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved April 30, 2017.
  52. Blistein, Jon (March 14, 2017). "Adam Driver to Star in New Music Drama 'Annette'". Rolling Stone. Retrieved April 30, 2017.
  53. Hutchinson, Corey (December 18, 2017). "Star Wars: Every Confirmed Cast Member For Episode 9". Screen Rant. Retrieved January 2, 2018.
  54. Takeda, Allison (June 24, 2013). "Girls' Adam Driver Marries Joanne Tucker!". Us Weekly. Retrieved June 27, 2017.
  55. Schulman, Michael (October 21, 2019). "Adam Driver, the Original Man". ISSN 0028-792X. Retrieved October 22, 2019.
  56. Hawkes, Rebecca (November 30, 2016). "Adam Driver: 10 things you never knew". The Telegraph. Retrieved September 25, 2017.
  57. "About Arts In The Armed Forces | AITAF: Arts In The Armed Forces". Archived from the original on January 13, 2017. Retrieved March 8, 2017.
  58. "Adam Driver Walks Out of NPR Interview Over 'Marriage Story' Clip".
  59. Hall, Jacob (February 15, 2019). "'Star Wars: Episode 9' Has Wrapped Filming – See a New Image From the Set". /Film. Retrieved February 15, 2019.
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