Girls star Adam Driver is featured in the December 2016/January 2017 issue of Interview Magazine.
Savvy and cynical consumers of culture as we may be these days, watching Adam Driver for the first time still felt, somehow, new. His menace and mercy and general lanky amiability in that first flush, when he appeared as Hannah’s boyfriend on the first season of Girls (which returns for its sixth and final season in winter 2017), shone with that instantly recognizable urgency of unique promise, and almost immediately made Driver an interesting, dark-horse casting choice on the indie-drama circuit. His subsequent performances, in the Coen brothers’ Inside Llewyn Davis (2013), in the charming This Is Where I Leave You (2014), and in a pair of Noah Baumbach’s tales of modern New Yorkers, Frances Ha (2013) and While We’re Young (2015), could easily have priced him out of art-house and into exclusively multiplex fare. Indeed, his talent and sort of Modigliani Mr. Potato Head appearance are too perfect a fit for the Fellini-esque cast of characters as established by George Lucas in the Star Wars universe, and Driver really couldn’t not be the temperamental Kylo Ren in the J.J. Abrams reboot of the franchise-and in Rian Johnson’s forthcoming follow-up, out in December 2017.
On his childhood: “When I was growing up, it was all film. In the town over, in Nappanee, Indiana there was the Round Barn Theatre at Amish Acres where they did, like, Annie Get Your Gun seven years in a row. But apart from that, I didn’t have much exposure to theater. Also, Paul Giamatti in my friend’s apartment. We did this reading of Philoctetes by Sophocles. He was reading Philoctetes. It was just Paul Giamatti, my friend, and myself in this apartment. And it was one of the most amazing things. He has a foot that’s wounded and he’s begging Neoptolemus, my character, to cut it off. And I forgot to come in because in watching him, I actually believed that he was suffering and had been on this island for a long time. It was really incredible. But as far as movies that influenced me growing up, it was mostly, like, Lethal Weapon .”
On the actor-director relationship: “I always found something strangely paternal about the director-actor relationship. Actors want so much approval. And I’m looking to you to tell me it’s good. I want you to be happy and like it all.”
On being an actor: “The only thing I know that makes me feel comfortable is to know as much as I can. Not like what the shots are going to be, but knowing enough about my character that I can forget those things. And more specifically, my lines. I have to know my lines. I have to know something really well, so I can forget it when we’re doing it. And there is comfort in knowing, “Okay, there’s not another stone that I could have overturned.”
The season premiere of Girls airs February 12th on HBO.
Photo Credit: Steven Klein for Interview Magazine