Wednesday, December 8

Adam Driver, the most unlikely star in Hollywood: “I don’t have much more life outside of acting” | Culture | ICON

Leos Carax first saw Adam Driver (San Diego, 37 years old) in an episode of Girls (2012-2017). He discovered it like almost everyone else, in the skin of the exotic Adam, that almost secondary character but with memorable nudist and masturbatory tendencies, and he thought: “What an extraordinary face, what an extraordinary body.” By the second season, in 2013, the actor was already working non-stop. With Spielberg on Lincoln (2012), with the Coens in About Llewyn Davis (2013), with John Curran in Tracks (2013), with Noah Baumbach in Frances Ha (2012) … And around that time, Carax called him.

The controversial director of Lovers of the Pont-Neuf (1991) and Holy Motors (2012) had a new script, Annette, a peculiar musical project that he had written halfway with the brothers Ron and Russell Mael, the group Sparks, and wanted him as its protagonist, a comedian called El Mono de Dios. Driver decided that he was going to work with Carax. His professional strategy is based on making decisions “within five seconds” after reading the script or meeting the director, as he confesses during a break in his hectic visit to the last Cannes festival. “If I need more than that time, something is wrong,” he confirms, with that tone that characterizes him, laconic of need and more serious than a tax inspection.

When they met, Adam was still “a good boy,” as Carax called him during the festival. The madness that came with the new trilogy of the saga of Star Wars, where he played Kylo Ren, the only pop icon to emerge from those movies, that grandson of Darth Vader who was fooling around with the Dark Side. That “good boy” halo may come from being an ex-marine, enlisted in a patriotic streak shortly after 9/11. He switched to acting after graduating from Juilliard School in 2009. Since then, he has walked away from anything that could fuel his unstoppable fame (although he has used it to work with the greatest, a list in which he places Scorsese at the top). He claims to have tried to seek silence to reflect on fame, to disappear despite his 1.90 meters in height and to try to recover “the luxury of anonymity.”

But he can’t help it either: “I don’t have much more life outside of acting,” he warns. He is a devotee of his work, and more so now that he has freed himself from Star Wars and he has gone back to auteur cinema. After Annette, this year will premiere The Last Duel and House of Gucci, with Lady Gaga, both of Ridley Scott. After this interview he had to run from Cannes to Ohio, where he is filming for the fifth time with Greta Gerwig and Noah Baumbach.

Fame has its good points. Thanks to Kylo Ren, Carax got the funding for Annette. Perhaps that is why the actor decided to finally jump into production. “I consider it a natural evolution. I see this work as something very collaborative in which my role is not limited only to acting, but I am part of the success of the film, “he says. Driver plays a man to say the least toxic, but if asked, his usual shyness worsens: “I don’t like to think about the themes of the movies, I only react when the scene demands.” And in this musical I had a lot of work: to sing each of the lines of dialogue. “Singing does not come naturally to me, I would die of shame if I had to do it right now, but we accept that the language of this film was that and we sing live 90% of the film.” He does it on a motorcycle, on a boat or in the middle of a cunnilingus. That is military discipline.

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