Sunday, October 2

Adam Driver: “There is a direct and historical relationship between being an actor and being a military man”


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Marine, star and even a new masculinity model, all that is the actor of the year in the film of the season: ‘The House of Gucci’

Actor Adam Driver is the protagonist of 'The House of Gucci'.
Actor Adam Driver is the protagonist of ‘The House of Gucci’.Erik TannerContact

Nothing about this man seems ordinary, ordinary, or just ordinary. Marine before being an actor, has made his cubist face an emblem of the new. And so, the one that seems to be the production of the season is that it appears hand in hand with the one who is the interpreter of this and many more years. Adam Driver (San Diego, 1983) has gone in just under a decade from a tough face with charisma to a classic-looking actor of the day who is equally capable of bringing to life the most disproportionate of villains in the world. Star Wars and to be the essential in a list of directors more or less cult that goes from the Coen brothers to Scorsese through Noah Baumbach, Jim Jarmusch or Steven Soderbergh.

In the year in question we have seen Driver in armor in The last duel, by Ridley Scott, singing in the unorthodox musical of the Sparks and Leos Carax Annette and now sheathed in the most elegant of the suits seconded by Lady Gaga. The Gucci House, also by Scott, is haute couture drama; a disproportionate story for an actor without measure and genuinely unique.

Love, greed, family, and obviously fashion. Which of all these elements of the Gucci Shakespearean drama impressed you the most, to the point that you decided to make the film?
None of them. Let’s say I became familiar with the story when the script came in. But if I decided to make the film, it was exclusively for Ridley Scott.
After opening Cannes with Annette and the next two jobs with Scott, would you say it’s your year? Do you feel that you have reached where every actor wishes?
It is certainly a very special moment in my career, but honestly, I feel the same now as in each of the previous years since I started. Time passes, my body is transformed and my priorities change. But in reality, I am aware that almost everything that happens to me is beyond my control. It has coincided that this season three more films have been seen, but if you analyze why, it is seen that it has been because of the delays generated by the Covid. I have been lucky (many others with equal or more talent than me are not) and I strive to take advantage of my opportunities.
As he puts it, more than congratulating him makes you want to congratulate him.
Well, what I wanted to say is that what happens to you in the movies is not up to you. There are too many people deciding. My only advantage now, in my position, is that I have control over what I refuse, over what I refuse to do. Let’s say I have acquired the power to say no. For the rest, I try to look at myself in the career of the people I admire.
For instance?
De Niro, Gene Hackman, Al Pacino, Dustin Hoffman … They are all mostly disciplined actors and many of them were trained first in the theater.
How do you think the cinema situation has changed compared to theirs?
Now there are many more job opportunities for an actor and the pressure with the platforms or the emergence of social networks has nothing to do with it. Those were a time when actors could go from theater to cinema naturally. There were also more interesting things that were commercial successes. I think for example of The battle of Algiers scored by Gillo Pontecorvo when we have the information. Right now that a film like that not only succeeds but that it can be done is an impossible idea.
Erik TannerContact

When they started talking about you after the series Girls, many of the headlines were pointing out that he was the representative of a new masculinity. Do you feel concerned by this idea? How new is your masculinity?
New masculinity? Yes, I’ve already read that about myself … but, honestly, I don’t really know what it is or what it means. I just play my character. I think that more than me, the headlines referred to my character. I go back to the old thing, what people perceive of me is beyond my control.
Another issue that always appears in his biography is his past as a marine. Keep collaborating in the organization Arts in the Armed Forces?
In fact, we just had the first performance after a year and a half of hiatus for the Covid. As it ended, he took a plane for the promotion of The Gucci House. It all started 13 years ago and basically consists of doing representations for the army.
I don’t know if the question is pertinent, but what do the work of an actor have in common with that of a soldier?
It is very relevant, because there is much in common and there is a direct correlation. Of course, the stakes are very different. In the army, a mistake can be paid for with life. But basically in both cases it is a team of people who have practically nothing in common, forced to work with the same purpose and to have a very intimate relationship for a very short period of time. At the same time, each one separately has to feel relevant. And all this under the orders of a director. In fact, the relationship between the military and the theater is ancient.
How old?
Sophocles became involved in the military and wrote plays for an audience that was at war on seven fronts at once. In any case, it must be taken into account that the army in the United States is only 1% of the population and the lack of communication between civilians and the military is the greatest in the history of my country. I think it is interesting and good to create spaces of understanding between the two.
He has always said that patriotism was the main reason for enlisting after the attack on the Twin Towers. It was just 20 years since then. What is left of that feeling?
I do not think it is mistress who is responsible for answering that question. There are people more qualified than me.
Actually, I ask him what he feels. I do not claim that I do a geopolitical analysis.
I’m just an actor in a movie about the Gucci family.

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