How a Broken Breastbone Finished Adam Driver’s Career As a Marine and Gave the World a Great Actor

It sometimes seems that our lives are just sequences of random events or that they are controlled by fate. Adam Driver wanted to become an actor but failed his audition in drama school, so he joined the Marines. And his new career ended when he broke a breastbone. He then tried to become an actor again and achieved tremendous success.

As a teenager, he thought he was a loser.

Adam Douglas Driver was born in San Diego, California on November 19, 1983. But when he was 7, he moved to Indiana with his mother. After school, he’d work as a vacuum cleaner seller and as a telemarketer for a basement waterproofing company. But he soon realized he wanted to become an actor.

At first, he went to New York and auditioned at Juilliard, a prestigious acting school. Adam was rejected, so he decided to try his luck in Hollywood. He took his 1990 Lincoln Town Car, loaded a fridge, a microwave oven, and some food, and headed out.

The car was old, so it broke down in Texas, and Adam had to spend a lot of money on repairs. When he finally reached Los Angeles, he was conned by a real estate agent and only had $200 left. He wasn’t very likely to survive in California with this money, but he could still reach Indiana. So, his first attempt to become an actor failed.

“It was all just embarrassing. I felt like a loser.”

He joined the Marines and broke his breastbone, which finished his career.

After failing in New York and Los Angeles, Adam decided to make a drastic change and joined the United States Marine Corps. It was great this time. But 2 years and 8 months later, he broke his breastbone when riding a mountain bike. The injury was so serious that Adam wasn’t allowed to continue his service. He was medically discharged with the rank of Lance Corporal. He is a veteran of the U.S. Marine Corps.

He became an actor on the second attempt.

After having failed with his new career, Driver made another attempt to become an actor. He returned to Indiana and joined a local acting school. He auditioned at Juilliard again, and this time, he was accepted. In 2009, he graduated with a Bachelor of Fine Arts.

Afterward, he finally moved to New York. At first, he was in theater plays, and like many beginner actors, he worked as a waiter. Then, he debuted on TV, playing a guest role in The Unusuals. Later, he was in J. Edgar together with Leonardo DiCaprio. But his breakthrough was in Girls, where he played an emotionally unstable character named Adam. He got 3 Emmy nominations for this role.

He won the hearts of fans by portraying a villain.

At the beginning of 2014, Adam got the role that made him famous worldwide. He played Kylo, the antagonist in Star Wars: The Force Awakens. The movie was released in December 2015 and earned lots of money. Driver played Kylo in other movies of the new trilogy, such as The Last Jedi (2017) and The Rise of Skywalker (2019). People loved his acting and even named Adam’s character the best in the trilogy.

“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.”

His next breakthrough was in 2019. He appeared in Noah Baumbach’s Marriage Story together with Scarlett Johansson. It premiered at the 76th Venice International Film Festival. The critic Jon Frosch noted that Driver “delivers a brilliantly inhabited and shaded portrait” of a man undergoing a divorce. For his performance, he received a nomination for the Academy Award for Best Actor.

Two years later, he finally won the hearts of millions of people, appearing in 2 of Ridley Scott’s movies. First, he played in The Last Duel with Matt Damon and Jodie Comer. Then, he was Lady Gaga’s co-star in House of Gucci, portraying a shy heir of the fashion empire.

He got nominated for the Triple Crown of Acting.

Adam’s work impressed the critics so much that he became one of the few actors to be nominated for the Triple Crown of Acting. This is a term used to describe an actor that got an Academy Award, an Emmy Award, and a Tony Award in the acting categories.

Driver was nominated for an Academy Award for BlacKkKlansman and Marriage Story, an Emmy for Girls, and for his guest appearance on Saturday Night Live, and he got a Tony nomination for his lead role in Burn This. Besides, Driver has been nominated for the BAFTA, the Golden Globe, and the Screen Actors Guild Award. He hasn’t won any of these awards yet, but we’re sure he will.

He doesn’t watch his movies.

Despite his success, Adam has said many times that he doesn’t like watching or listening to his performances. During a radio interview for Fresh Air NPR, he decided to leave when the anchor turned on a fragment of Marriage Story. During that conversation, Driver explained that he didn’t like watching himself. He said that he usually leaves the theater when his movies are shown. And before the film ends, he returns and pretends he had been there the entire time.

He lives in New York with his lovely wife and son.

Robyn Beck / AFP / East News

Adam tries to keep his private life out of the spotlight. He lives in Brooklyn Heights, New York. He met his wife, actress Joanne Tucker, when he was in Juilliard. They got married in June 2013. It’s not known when their son was born because Adam and Joanne keep him away from the press. They managed to hide the fact they had a son for 2 years, and they still haven’t shared the name of the child.

When Adam is not working, he doesn’t leave the world of acting. He is the founder of Arts in the Armed Forces (AITAF), a non-profit that performs theater for all branches of the military in the United States and abroad.

“I thought, how great would it be to create a space that combines these two seemingly dissimilar communities that brought entertainment to a group of people that, considering their occupation, could handle something a bit more thought-provoking than the typical, mandatory fun events.”

Which film with Adam Driver do you like the most?

Cheery/People/How a Broken Breastbone Finished Adam Driver’s Career As a Marine and Gave the World a Great Actor
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