NPR 4 THE DEF: We Hear It Even When You Can’t

Adam Driver




A year after Sept. 11, actor Adam Driver joined the Marine Corps. He was working odd jobs, selling vacuum cleaners and paying rent to live in his parents’ house — and he says, like many other Americans, he felt a sense of patriotism and he wanted retribution. “I wanted to ‘test my manhood’ and serve my country and just get even and … get away from home and everything I didn’t like about it,” Driver tells Fresh Air’s Terry Gross. “In retrospect, it was actually pretty great.” After suffering from a mountain biking injury, Driver, who now stars in the film comedy While We’re Young, had to go on limited duty and decided to pursue acting. Now that his movie career is taking off, Driver says he sees similarities between the military and acting: Each person is part of a group trying to accomplish a mission that’s greater than themselves. “The discipline, the self-maintenance, the comradery — they’re so similar,” Driver says. “I don’t view acting as such a radical departure from the military.” Driver is best known for his role as Hannah’s boyfriend on the HBO series Girls. Driver has significant roles in the next Star Wars film and Martin Scorsese’s forthcoming film Silence. In While We’re Young, he plays one half of a young couple that befriends a middle-aged husband and wife, played by Ben Stiller and Naomi Watts. Driver says that whenever he acts, he’s hard on himself. “I have a tendency to … drive myself and the other people around me crazy with the things I want to change. Everything in me wants to try to make it better and I feel like it’s just not a healthy thing.” But he’s learning to “surrender as much control as possible.” MORE