Adam Driver shot to fame in 2015 when he played Princess Leia and Han Solo’s brooding son, Kylo Ren, in Star Wars: The Force Awakens. Since then, Driver has had a slew of successful roles, a few of which earned him Oscar nominations.
Whether the role is big or small, Driver, with his towering figure and tongue-in-cheek humor, knows how to stay memorable. From playing an intergalactic warlord to a down-on-his-luck folk artist, Driver has done it all.
‘Gayby’ (2012) – 90%
Jonathan Lisekiit is Gayby tells the story of yoga instructor Jenn (Jenn Harris) and his comic-loving gay best friend Matt (Matthew Wilkas), who decide to have a baby – or “gayby” – together after a series of romantic bad luck. Driver plays Matt’s colleague at the comic book store, the lovable bumbling Neil.
This debut work gives fans a glimpse of the goofy, lovable Adam Driver they love. From his rant about Cyclops’ affair with Emma Frost to his strategic hiding behind the counter when Matt’s ex Tom (Zac Shaffer) arrives in the store, Driver makes everyone covet a friend like Neil.
“Star Wars: The Last Jedi” (2017) — 91%
If the first installment didn’t make you feel things, see Kylo Ren’s performance in Rian Johnsonit is Star Wars: The Last Jedi should have done. The second part of star wars the sequel trilogy was polarizing among fansbut if there’s anything the Star Wars fandom can agree on (and there isn’t much), it’s that Adam Driver was born to play the role of Kylo Ren.
His nuanced portrayal of the trilogy’s big bad brought new depth to the traditional villain role. His quiet contemplation, seething outbursts, and somewhat misguided affection for Rey (daisy ridley) make Kylo truly terrifying – you don’t know whether to run away from him or hug him and tell him it’ll be okay.
‘Lucky Logan’ (2017) – 92%
Steven Soderbergit is Lucky Logan sees Adam Driver team up with Channing Tatum, Daniel Craigand Riley Keough steal a lot of money from Charlotte Motor Speedway. Driver plays Clyde Logan, a reluctant participant in his brother Jimmy’s (Channing Tatum) heist plans.
To portray Clyde, Driver speaks in a southern drawl and wears a prosthetic arm. He plays the loving brother with heart, making sure Clyde rushes to his family’s aid faster than you can say “cauliflower.”
“Inside Llewyn Davis” (2013) – 92%
If you ever wanted to see Kylo Ren and Poe Dameron perform a folk song about space travel, watch Inside Llewyn Davis. The Coen Brothers film, set in 1961 in New York, follows the story of Llewyn Davis (Oscar Isaac), a struggling folk singer. Driver stars as Al Cody, another performing musician.
Although the part is small, like all Driver performances, it is still memorable. Al is another clumsy but lovable goof who can sing a mean backing track. The musical nature of his performance gives fans a taste of Driver’s singing chops, which are featured in later roles.
“The Meyerowitz Stories” (2017) – 93%
Noah Baumbachit is The Meyerowitz stories follows the lives of Meyerowitz’s dysfunctional children, who reunite for a retrospective of their father’s work. The film boasts an all-star cast, including Ben Stiller like Matthew Meyerowitz, a successful financial adviser.
Driver plays the small role of Randy, one of Matthew’s rockstar clients. In this role, Driver is less clumsy and cooler, with all the eccentricities one would expect from a young man with too much money to spend.
“Star Wars: The Force Awakens” (2015) — 93%
In the role that would propel him to stardomDriver plays Kylo Ren in JJ Abrams‘ Star Wars: The Force Awakens. Princess Leia’s son (Carrie Fisher) and Han Solo (Harrison Ford) and Darth Vader’s grandson were always going to have some big shoes to fill – luckily Driver had the chops to do it.
Driver cuts an imposing figure, spending the first half of the film masked. While some may think it’s a tribute to Kylo’s grandfather, others know it’s just to mask the conflicting emotions written clearly on his face. If there was a prize for being hot and sad, Adam Driver would win it as Kylo Ren.
‘Frances Ha’ (2012) – 93%
by Noah Baumbach Frances Ha is a coming-of-age story that follows the life of 27-year-old dancer Frances (Greta Gerwig) and his friends. Driver plays Lev, Frances’ friend and former roommate.
Frances Ha is Driver’s first collaboration with Baumbach, setting the tone for a long and fruitful actor-director relationship. Driver plays Lev with the cheeky charm and eccentricity that fans love him for. He can also totally rock a bowler hat.
‘Marriage Story’ (2019) – 94%
Adam Driver stars alongside Scarlett Johansson at Noah Baumbach Marriage story. The film follows the story of director Charlie, played by Driver, and his actress wife Nicole, who go through a messy divorce.. The film has been praised for its authentic portrayal of the heartbreak and conflict of divorce with a child stuck in the middle.
Driver’s performance as Charlie earned him a Best Actor Oscar nomination, and it’s not hard to see why. In one particularly heartbreaking scene, Charlie and Nicole have a brutal verbal argument in which Charlie tells Nicole he wishes she were dead after hitting a wall. The argument ends with Driver crying at Johansson’s feet as she comforts him. It’s raw, it’s honest, and it’s one of the best actors in Driver.
‘Paterson’ (2016) – 96%
In Jim Jarmuschit is Paterson, Driver plays the main character, a soft-spoken poet who drives a bus and enjoys routine. Paterson lives with his artistic wife, Laura (Golshifteh Farahani), who supported her creative endeavors and encouraged her to make copies of her poems.
The role asks Driver to show more of his soft, gentle side, which he excels at despite his considerable stature. His strength comes in handy, however, when Paterson has to disarm a gunman who walks into his favorite watering hole after work. The unexpected act of heroism surprises even Paterson himself, making audiences love him all the more for his modesty.
‘BlacKkKlansman’ (2018) – 96%
Spike Leeit is BlacKkKlansman follows the story of Ron Stallworth (John David Washingtonlisten), the first African-American detective to serve in the Colorado Springs Police Department. The film, inspired by real events, sees Ron infiltrate and eliminate the Colorado Springs chapter of the Ku Klux Klan. Driver stars as Ron’s flannel partner, Flip Zimmerman.
Flip acts as Ron’s white proxy at Klan meetings while Ron swindles the members, including Grand Wizard David Duke (Topher Grace), by telephone. The film uses comedy to explore a heartbreaking part of recent history, and Driver’s deadpan comedic style fits right in. The role earned him an Academy Award nomination for Best Supporting Actor, which isn’t surprising given the obvious camaraderie between him and co-star John David. Washington.
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