If anybody in the last months wandered around any cinema, it must have been impossible for him to not notice the (omni)presence of a bizarre persona on so many posters hanging on the walls. A strong face, shaped with a candy-pink skin, dark black hair and an extremely important nose. But most of all, a deep look in his eyes, groomy and playful at the same time, maybe even a little childish. It was – or it’s better to say: it is – the splendid face of Adam Driver, leading two primary films from this last cinematographic year, both of them premiered back in May at Cannes Film Festival. On one hand BlacKkKlansman, the new masterpiece by Spike Lee, clearly a declaration of war to Ku Klux Klan (and a bold, audacious satire about the contemporary administration of Trump government and its classist and xenophobic trends); on the other hand The Man Who Killed Don Quixote, last – but not least – effort by Terry Gilliam, a twenty-five years-long dream unfairly suffered from one of the most eclectic “auteurs” from nowadays.

What a big break for a small-town boy!

But this small-town boy, in fact, has nothing to do with any other definition of normal.

ADAM DRIVER AWAKENS An untitled Adam Driver project  | Image 3

He was a no one – a zero, zero

To be fair, the success of this young (but well-prepared) new face looks just like a perfect illusion: a fairy-tale that, as almost every fairy-tale, would be impossible to come true. And that is, for sure, what young Adam was already thinking, when – just seventeen years old – he was rejected for the first time from the legendary New York’s Juilliard, one of the most famous and important schools for performing arts. Born and raised in the sun-shined town of Mishakawa, in Indiana, in 2001 Adam Driver was just a regular guy, saving some money and selling vacuums, but something was just behind the corner: 9/11 was about to change the world and the lives of any American citizen; most of all, the life of a young boy who still hadn’t make up his mind about what he was about to do with his future. Upset and affected by those tragic events, in that moment Adam made the most important choice in his life: he took away his creative dreams and decided to join the Marines. Just two years, eight months and a mission to Iraq later, after have been inflicted by a dangerous injury, “private-Driver” was sent back home as a civilian.

And back on his track, for the still young- and long-way-to-go Adam there was just one thing left to do: give another shot to his original dreams and try out the career he hadn’t had the guts to dare just some years before. Hoping, this time, to have a spoon more full of fortune.

 

Now he’s a honcho – he’s a hero!

Adam Driver is one of a kind.

Eclectic and versatile, that big boy from Indiana, funny and a bit clumsy, today he is just one of the brightest stars in our firmament. His professional experience would make every actor go crazy: from the first off-Broadway shows next to no-one less than Frank Langella, or from his first big screen appearances in Steven Spielberg’s Lincoln – but most of all in Inside Llewyn Davis, from Joel & Ethan Coen (his esecution of “Hey Mr. President” with Justin Timberlake and Oscar Isaac is still one of the most hilarious moments in American contemporary cinema), his talent has been clear even to the eyes of the poshest critics. But his life-changing occasion was just about to come, appearing in the body of Lena Dunham. It was her to gave Adam his first taste of popularity by choosing him to play the part of Adam Sackler in Girls (2012-2017, HBO), the cult-series that she wrote and directed with Judd Apatow.

“I love playing Adam. He is a lot of different things: he is a poet, at least in his mind; [...] He has a strong moral compass about things – whether he’s right or wrong– but he’s also part-Neanderthal.”

via GIPHY

Despite the four female lead characters, Adam (both Sackler and Driver!) broke into our hearts. And snab! The job’s a game, he spread his wings. From that moment on, his popularity grew up in such an impressive way (becoming – if it’s even possible – way higher than he is). That kinky face, his physical extravagance, the gigantic protruding ears and his iconic deep voice – which have been so mocked and so many times in Girls that they become fundamental in the definition itself of his character – conquered the hearts of the biggest authors in Hollywood. To be honest, today Adam Driver is actually the main character of an entire cultural landscape. He’s an extraordinary stage actor, as we can see from all of the pieces he continued to play in – or from the groundbreaking 2016 TED Talk where he compared his work as an actor to his military experience. He’s a smart TV face, as you would get from the Saturday Night Live episodes he co-hosted (the last of them, just right next to Kanye West).

He’s a blockbuster actor, an icon, thanks to the new Star Wars trilogy (where he plays Kylo Ren, the first villain of this immortal saga who finds himself to be still confused about his identity and his real life-mission).

"Adam isn’t an analytical actor, which I love. He doesn’t like to overthink things, he likes to react [...]" Jim Jarmusch

Moreover, he’s solid partner of the most traditional and “classique” American indie cinema – first of all with Noah Baumbach (While We’re Young, The Meyerowitz Stories next to Ben Stiller), but still he’s taken part in some of the highest and most applauded films from the biggest directors and artists of our time (just think of Silence by Martin Scorsese, Logan Lucky by Steven Soderbergh, Jim Jarmusch’s Paterson or even BlacKkKlansman and The Man Who Killed Don Quixote). As it that wasn’t enough, his unmistakable dramatic presence is envied even by European cinema: in this sense, it’s been thanks to the Italian Saverio Costanzo’s Hungry Hearts that in 2013 Driver took home the Coppa Volpi for the best male performance in a movie from the 71st Venice Film Festival.

ADAM DRIVER AWAKENS An untitled Adam Driver project  | Image 0
ADAM DRIVER AWAKENS An untitled Adam Driver project  | Image 1
ADAM DRIVER AWAKENS An untitled Adam Driver project  | Image 5

Ready or not, Adam Driver is the cinema of the future.

Just think of all of his upcoming projects on big screen: a musical by Leos Carax and a movie with and by Sylvester Stallone, a new experience with Baumbach (this time next to Scarlett Johansson) and still The Torture Report, where he will find himself as the leading star with Annette Bening and Jon Hamm.

Some critics may still call him “the new, emerging promise of the cinema of the future”, but the truth is that Adam Driver has just proved himself so many times that he doesn’t need to try it harder – and he definitely went far over his premises. The best part is that he did it with the irresistible charm that can blossom just from one, rare quality: authenticity. Whether he’s wearing a simple white tee or a flannel shirt, an old pair of Levi’s or a total black look paired with Christian Louboutin (which red soles, in his opinion, are too much related to his character in Star Wars, as he explains to Stephen Colbert during an amazing interview), what do impresses the most about his gigantic presence is something else: the honesty of a professional that do not choose his genuinity as a mask, to defend – and define – his public persona. The honesty of a man that’s like that just because that’s him – and it would be impossible for him to be any different from who he feels. So that’s precisely the reason why Adam Driver can be a bit of Terry Gilliam, a bit of Sancho Panza. Or why, at the same time, he’s Kylo Ren and a hick who really cannot stand Maroon 5. His naturality wins great directors and artists as much as it leads him to his public, being him completely irresistible off-screen too.

via GIPHY

 

A star is born?

It may be not fair to say that Adam Driver is actually a star. At least, not in a traditional sense. And that’s not because he missed his chance to be called a sex symbol (by the way, he has been selected as one of them – and he still can’t resist having a laugh about it). That’s not even because he missed the respect of the fashion industry: that’s not true at all, considering the amazing and incredible photoshoots with Steven Klein and Anne Leibovitz – even if the first one to recognize his editorial strength and decided to name him a style-icon was the one and only (and way too-italian to be true!) Franca Sozzani, who put him twice on the pages of L’Uomo Vogue: the first one back in 2013, part of an editorial about that year’s Venice Film Festival; the last one on the shoots by Terry Richardson, that she put on the cover of January 2016.

But still, Driver’s mediatic presence has always remained – in a certain way – anti-diva.

Some may want to see him as the heir of Jean-Paul Belmondo, Humphrey Bogart or even Dustin Hoffman, but Adam Driver is enchanting in his on way. He really has his magic - and it consists mostly in not to be any of those man above, or any other man – and actor – in this world.

ADAM DRIVER AWAKENS An untitled Adam Driver project  | Image 2
ADAM DRIVER AWAKENS An untitled Adam Driver project  | Image 4

With his grotesque and funny face, Adam driver is really one of a kind.