11 Fascinating Facts About Adam Driver

Gareth Cattermole, Getty Images for Disney
Gareth Cattermole, Getty Images for Disney

With the combination of his talent and intriguing aura, it’s hard not to be a little fascinated by the force that is Adam Driver. Unsurprisingly, he has earned a reputation for his intensity, although he denies knowing where that came from. The actor rose to fame with his role on HBO’s Girls, and has since become a household name as the brooding Kylo Ren in the newest Star Wars trilogy. Here are 11 things you might not know about the Oscar-nominated actor.

1. Adam Driver joined the Marines after 9/11.

When Adam Driver was rejected by Juilliard the first time he applied, he attempted to make it as an actor on his own, but met with little success. It wasn’t until 9/11 that he knew what he had to do. “I was having an argument with my stepfather, and he was like, ‘Why don’t you join the Marine Corps?’ And I was like, ‘Noooo! Well, maybe, actually ...' I went and saw the recruiter, who was like, ‘Are you on the run from the cops? Because we’ve never had someone want to leave so fast,'" Driver told Rolling Stone.

His military experience only strengthened his determination to find success as an actor. “I was like, ‘I’m going to smoke cigarettes and be an actor when I get out.’ Those were my two thoughts,” he said. “I wanted to smoke cigarettes and be an actor.”

2. Adam Driver started his own Fight Club in school.

Claudette Barius, Fingerprint Releasing

Driver, who has described his younger self as a misfit, revealed that he was inspired to start a fight club at school, after seeing David Fincher's 1999 adaptation of Chuck Palahniuk's novel.

“They had a big grassy field behind f***in’ Celebrations Unlimited, an event space that people rent out to get married or whatever, and we would go out there in the middle of the night and beat the s**t out of our neighbors,” Driver told Rolling Stone.

3. Adam Driver moved to Hollywood as a teen ... but only lasted two days.

During the time period between being rejected from Juilliard and joining the Marines, Driver moved to Hollywood to pursue his dream of becoming an actor. However, things didn’t go exactly as planned: His car broke down in Texas, and by the time he got to California he was out of money and had to go back home after two days.

“It was really embarrassing, actually,” Driver said. “I had said goodbye to friends and family, like, ‘So long, guys! I’m out of this s**thole town, on to something!’ Literally, like, four days later I was moving back in with my fridge."

4. Adam Driver's second attempt at getting into Juilliard was more successful.

The second time Driver applied to Juilliard, he was accepted, and found much more than an educational foundation. It was while studying at Juilliard that he met his future wife, Joanne Tucker. They have been married since 2013.

5. Adam Driver's early approach to acting was rather intense.

HBO

Coming from the Marines, Driver was admittedly quite intense while attending Juilliard his first year. “I made people in my school cry because it was just the way I was used to talking to people,” he told WWD. “I felt like I wanted to do it! Really hard! Whatever it was! And I needed to calm down a little bit."

6. Adam Driver initially had no interest in auditioning for Girls.

The role that catapulted Driver to fame almost didn’t happen for him. The actor admitted he passed on auditioning for Girls at first, not wanting to be on TV. In an interview with Bustle, he admitted that his original thought was, "TV’s the devil, whatever, but then I read the thing. Lena [Dunham] is a very rare writer, very unpretentious. When things become precious or sentimental, that kills it for me.” He ended up playing the role of Adam Sackler for all six seasons of the critically acclaimed series.

For her part, Dunham admitted that she was just as impressed by Driver. In fact, she she said that she was totally “starstruck” by him, even though she had never seen him before. He walked in for a screen test holding a motorcycle helmet, which Dunham thought was “highly intriguing.” She got up from the casting table and read with him, and later revealed that, “All I could mutter was, ‘Wow, you have the same name as this character,’ like a total dingbat.”

7. Adam Driver is a talented musician.

Apart from being a great actor, Driver is also a talented singer. Growing up, both his father and stepfather were preachers, and he sang in the church choir. He got to show off his singing skills (somewhat) in Joel and Ethan Coens's Inside Llewyn Davis. He also plays the piano.

8. Adam Driver lost 50 pounds for his role in Martin Scorsese's Silence.

When Driver landed the lead role in Martin Scorsese's 2016 historical drama Silence, he understandably took the role seriously. He dropped 50 pounds to play a Jesuit priest—30 pounds before production, and 20 more while filming.

"You're so hungry and so tired at some points that there's nothing you can do—you're not adding anything on top of what you're doing," he told Interview on the experience. "You only have enough energy to convey what you're doing, so it's great." However, he was sure to add, “I don't think I've ever taken it to the extreme before."

9. Adam Driver started a nonprofit organization for soldiers.

Along with Tucker, Driver helps soldiers with Arts in the Armed Forces, a nonprofit organization he founded in 2008. Their mission is to bring “high-quality arts programming to active duty service members, veterans, military support staff, and their families around the world free of charge.” Based on his own experiences, Driver believes that theater communities can be a beneficial resource for soldiers and veterans who might have a tough time expressing what they’re going through transitioning back to normal life.

10. Adam Driver has a son, but managed to keep that hidden from the press for more than two years.

In late 2018, Page Six reported that Driver and Tucker had a two-year-old son they’d managed to keep out of the spotlight. Sources told the publication that family members had documented Tucker’s pregnancy on Instagram. Finally, in an October 2019 profile in The New Yorker, Driver confirmed the rumors—and likened the process of keeping their child a secret to a military operation. "My job is to be a spy—to be in public and live life and have experience," Driver explained of the lack of privacy given to actors in his position. "But, when you feel like you’re the focus, it’s really hard to do that."

11. Adam Driver refuses to watch his own movies.

Lucasfilm

Driver has admitted he has a hard time not being in control. Like many actors, he's uncomfortable watching himself on screen. Because of this, he stopped watching himself in roles after the pilot for Girls—though he did make an exception for Star Wars: The Force Awakens.

"Because we did so much work on it … It seemed like I should try getting over it,” Driver explained of his decision to watch The Force Awakens. “And it’s Star Wars. I literally can’t believe that I was in it."

Driver is currently making headlines as news just broke that he walked out of an interview with NPR's Terry Gross because he was so uncomfortable to hear a clip of him singing in his new movie, Noah Baumbach's Marriage Story, being played.

Amazon’s Big Fall Sale Features Deals on Electronics, Kitchen Appliances, and Home Décor

Dash/Keurig
Dash/Keurig

If you're looking for deals on items like Keurigs, BISSELL vacuums, and essential oil diffusers, it's usually pretty slim pickings until the holiday sales roll around. Thankfully, Amazon is starting these deals a little earlier with their Big Fall Sale, where customers can get up to 20 percent off everything from home decor to WFH essentials and kitchen gadgets. Now you won’t have to wait until Black Friday for the deal you need. Make sure to see all the deals that the sale has to offer here and check out our favorites below.

Electronics

Dash/Amazon

- BISSELL Lightweight Upright Vacuum Cleaner $170 (save $60)

- Dash Deluxe Air Fryer $80 (save $20)

- Dash Rapid 6-Egg Cooker $17 (save $3)

- Keurig K-Café Single Coffee Maker $169 (save $30)

- COMFEE Toaster Oven $29 (save $9)

- AmazonBasics 1500W Oscillating Ceramic Heater $31 (save $4)

Home office Essentials

HP/Amazon

- HP Neverstop Laser Printer $250 (save $30)

- HP ScanJet Pro 2500 f1 Flatbed OCR Scanner $274 (save $25)

- HP Printer Paper (500 Sheets) $5 (save $2)

- Mead Composition Books Pack of 5 Ruled Notebooks $11 (save $2)

- Swingline Desktop Hole Punch $7 (save $17)

- Officemate OIC Achieva Side Load Letter Tray $15 (save $7)

- PILOT G2 Premium Rolling Ball Gel Pens 12-Pack $10 (save $3)

Toys and games

Selieve/Amazon

- Selieve Toys Old Children's Walkie Talkies $17 (save $7)

- Yard Games Giant Tumbling Timbers $59 (save $21)

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- EXERCISE N PLAY Automatic Launcher Baseball Bat $14 (save $29)

- Holy Stone HS165 GPS Drones with 2K HD Camera $95 (save $40)

Home Improvement

DEWALT/Amazon

- DEWALT 20V MAX LED Hand Held Work Light $54 (save $65)

- Duck EZ Packing Tape with Dispenser, 6 Rolls $11 (save $6)

- Bissell MultiClean Wet/Dry Garage Auto Vacuum $111 (save $39)

- Full Circle Sinksational Sink Strainer with Stopper $5 (save $2)

Home Décor

NECA/Amazon

- A Christmas Story 20-Inch Leg Lamp Prop Replica by NECA $41 save $5

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- Malden 8-Opening Matted Collage Picture Frame $20 (save $8)

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- LEVOIT Essential Oil Diffuser $25 (save $5)

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12 Surprising Facts About T.S. Eliot

Getty
Getty

Born September 26, 1888, modernist poet and playwright Thomas Stearns (T.S.) Eliot is best known for writing "The Waste Land." But the 1948 winner of the Nobel Prize in Literature was also a prankster who coined a perennially popular curse word, and created the characters brought to life in the Broadway musical "Cats." In honor of Eliot’s birthday, here are a few things you might not know about the writer.

1. T.S. Eliot enjoyed holding down "real" jobs.

Throughout his life, Eliot supported himself by working as a teacher, banker, and editor. He could only write poetry in his spare time, but he preferred it that way. In a 1959 interview with The Paris Review, Eliot remarked that his banking and publishing jobs actually helped him be a better poet. “I feel quite sure that if I’d started by having independent means, if I hadn’t had to bother about earning a living and could have given all my time to poetry, it would have had a deadening influence on me,” Eliot said. “The danger, as a rule, of having nothing else to do is that one might write too much rather than concentrating and perfecting smaller amounts.”

2. One of the longest-running Broadway shows ever exists thanks to T.S. Eliot.

Getty Images

In 1939, Eliot published a book of poetry, Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats, which included feline-focused verses he likely wrote for his godson. In stark contrast to most of Eliot's other works—which are complex and frequently nihilistic—the poems here were decidedly playful. For Eliot, there was never any tension between those two modes: “One wants to keep one’s hand in, you know, in every type of poem, serious and frivolous and proper and improper. One doesn’t want to lose one’s skill,” he explained in his Paris Review interview. A fan of Eliot's Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats since childhood, in the late '70s, Andrew Lloyd Webber decided to set many of Eliot's poems to music. The result: the massively successful stage production "Cats," which opened in London in 1981 and, after its 1982 NYC debut, became one of the longest-running Broadway shows of all time.

3. Three hours per day was his T.S. Eliot’s writing limit.

Eliot wrote poems and plays partly on a typewriter and partly with pencil and paper. But no matter what method he used, he tried to always keep a three hour writing limit. “I sometimes found at first that I wanted to go on longer, but when I looked at the stuff the next day, what I’d done after the three hours were up was never satisfactory," he explained. "It’s much better to stop and think about something else quite different.”

4. T.S. Eliot considered "Four Quartets" to be his best work.

In 1927, Eliot converted to Anglicanism and became a British citizen. His poems and plays in the 1930s and 1940s—including "Ash Wednesday," "Murder in the Cathedral," and "Four Quartets"—reveal themes of religion, faith, and divinity. He considered "Four Quartets,” a set of four poems that explored philosophy and spirituality, to be his best writing. Out of the four, the last is his favorite.

5. T.S. Eliot had an epistolary friendship with Groucho Marx.

Eliot wrote comedian Groucho Marx a fan letter in 1961. Marx replied, gave Eliot a photo of himself, and started a correspondence with the poet. After writing back and forth for a few years, they met in real life in 1964, when Eliot hosted Marx and his wife for dinner at his London home. The two men, unfortunately, didn’t hit it off. The main issue, according to a letter Marx wrote his brother: the comedian had hoped he was in for a "Literary Evening," and tried to discuss King Lear. All Eliot wanted to talk about was Marx's 1933 comedy Duck Soup. (In a 2014 piece for The New Yorker, Lee Siegel suggests there had been "simmering tension" all along, even in their early correspondence.)

6. Ezra Pound tried to crowdfund T.S. Eliot’s writing.

Wikimedia Commons // Public Domain

In 1921, Eliot took a few months off from his banking job after a nervous breakdown. During this time, he finished writing "The Waste Land," which his friend and fellow poet Ezra Pound edited. Pound, with the help of other Bohemian writers, set up Bel Esprit, a fund to raise money for Eliot so he could quit his bank job to focus on writing full-time. Pound managed to get several subscribers to pledge money to Eliot, but Eliot didn’t want to give up his career, which he genuinely liked. The Liverpool Post, Chicago Daily Tribune, and the New York Tribune reported on Pound’s crowdfunding campaign, incorrectly stating that Eliot had taken the money, but continued working at the bank. After Eliot protested, the newspapers printed a retraction.

7. Writing in French helped T.S. Eliot overcome writer’s block.

After studying at Harvard, Eliot spent a year in Paris and fantasized about writing in French rather than English. Although little ever came of that fantasy, during a period of writer’s block, Eliot did manage to write a few poems in French. “That was a very curious thing which I can’t altogether explain. At that period I thought I’d dried up completely. I hadn’t written anything for some time and was rather desperate,” he told The Paris Review. “I started writing a few things in French and found I could, at that period ...Then I suddenly began writing in English again and lost all desire to go on with French. I think it was just something that helped me get started again."

8. T.S. Eliot set off stink bombs in London with his nephew.

Eliot, whose friends and family called him Tom, was supposedly a big prankster. When his nephew was young, Eliot took him to a joke shop in London to purchase stink bombs, which they promptly set off in the lobby of a nearby hotel. Eliot was also known to hand out exploding cigars, and put whoopee cushions on the chairs of his guests.

9. T.S. Eliot may have been the first person to write the word "bulls**t."

In the early 1910s, Eliot wrote a poem called "The Triumph of Bulls**t." Like an early 20th-century Taylor Swift tune, the poem was Eliot’s way of dissing his haters. In 1915, he submitted the poem to a London magazine … which rejected it for publication. The word bulls**t isn’t in the poem itself, only the poem’s title, but The Oxford English Dictionary credits the poem with being the first time the curse word ever appeared in print.

10. T.S. Eliot coined the expression “April is the cruelest month.”

Thanks to Eliot, the phrase “April is the cruelest month” has become an oft-quoted, well-known expression. It comes from the opening lines of "The Waste Land”: “April is the cruelest month, breeding/Lilacs out of the dead land, mixing/Memory and desire, stirring/Dull roots with spring rain.”

11. T.S. Eliot held some troubling beliefs about religion.

Over the years, Eliot made some incredibly problematic remarks about Jewish people, including arguing that members of a society should have a shared religious background, and that a large number of Jews creates an undesirably heterogeneous culture. Many of his early writing also featured offensive portrayals of Jewish characters. (As one critic, Joseph Black, pointed out in a 2010 edition of "The Waste Land" and Other Poems, "Few published works displayed the consistency of association that one finds in Eliot's early poetry between what is Jewish and what is squalid and distasteful.") Eliot's defenders argue that the poet's relationship with Jewish people was much more nuanced that his early poems suggest, and point to his close relationships with a number of Jewish writers and artists.

12. You can watch a movie based on T.S. Eliot’s (really bad) marriage.

Wikimedia Commons // Public Domain

Tom & Viv, a 1994 film starring Willem Dafoe, explores Eliot’s tumultuous marriage to Vivienne Haigh-Wood, a dancer and socialite. The couple married in 1915, a few months after they met, but the relationship quickly soured. Haigh-Wood had constant physical ailments, mental health problems, and was addicted to ether. The couple spent a lot of time apart and separated in the 1930s; she died in a mental hospital in 1947. Eliot would go on to remarry at the age of 68—his 30-year-old secretary, Esmé Valerie Fletcher—and would later reveal that his state of despair during his first marriage was the catalyst and inspiration for "The Waste Land."

This story has been updated for 2020.