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I'm already bored with the woobification of Kylo Ren (that's not a spoiler -- water is wet, bears shit in the woods, villains are woobified), but I'm very impressed with Adam Driver's work in playing him.

And yesterday I ran across this article that makes it apparent that's just the beginning of his impressive. (It's a reprint of an article that originally ran last year, and thus contains no movie spoilers.)

Short version: His first attempts to get into acting out of high school didn't work out so well, so after a few dead-end jobs he enlisted in the Marines after 9/11... aaaaand mustered out on a medical discharge less than three years later after breaking his sternum in a cycling accident. Went back home to Indiana, did well enough in his first year at U of I to get into Juilliard.

And then:

"If worse comes to worst," he remembers telling himself, "I'll live in Central Park and survive eating bread out of Panera's Dumpster. I’ll survive. What could possibly be more challenging than what I've already done? Which now I realize was an illusion because obviously there's lots of things to readjust to, and civilian life is tricky. But at the time I felt very confident and at the very least, anyway, knew I wasn't going to die pursuing acting."

And then:

"He was staying in touch with his buddies who were going overseas," Tucker says. "It was an emotional struggle for him to not have gone with them. There were a lot of complicated feelings around that that he was still working through."

The acting training, Driver says, became a form of therapy.

"I was getting exposed to characters and playwrights and plays who had nothing to do with the military that were articulating my military experience better than I was able to at the time," he says.

Long story short: He put together an evening of scenes from that material, proposed it to the USO, was promptly rejected, reworked it on a shoestring, and incorporated it as its own nonprofit that's still going strong six years later.

The hope, Tucker says, is "to provide something nourishing, uplifting and thought-provoking. Any arts experience should move you in some way."


( 2 comments — Leave a comment )
Dec. 24th, 2015 01:54 pm (UTC)
Theatre is excellent therapy. I keep thinking I should do more of it. I am still afraid to be that *present* or that emotionally honest, though.

And, yes, I, too read an article and was like, "Okay, I'm VERY impressed with Adam Driver as a person." I'm looking forward to seeing the movie again and hopefully appreciating his *performance* as well.
Dec. 24th, 2015 02:37 pm (UTC)
It's great if it's something you can do, but the circumstances have to be just right. It takes a while for a class/group to develop the trust necessary to make it a truly safe space, even for people more willing to take the necessary emotional risks.

It had never really occurred to me how the immersive environment of a conservatory program like Juilliard would work for someone with military training, but it makes perfect sense. I know/have worked with several actors who are former military, but they all did various types of training around day jobs, rather than taking that kind of plunge.
( 2 comments — Leave a comment )


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