Adam Driver’s involvement in Star Wars: Episode VII has been rumored for months, but with so many actors and actresses in the same boat, it was really hard to tell if there was any substance to the whispers. Now, we know there is. Driver will be involved in a major role, assumedly as a newly introduced villain. Upon first glance, that probably sounds like a budding disaster to some fans who only know him from his work on Girls, but the truth is, he should be more than capable of shaking getting past any preconceived notions fans might have about him. Here’s why.
Get past the self-indulgent, whiny and annoying hipster he plays on Girls, or at least past the basic essence of his persona. It’s highly unlikely he’ll be playing a character like that in Star Wars: Episode VII. Instead, focus on the wonderful ability he has to believably manipulate people. Look at the brooding intensity his eyes give off when his character is fixated on winning. There’s something inside him that’s a little scary, at least emotionally, and as we glimpse now and again on Girls, he’s actually ripped.
In real life, he has a lot of experience playing badass too. Let me introduce you to Adam Driver, Marine…
After he graduated from high school, Driver auditioned to try and get into Juilliard. According to The Daily Mail, they loved his work, but there was only one spot available, and whatever he did wasn’t quite good enough. So, he decided to enlist in the marines following 9/11.
By all accounts, he served honorably during a tour in Iraq, but he later injured himself during a training exercise and ultimately decided to accept a discharge. In all, he spent more than two years of his life serving as a Marine. There’s no sleepwalking through that tenure either. Clearly, Driver was a certifiable badass, and there’s absolutely no reason to think he won’t be able to tap into that, whether he's playing a Jedi or a villain.
In most cases, casting isn’t about finding someone who has already done exactly what you need. Instead, it’s often about identifying someone who has the necessary skills to get the job done, and while all of Driver’s most famous parts (Girls, Inside Llewyn Davis, Frances Ha) paint him in a different light, they also illustrate an ability to dominate conversations and own scenes. Martin Scorsese noticed that when he was casting Silence, and it’s nice to see JJ Abrams had the same impulse.
We still don’t know exactly what Driver will be doing in Star Wars: Episode VII, but there aren’t many jobs within the universe that he’s not capable of playing. As fans, we should all be very excited.