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Are Star Wars Actors Really Coached On How To Speak To The Media?

It has become common practice. If you are lucky enough to sit across from an actor who has a role in Star Wars: Episode VII, you have to figure out some way to ask them about the sequel. Crass? Maybe. If they are Domhnall Gleeson, they might figure out ways to have fun with it. If they are Harrison Ford, they might not. But they ALL figure out ways to dance around the questions without revealing much of anything at all.

This is a coincidence, and not the result of weeks of strict media training. That is, if Girls star Adam Driver is to be believed. (Yes, he has a role in Star Wars: Episode VII as well, in case you didn’t know.) Driver spoke with EW as part of their Fall Movie Preview – he is part of the ensemble of Shawn Levy’s adult comedy This is Where I Leave You and eventually got around to some conversations about J.J. Abrams’ Episode VII. He says it’s "surreal," and he has to keep a tight lip about everything. But I was VERY intrigued by his honest answer about why cast members are quiet in interviews. Driver said:

There was never a time where someone sat me down and was like, ‘People are going to do this or say this or ask this.’ They never had that conversation with me. Instead, they kind of trusted that I wouldn’t say anything. I’m one of those crazy people, if I’m watching the trailer for a movie and I’m really excited by it, I’ll turn it off because I don’t want to know anything. I want to be surprised because I love that more than knowing anything. I don’t think they felt the need to tell me [to stay quiet]."

Ah, so it’s one of those "mutual respect for the art form" methods of intimidation, eh Adam Driver. Fine, play it that way, Sith Lord! At least, we’re assuming that you are playing a bad guy. There are so many rumors flying around regarding this movie, we simply don’t know who or what to trust anymore. This is all misdirection, isn’t it? Is your name even Driver? Is it?!

The more that he was poked and prodded, though, the more Adam Driver coughed up about Star Wars: Episode VII. Not specific plot details. But more about the tone, and the intention of the team. He said:

How great is that to get to work on something that has so much humanity in the midst of it? I feel like that’s everyone’s goal, to balance those two. Again, surreal seems to be the word of this interview. It’s exciting to get that to be part of your life."

It must be horrifyingly restricting when you know SO MUCH about an upcoming movie, but can’t say anything. If I had the real story of Star Wars: Episode VII in my back pocket, I couldn’t help but blurt cool shit out in interviews. That’s why they pay folks like Adam Driver the big bucks. To talk around issues, without any studio coaching whatsoever.

Sean O’Connell is a journalist and CinemaBlend’s Managing Editor. He's frequently found on Twitter at @Sean_OConnell. ReelBlend cohost. A movie junkie who's Infatuated with comic-book films. Helped get the Snyder Cut released, then wrote a book about it.