Adam Driver has a serious task on his hands when it comes to portraying the character of Kylo Ren in Star Wars: The Force Awakens. Not only does he have to create a character that lives up to the series’ history of badass bad guys, but he also had to express that sort of menace whilst wearing a stifling, cumbersome costume. Despite how awesome the costume looks on screen, apparently Driver was, by his own admission, not exactly a fan of it.
Speaking with Uproxx, Driver, ccompanied by fellow Star Wars newcomer Oscar Isaac, explains just how difficult Kylo Ren’s mask made the process of performing:
To this day, I still don’t know who’s in the movie because I haven’t seen anybody.
We can only imagine the stress that something like this would place on a relatively new actor like Driver. While he has most certainly become a recognizable face with his work in While We’re Young, This Is Where I Leave You, and HBO’s Girls, The Force wakens really makes the first time he has performed in a massive effects driven film with cumbersome costume design. He would go on to liken his struggle as Ren to the Stormtroopers from the original trilogy. Everyone always sees them running around blasting rebels, but no one ever talks about the useless takes where they would speak to walls or be face the completely wrong direction while performing.
Driver would continue to explain that speaking under the muffling mask presented its own challenges. He and Isaac explain that a scene shared by the two actors was their first day on set, and Driver learned very quickly that the voice he had prepared for Kylo Ren wouldn’t really work, so he had to scramble and think of a voice to use while they filmed. This isn’t the first time a mask has presented an issue for an actor in a Star Wars movie; before James Earl Jones’ booming voice was brought in for the legendary Sith, Darth Vader, actor David Prowse spoke the characters’ lines under his mask. Needless to say the effect was somewhat lost on the people working on the set of A New Hope. Check out a video of it below.
Definitely takes away some of the magic of the character doesn’t it? Like when you found out that R2-D2 was just a little person in a sweltering droid costime. Ultimately the struggle seems to have been worth it, as everyone who has already seen The Force Awakens cannot stop praising Driver’s turn as the character. Star Wars: The Force Awakens is currently in theaters, do yourself a favor and check it out!