Adam Driver Recalls Why He Was Forced To Stay In Character As Kylo Ren On The Set Of Star Wars

2021’s been a big year for Adam Driver, as he’s starred in three movies: Annette, The Last Duel and the recently-released House of Gucci. Before these, the last time he was on the big screen was for his third and likely final outing as Kylo Ren in Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker. When it came to performing the lead antagonist of the Sequel Trilogy, Driver was forced to stay in character for one key reason: the character was frequently masked.

Adam Driver revealed this after being asked during a BBC Radio 1 interview how often he stays in character when the cameras aren’t rolling. The actor answered that that it’s mostly only when the need arises, and usually just depends on the scene and what it is that he’s doing. He continued:

Sometimes you’re isolated from people. Like in Star Wars, you’re wearing a helmet. So it’s hard to like carry on a conversation because you can’t-- it’s hard to see people.

Like Darth Vader, Kylo Ren, a.k.a. Ben Solo, wore a mask during his time affiliated with the dark side. Though in his case, it was purely to strike fear into those around him and emulate his Sith Lord grandfather, rather than its main purpose being a breathing apparatus. To be fair, Kylo destroyed his mask at the beginning of Star Wars: The Last Jedi, so Adam Driver didn’t have to worry about that particular aspect of isolation in that movie. 

But as far as The Force Awakens and The Rise of Skywalker were concerned, with all the time he spent wearing the Kylo Ren mask (much more in the former than the latter), Adam Driver was in a position where he wasn’t able to interact with his costars and the crew members that often. As a result, he felt it was necessary to stay in character even when footage wasn’t being shot of him giving an intimidating monologue or swinging around Kylo’s crossguard lightsaber. Hey, whatever it takes to deliver the best performance, right?

At least when Kylo Ren’s arc finally concluded in Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, audiences got to see Adam Driver’s glorious face rather than it being kept obscured to the very end. While Kylo went to great efforts to repair his mask at the beginning of Episode IX, he ultimately followed in Anakin Skywalker’s footsteps and turned back to the light after his mother’s death. Ben Solo died a hero by giving his life force to bring Rey back to life.

Barring the possibility that Adam Driver could someday place a Force Ghost version of Ben Solo or perhaps a younger version of the character (either way, he’s not averse to it), his time in the Star Wars franchise appears to be done. Right now though, you can see Driver playing Maurizio Gucci in House of Gucci, and he’ll next appear in the sci-fi thriller 65, which is due out on April 22, 2022.

Adam Holmes
Senior Content Producer

Connoisseur of Marvel, DC, Star Wars, John Wick, MonsterVerse and Doctor Who lore, Adam is a Senior Content Producer at CinemaBlend. He started working for the site back in late 2014 writing exclusively comic book movie and TV-related articles, and along with branching out into other genres, he also made the jump to editing. Along with his writing and editing duties, as well as interviewing creative talent from time to time, he also oversees the assignment of movie-related features. He graduated from the University of Oregon with a degree in Journalism, and he’s been sourced numerous times on Wikipedia. He's aware he looks like Harry Potter and Clark Kent.