Despite being a leading man in several huge Hollywood titles (like, you know, the Star Wars movies), Adam Driver has thus far maintained a certain level of privacy when it comes to his personal life. You won’t find him on social media. When he and his wife, actor Joanne Tucker, had a son, they kept his birth hidden from the press for two years.
However, thanks to an amazing profile from The New Yorker, we now know just a bit more about the man behind Kylo Ren and so many other varied roles. In speaking to The New Yorker’s Michael Schulman, Adam opened up about a number of personal topics including religion, his time with the Marines, and growing up in the Midwest.
What is Adam Driver’s religion?
Adam Driver’s parents were very involved in their church when Adam was a child. His father, Joe, was a Baptist youth counselor and his mother, Nancy, played piano at church. When Adam was 7 years old, his parents divorced and he moved with his mother to Mishawaka, Ind. While there, Adam’s mom reconnected with her high school boyfriend Rodney G. Wright, who eventually became a Baptist preacher. Adam once again found himself being raised by very religious folks.
After witnessing several screaming matches between members of the church congregation, Adam began to feel resentment toward his religious upbringing. “Only recently did I realize, oh, I hate organized things, because I feel like I’m missing something,” he told Schulman. “I’m being told it’s one thing, but it’s actually something else.”
These days, Adam does not consider himself to be religious. “The nice way of saying it is, it’s not part of my life anymore,” he says in the profile (though he also states that he considers religion and faith to be two very separate things). He also seems to credit his religious upbringing — or, perhaps more accurately, his rejection of that upbringing — with how he has evolved as an actor.
“For a lot of times in my life, I was told there was a right answer,” he said. “And then, when I got older, I was, like, ‘That’s f--king total bulls--t.’ I feel that very much with acting, too. If you knew how to do it, you would do it perfectly every time. So anytime anyone tells me, ‘This is the right answer,’ [...] I’m skeptical of it, because I feel like I was duped for 17 years of my life.”
The Adam Driver interview also covers his time in the Marine Corps.
Shortly after 9/11, Adam chose to enlist with the Marines. "They kind of got me with their whole, 'We don’t give you signing bonuses. We’re the hardest branch of the armed forces. You’re not going to get all this cushy s--t that the Navy or the Army gives you. It’s going to be hard,'" he said.
Unfortunately for Adam, his time with the Marines came to a disappointing end when, after more than two years of training and right before being deployed to Iraq, he dislocated his sternum while mountain biking. He was honorably discharged from service.
However, his time in the Marine Corps was the driving force behind Arts in the Armed Forces — a non-profit Adam co-founded with wife Joanne Tucker that performs free theatre for all branches of the military, veterans, military support staff, and their families.