In celebration of Adam Driver’s birthday today, I’ve made a Top 5 list of my favourite roles of his. You probably know him as that tall guy in the mask who likes to throw a temper tantrum, but he’s been in quite a few movies before The Force Awakens! Sadly, a lot of them are very mediocre indies, but he tends to be the hidden gem in them.
Before I kick off, I’d like to throw in an honorable mention, because I seemingly can’t stick to even my own rules, but he played such as small role in this movie I didn’t want to include it. If you haven’t seen Inside Llewyn Davis (2013) yet, you really should, even if it’s just to see this wonderful musical number:
At the time of writing, that video has 1,572,844 views. I think I'm probably responsible for at least 25,000 of those. So now that’s stuck in my head for the rest of the day, here’s the actual top 5:
#5 Midnight Special (2016), Sevier
Another small role for Adam, but part of a fantastic Sci-Fi movie. Sevier is the NSA agent hunting down Alton, a young boy with special abilities. Sevier becomes quite fascinated by Alton, and ultimately abandons his primary goal to help the boy instead. It’s a very different role to what he normally plays, but his natural goofy charm really shines.
#4 While We’re Young (2014), Jamie
I’m still mad that this movie wasn’t very good. It could have stuck to a real conventional, predictable romcom plot and I would have enjoyed it more. Jamie and his wife(? girlfriend?) become good friends with an older couple, and both pairs learn from each other, which of course includes goofy/fun Adam Driver, my favourite kind, but of course the movie turns all dark and weird. Classic example of a great role in a bad movie.
#3 Hungry Hearts (2014), Jude
Where the previous movie left me disappointed, Hungry Hearts just made me mad and sad. Adam Driver’s on-screen wife (I’m sure this time) becomes obsessed with purity, leaving their newborn baby starving and not growing. It’s a difficult movie to watch, but it’s very well acted and my heart just broke for Jude. You want to hug him and tell him everything will be okay, but at the same time, give him a slap and tell him to take control of the situation!
#2 Girls (2012-2017), Adam Sackler
Maybe I’m cheating a little, because Girls is a TV Show, but hey, this is my list! If anyone out there happened to wonder how Adam Driver got the role in Star Wars, look no further than his character here. Often childish, and occasionally violent, Adam Sackler is a multi-dimensional character. I know it’s not a popular show, but watching Adam’s character grow throughout the seasons has been fascinating, and I hope he has a happy ending when it all ends in 2017.
#1 Star Wars: The Force Awakens (2015), Kylo Ren
The role that started this whole obsession of mine just had to be number 1, really. I know Kylo Ren has been shrugged off as a whiny character, but I think there’s a lot of room for character backstory here. You don’t just turn to the dark side for no reason, and I doubt a Snoke Apprenticeship is an easy thing to win. I’m both excited and terrified to see Kylo Ren in the next 2 movies, only because I know he’ll die in the end, and that will make me sad. There’s surely no coming back for him now, no matter how strong the pull from the light is. Is there?
BONUS! I know I already picked an honourable mention, but I just can’t leave this list here. You can’t mention Kylo Ren without mentioning his SNL alter-ego, Matt the Radar Technician. The whole world has seen that clip now, and I’ve seen it too many times to count, but it still makes me laugh. Pleeeeaaaase, powers that be, make Matt canon. I don’t even need to see him, just let General Hux make an off-hand comment about a bumbling idiot in a blonde wig, or something!
It’s now just a few days until Paterson (2016) is released in the UK, and I really can’t wait for that. I don’t think I have a cinema date yet though…