You may know Adam Driver from his breakout role in HBO’s Girls. Perhaps you’re more familiar with him as Kylo Ren in the Star Wars franchise. Since rising to stardom as one of the decade’s most intriguing actors, Driver has maintained the unconventional nature that led him to acting in the first place. You might be surprised to learn that path to the spotlight included a detour in military service. Today, his military background coupled with his star power has also led him into our world: the world of watches.
Path to Hollywood (or so he thought)
In 2001, Driver graduated from high school in Indiana with aspirations of being an actor. He auditioned for Juliard but didn’t get in, so he decided to take matters into his own hands. He packed everything he could in his 1990 Lincoln Town Car and headed for Hollywood. By the time he reached Texas, the old car broke down. He quickly got it back up and running and pressed onward toward Tinseltown. After just a few days in Los Angeles, Driver had to face reality. With only $200 to his name, he had just enough money to get him back to Indiana. All the sudden, it seemed his future as an actor was uncertain.
Soon after, life threw Driver and our great nation a curve ball. That September, his trajectory and our country forever changed when terrorists took down the Twin Towers. As soon as he turned eighteen that fall, Driver enlisted in the Marines. During his training as a mortarman, he recognized how deeply he desired to be an actor. He vowed to himself that he’d relentlessly pursue it after fulfilling his time with the Marines. Driver’s service to the military was cut short due to an injury in his sternum. After a little over two years, they honorably discharged him, and he returned home.
Juliard or Bust: Gateway to the Silver Screen
Driver enrolled in the University of Indianapolis for a year before auditioning for Juliard again. This time, his patience and persistence paid off – he got in. After graduating in 2009, he landed a few small roles before catching his big break on Girls in 2011. Shortly after, he quickly made the transition from TV to cinema. It began with Steven Spielberg’s Lincoln in 2012 and then the Coen brothers’ Inside Llewyn Davis in 2013. Finally, he scored his biggest film role in 2015 in Star Wars: The Force Awakens.
Staying Grounded in His Military Roots
For Driver, it seems his career and military service have always been intertwined. Early failures in the pursuit of acting left him in the right place to enlist after 9/11. The rigors of Marine training motivated him to pursue his true passion of acting. Today, Driver continues to practice his craft on screen while maintaining a connection with his military roots in a number of ways. Along with his wife, he founded a charity called Arts in the Armed Forces. It helps bring theater-based entertainment to soldiers for enjoyment and emotional and tangible benefits. In addition, Driver has forged a partnership with a brand who has a rich military heritage: Breitling. In their two centuries of business, Breitling has offered their own support to military forces, like the British Royal Airforce, Canada’s Airforce and Department of Defense, and the Italian Army. Their partnership with Driver seems like the perfect match. His Breitling model of choice is the Premier B01 Chronograph Norton Edition. In case you needed another reason to love Adam Driver, he’s a motorcycle buff too.