Adam Douglas Driver was born November 19, 1983 and is an American actor. He rose to prominence in the supporting role of Adam Sackler in the HBO comedy-drama series Girls (2012–2017). He made his Broadway debut in Mrs. Warren’s Profession (2010) and subsequently appeared in Man and Boy (2011). Driver went on to play supporting roles in such films as Lincoln (2012), Frances Ha (2012), Inside Llewyn Davis (2013), and Silence (2016).
He earned nominations for the Golden Globe and the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor for playing a police detective in the black comedy film BlacKkKlansman (2018). Driver gained wider recognition for playing Kylo Ren in the Star Wars sequel trilogy films The Force Awakens (2015), The Last Jedi (2017), and the upcoming The Rise of Skywalker (2019).
Driver is the co-founder of Arts in the Armed Forces, a non-profit that brings high-quality arts programming to active-duty service members, veterans, military support staff and their families around the world free of charge. He founded the organization with his wife Joanne Tucker in 2006.
He was born in San Diego, California, the son of Nancy Wright (née Sneedham), a paralegal, and Joe Douglas Driver. His father’s family is from Arkansas and his mother’s family is from Indiana. His stepfather, Rodney G. Wright, is a minister at a Baptist church. He has English, Irish, Scottish, German, and Dutch ancestry. When Driver was seven years old, he moved with his older sister and mother to her hometown of Mishawaka, Indiana, and attended Mishawaka High School, where he graduated in 2001. Driver was raised Baptist; he had a religious upbringing and sang in the choir at church.
As a teenager, Driver described himself as a “misfit,” telling a magazine that he climbed radio towers, set objects on fire, and co-founded a fight club with his friends after being inspired by the film Fight Club. After high school, and before his military service, Driver worked as a door-to-door salesman selling Kirby vacuum cleaners and as a telemarketer for a basement waterproofing company and Ben Franklin Construction. After high school, Driver applied to the Juilliard School for drama, but was rejected.
Shortly after the September 11 attacks, Driver joined the United States Marine Corps and was assigned to Weapons Company, 1st Battalion, 1st Marines as an 81mm mortar man. He served for two years and eight months with no deployments before breaking his sternum while mountain biking. He was medically discharged with the rank of Lance Corporal. After leaving the Marine Corps, Driver attended the University of Indianapolis for a year, then auditioned again and was accepted into Julliard to study drama. Driver said that he was seen as an intimidating and volatile figure by his classmates, and struggled to fit into a lifestyle so different from the Marines. He was a member of the Drama Division’s Group 38 (2005–2009), where he met his wife Joanne Tucker. He graduated with a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in 2009.
After graduating from Juilliard, Driver began his acting career in New York City, appearing in both Broadway and off-Broadway productions. Like many aspiring actors, he occasionally worked as a busboy and waiter. Driver also appeared in several television shows and short films.
He is the co-founder of Arts in the Armed Forces (AITAF), a non-profit that performs theatre for all branches of the military, both in the United States and abroad.