Adam Driver Swore He’d Never View His Movies After His ‘Inside Llewyn Davis’ Scene With Oscar Isaac and Justin Timberlake
Since his breakout role as Kylo Ren in Star Wars: The Force Awakens, Adam Driver has demonstrated an impressive range of acting talent. The 37-year-old has already notched two Oscar nominations for Marriage Story and BlacKkKlansman. With dramatic roles in House of Gucci and Annette this year, he may be on his way to a third.
Even talented actors don’t love every one of their performances, however. One specific on-screen moment stands out as Driver’s most awkward.
Adam Driver’s roles in ‘Girls’ and ‘Inside Llewyn Davis’
On the small screen, Driver played Lena Dunham’s love interest, Adam Sackler, on the HBO series Girls. As the show became more popular, he juggled TV and movie roles until he was cast in Star Wars: The Force Awakens as the brooding Dark Jedi Kylo Ren. Pre-Star Wars, Driver acted in one of the 2010s’ most acclaimed movies alongside an extremely talented cast.
Though it barely broke $30 million in box office revenue, reports The Numbers, Inside Llewyn Davis found its way to critical acclaim. One of the Coen Brothers’ most respected films, the movie’s lack of Oscar nominations was seen by many as a snub.
Driver played Al Cody, a guitarist who collaborates with the title character (played by Oscar Isaac, another actor who would go on to great popularity in the Star Wars franchise).
Why one of Driver’s ‘Inside Llewyn Davis’ scenes was so tough to watch
During the film, Driver sings in a scene with Oscar Isaac and Justin Timberlake. His character is only providing backup vocals, but Driver recalls that he was overtaken by his own performance when he watched it later. According to IndieWire, “Driver hated what he did in the scene so much that it made him vow not to watch his own work again.”
Acting is unlike most other jobs; a bad performance is captured in stunning 4K resolution and digitally preserved for the rest of time. It makes sense that seeing something so disagreeable could stick and prevent Driver from watching his future roles.
To be fair, his character is part of the scene’s comic relief. Most of his character’s “singing” consists of ad-libs that wouldn’t sound out of place on a Migos track. But even considering that Driver isn’t meant to sound like an incredible singer, it’s still understandable that he feels awkward watching it back. In fact, this experience led him to refuse to watch any of his own films when he could avoid it.
Unfortunately, Driver had to watch The Force Awakens surrounded by everyone else attending the premiere. “I knew the scene was coming up where I had to kill Han Solo,” he said, “and people were, like, hyperventilating when the title came up, and I felt like I had to puke.”
What Driver’s on-screen future may hold
Even though Driver’s singing talent wasn’t truly on display with Inside Llewyn Davis, his reaction didn’t stop him from singing in other films. His rendition of Sondheim’s “Being Alive” in Netflix’s Marriage Story was enough to earn him an Oscar Nomination (even though he “dreaded every scene“). He also sang on most of the tracks in the musical film Annette earlier this year.
Much like acting, Driver seems to have a talent for singing. Anyone can tell you how awkward it is to watch yourself if you’re not comfortable with it. It’s nice to know that even one of today’s most popular actors is susceptible to that self-embarrassing cringe. Even if Driver doesn’t want to watch his future movies, it’s exciting that he continues to make them.