How Old is Adam Driver, and How Long Has He Been an Actor?

Staff Sergeant, US Army Michael Kacer and Actor Adam Driver at the 10th Annual Stand Up for Heroes event
Staff Sergeant, US Army Michael Kacer and Actor Adam Driver attend as the 10th Annual Stand Up for Heroes event | Kevin Mazur/Getty Images

He is rapidly rising to prominence through appearances in both big-budget and independent films and is widely considered to be one of the finest actors of his generation. Adam Driver is known for his quiet, unassuming manner in private life and his quirky, bold presence onscreen. There is a lot more to this tall, charming actor than meets the eye – Driver wasn’t always planning on being an actor, and his career has experienced a number of twists and turns.

Adam Driver’s early years

Adam Driver was born in 1983 and spent his formative years in Mishawaka, Indiana. As a teenager, he was shy and awkward and spent his post-high-school years in a series of odd jobs that included selling vacuum cleaners door to door. Feeling inspired to serve the country after the events of September 2011, Driver joined the United States Marine Corps. For over two years, Driver trained and worked hard, and formed deep connections with his fellows. 

While preparing for a deployment, Driver experienced a mountain biking accident and broke his sternum, rendering him unable to go overseas with the rest of his battalion. Driver was medically discharged but has said many times that he still has feelings of regret and sadness about not being able to deploy overseas with the rest of his friends. 

First films and TV shows

After leaving the military, Driver struggled to find his place in the world. Eventually, he applied and was accepted to the famed Juilliard School to study drama. While Adam Driver has said that he didn’t necessarily fit in well with the rest of the students, and had difficulties adapting to life outside of the military structure, he excelled at acting and graduated in 2009. 

Driver got his acting start onstage and appeared in several theater productions in New York City following his graduation from Juilliard. In 2011, he appeared in Clint Eastwood’s historical drama film J. Edgar, but it wasn’t until 2012 that he really got his big break. Lena Dunham, a friend of Driver’s wanted to cast him in her new sitcom Girls. Driver would play the role of her carpenter boyfriend who was also a wannabe actor. Adam Driver’s physicality and presence made him perfect for the role, and he became a series regular, eventually earning three Emmy nominations for his work in Girls

Adam Driver scores prime ‘Star Wars’ role

During the immensely popular run of Girls on HBO, Driver also appeared in a variety of independent films. From 2012 – 2015, Driver acted in such diverse movies as Hungry Hearts, Tracks, This Is Where I Leave You, and Lincoln. In 2016, Driver appeared in the biggest movie of his career so far, Star Wars: The Force Awakens. He played the emotionally unstable Kylo Ren, son of Han Solo and Princess Leia, and the heir apparent to Darth Vader. 

Driver received very positive reviews for his work in Star Wars and reprised his role in 2017’s Star Wars: The Last Jedi. He is also set to appear in the 2019 trilogy finale film as Kylo Ren. He has kept busy in the meantime, with roles in hit films like Logan Lucky, BlackkKlansman, and Silence. In spite of his young age of 35, Driver has gained a reputation as one of the best in the game, and major directors are lining up for a chance to work with the hot star. Throughout his rise to fame, Driver has remained notoriously private and prefers to remain under the radar, with no social media accounts and giving limited interviews. 

Fans can catch more of Adam Driver in the upcoming movies The Torture Report, Sylvester Stallone’s Tough As They Come, and of course, Star Wars: Episode IX (official title not yet released.)