Adam Driver on Massive Weight Loss, 'Girls' Finale and His Next 'Star Wars' Role

Adam Driver may be one of the most recognizable faces in Hollywood

ByABC News
January 4, 2017, 3:23 PM

— -- Adam Driver may be one of the most recognizable faces in Hollywood. That's thanks in great part to his role as the Darth-Vaderesque Kylo Ren in last year's smash hit "Star Wars: The Force Awakens." But now, instead of dueling it out in space, he's battling himself at the box office.


Driver is starring in two high-profile movies and playing two roles that are very different roles from anything he's done before. In "Paterson," he plays a bus driver from Paterson, New Jersey, whose name is Paterson.

"He happens to be in the military, but he’s not defined by it," Driver said on a recent appearance on "Popcorn with Peter Travers."

"He’s a bus driver who just so happens to be a poet and the same in reverse," he continued. "He’s a poet who just so happens to be a bus driver who happens to live in Paterson."

Adam Driver appeared on "Popcorn with Peter Travers" at the ABC studios in New York, Dec. 14, 2016.

The film, from well-known indie filmmaker Jim Jarmusch, is "structured like a poem," Driver said.

"It's over the course of seven days," he continued. "He's actually in a marriage, not a marriage necessarily, but in a relationship that works. They give each other mutual space and respect. And the events that do kind of happen are so undramatic that it's almost funny. It speaks to his (Jim Jarmusch's) sense of irony. His sense of humor," Driver said. "It asks more questions than it gives answers, which is surprisingly a rare thing to get to play."


Adam Driver, Martin Scorsese, Liam Neeson and Thelma Schoonmaker attend the New York Screening of "Silence" at Regal E-Walk Theater, on Dec. 8, 2016, in New York City.
Rob Kim/Getty Images

In Martin Scorcese's "Silence," Driver stars opposite Andrew Garfield. The two are Portuguese priests in 17th century Japan.

Driver’s appearance in the film may stun moviegoers because he lost a massive amount of weight for the role. "51 pounds, yeah it’s a lot," Driver, 33, told Peter Travers. He said the lack of food helped him develop a camaraderie with his co-star.

"We were both losing weight at the same time. And we would talk about food and bonded over that," Driver said. “And I also got really obsessed with cooking."

He added, "And I would kill someone for a yam. There were street yams and it’s like take my firstborn, just give me a yam," Driver joked.


Lena Dunham and Adam Driver seen on the set of "Girls" on Adam Driver's final day, on July 21, 2016, in New York City.
Steve Sands/Getty Images

Most fans recall that Adam Driver got his big break on "Girls," but the rising star will soon be saying goodbye to the HBO comedy, which is set to air its final season early next year.

"We just finished it," he said of the sixth season while speaking on "Popcorn With Peter Travers."

Driver said the final day on set felt surprisingly "normal."

"You know, we went out to dinner and drinks afterward, we don't usually do that," he added. "But I don't think it will really hit me 'til the next summer when I'm not doing it."

He called the end "bittersweet."

Driver started on "Girls" back in 2012 as Lena Dunham's love interest, also named Adam. Asked what he took from the set, Driver said he chose something "practical."

"There's these sweatpants I took," he said. "Also, cause I don't have a lot of clothes that fit me because I'm a Sasquatch. ... more just practical. And I need sweatpants."

Star Wars: The Force Awakens

Adam Driver plays "Kylo Ren" in "Star Wars: The Force Awakens."

After "Girls" and other successful projects like "This Is Where I Leave You," Driver entered the world of "Star Wars" in "The Force Awakens" last year.

Driver, who's finished shooting the follow-up "Episode VIII," said that playing the villain has made fans more "aggressive" as they try to meet him. "Or like punch you," he joked.

"Actually not so much, it's mostly like little kids," he said. "I think the kids part of this is what makes it really fun. At Halloween and Christmas time."

He said even the kids in his building will say, "Good morning, Kylo Ren!"

Sometimes they ask "What are you doing?" he said.

He just replies in a matter-of-fact way, like "I'm just going down to my storage space," he said. "That part of it's fun."

Watch the full interview to see what Driver says about his pre-acting life as a Marine and how he continues to give back to those who are still serving.

Lucasfilm and ABC News are both part of parent company Disney.

Download the all new "Popcorn With Peter Travers" podcast on iTunes, Google Play Music and Stitcher.