Why Adam Driver Found Comic-Con to Be ‘Surprisingly Moving’

By
Photo: Mike Pont/WireImage

Just about everyone in the Star Wars: The Force Awakens cast looked thrilled to be at Comic-Con this past summer, even a usually reticent Harrison Ford. The only cast member who seemed somewhat ill at ease was Adam Driver, who plays baddie Kylo Ren and spoke as little as he possibly could during the film’s big Hall H panel. We caught up with Driver earlier this week at a benefit performance for his Arts in the Armed Forces organization, and he admitted that the experience was “intense,” but he insisted that his relative silence shouldn’t be interpreted as reluctance. Comic-Con, he told us, is “actually surprisingly moving.”

“You have a lot of people who just, regardless of where you are and how much you celebrate the Star Wars franchise, they’re very committed, and they want it to be good, and it’s actually a very warm, receptive audience,” Driver said. “That was my experience of it, anyway. I mean, obviously, the crowds of people just scare me in any setting, especially when they’re like, ‘There he is! Get him!’ But apart from that, it was really a kind of moving thing to be a part of.”

Driver was facing a very different audience at Studio 54 this week, where he, along with Corey Stoll, Rachel Brosnahan, and Francois Battiste, put on Kenneth Lonergan’s play Lobby Hero. For the past six years, he’s been organizing theatrical experiences for military bases all over the world, and while it hasn’t always been easy — “Running a non-profit is a nightmare,” he laughed — the result is worth it. “The payoff for it is the military audience who have never been inside a theater before, or don’t know that plays have the effect that they can have, walking out and saying things as if we’ve planted them in there to say, ‘I didn’t know theater was like that. I’ve never been inside a theater because it’s so expensive.’ We make all our performances free for a military audience.”