The scary new face of Star Wars

New Star Wars villain Kylo Ren is played by American actor Adam Driver. Here are 10 things you need to know about him.

Robert Chilton December 13, 2015

He joined the Marines one year after 9/11
“I was 18 at the time, I was unemployed, I had no opportunities so the military is always hiring and I went into the Marine Corps. There was a sense of patriotism.

"9/11 was why I initially joined. Then you forget your original reason for joining and it transforms into something different. It’s about serving with the platoon of people that you’ve grown to love – serving them as much as serving your country. You’re surprised by how strongly you can bond with a group of strangers. That bond is a powerful thing – difficult to find in the civilian world.”

He broke his sternum in a mountain biking accident and was discharged from the army without ever going to Iraq
“I was pretty disappointed that I couldn’t go overseas with my group of guys. I think I’ll always regret that. It was painful. There are many things I learned in the military that were the best acting training: being a cohesive unit; knowing your role within that team; it’s not about you, it’s about a greater story, but you are responsible for your part; and you have to be intimate with people you have never met in a short amount of time. All those things are weirdly applied to being an actor.”

Star Wars was never an acting ambition for him
“It wasn’t a childhood dream because it didn’t seem realistic. It’s not something you dream about because it just doesn’t seem possible. I was interested in it immediately, but it wasn’t without much thought that I took the role. You don’t want to be bad with Stars Wars. You just jump in and hope you don’t suck.”

Adam Driver Star Wars.jpg Driver's character Kylo Ren unmasked on the Star Wars set.

He’s not looking forward to seeing the action figure version of himself
“I’m not even prepared to see myself on screen so to see a miniature version of myself... no, I’m not ready for that.”

He’s a perfectionist
“I have a tendency to drive myself and the other people around me crazy with the things I want to change. Everything in me wants to try to make it better and I feel like it’s just not a healthy thing.”

You won’t find him tweeting
“Maybe it’s because I have big thumbs that it’s literally hard for me to type things on a phone or a computer. If I had smaller thumbs maybe I would have a different opinion about social media. It just takes me a long time to figure out buttons.”

Fame is not something he seeks
“I don’t think of myself as a celebrity. There are things about being known for your work that are good and there are things that are bad, so I try to keep perspective. I’m surrounded by people who keep things real.”

Kylo Ren Storm Troopers Star Wars.jpg A far more intimidating Kylo Ren, masked and backed up by Storm Troopers.

He enjoyed the spontaneity on the set of Star Wars: The Force Awakens
“J.J. [Abrams] made this movie tactile and impromptu. We felt like a bunch of people isolated somewhere doing their own thing outside the studio system. There was a sense of everyone making it up as we go along. We saw puppets and everything being practically operated so it felt exciting.”

The future? Take a guess
“As far as plans go, I try not to have one other than getting to work with really good people. I’ve learned that having a plan turns out to be a waste of energy.”

Yes, he’s aware that his looks are ‘unconventional’
“I have been told that I have an unusual face. But my face is my face. Lots of things have been said about my face. I did look strange as a teenager: very prominent facial features, a big nose, big ears and tiny eyes, very rat-like. I had to develop thick skin. I know I look odd. I never think I look cool.”

Star Wars: The Force Awakens opens in the UAE on December 17