Adam Driver has found himself in the unique position of starring in two films that are absolutely everywhere at the moment: Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker and Marriage Story. He’s making headlines this morning, not for the parts he plays in them, but for walking out of an interview after an interviewer played a recording of himself singing.
The interview was for NPR’s show Fresh Air, hosted by Terry Gross, and was happening in two different parts of the USA – Adam was set up in NPR’s New York studios, while Terry was in Philadelphia. The plan was for a clip of Adam singing during Marriage Story to be played in the middle of the interview, even though he’s spoken before about how much he hates listening to or watching back footage of himself acting.
According to to the executive producer of Fresh Air, they gave him the choice of letting him take his headphones off so he wouldn’t have to hear it.
“We knew [that] he does not enjoy listening back to clips of his movies (that isn’t unusual, a lot of actors feel that way). So Terry invited him to take off his headphones while we played back the 20-second clip, and that our engineer in New York would cue him to put his headphones back on after the clip ended.”
“After the clip concluded we were informed by our engineer in NY that he had walked out of the studio, and then left the building. We still don’t understand why Adam Driver chose to leave the interview at that point.”
When I originally read this news, I assumed he was being a diva. I mean, let’s be real, it wouldn’t be the first time a high profile actor did something petty. But the more I read, the more I sympathise with Adam Driver and think that the interviewers were way out of line and the walk out was justified.
In a 2015 interview – also with Fresh Air, mind you – Adam refused to listen to a clip of himself. When asked why, he joked about listening to bad acting and then said:
“Yeah, no, I’ve watched myself or listened to myself before, then always hate it. And then wish I could change it, but you can’t. And I think I have, like, a tendency to try to make things better or drive myself and the other people around me crazy with the things I wanted to change or I wish I could change.”
He’s also spoken about feeling sick watching the premier of Star Wars: The Force Awakens, and hiding out in the green room to avoid a screening of BlacKkKlansmen.
Anxiety can manifest in all sorts of weird ways. Walk out or not, from all accounts Adam Driver is a lovely person to be around. He may have left this particular interview, but I don’t think he was being deliberately pretentious. It sounds more like a reaction to a crappy situation that the interviewers shouldn’t have put him in the begin with.
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