Iconic Roles is a look at some of the best performances in film and television by actors and actresses.
Thanks to his imposing physique and his particular acting style, Adam Driver is undoubtedly the face of the new wave of Hollywood actors. The 39-year-old actor landed his role in the TV series Girls, but thanks to Star Wars, he achieved global popularity. His feature film debut was 2011’s J. Edgar, which starred Leonardo DiCaprio.
Oscar-nominated artists Noah Baumbach and Driver will once again join forces for promising drama in White Noise. The couple have previously collaborated four times in the past on Frances Ha in 2013, While We’re Young in 2015, The Meyerowitz Stories in 2017 and Marriage Story in 2019. While the film will officially debut on Netflix at the end of the week, Driver has already earned a Golden Globe Best Actor nomination for his work as Professor Jack Gladney.
Here is a list of the best Adam Driver movies.
Detective Philip Zimmerman in BlacKkKlansman (2018)
BlacKkKlansman is the story of a black officer (John David Washington) who infiltrates the Ku Klux Klan by making a series of phone calls in the 70s. “Flip” Zimmerman shows up to go to meetings in person from the KKK in order to work undercover for his fellow detective. While the subject matter is as serious as it gets, director Spike Lee kept the film light-hearted, with plenty of funny moments. Thanks to his efforts, Driver landed his first Academy Award nomination for Best Supporting Actor, won by Mahershala Ali for Green Book that year. BlacKkKlansman is considered one of the best films directed by Spike Lee and also ranks among the best Adam Driver films.
Kylo Ren in the Star Wars sequel trilogy (2015-2019)
Driver landed his biggest role to date when he was cast as the leader of the Knights of Ren in Star Wars: The Force Awakens in 2015. Han Solo and Leia Skywalker’s son is a complex character who evolves throughout the trilogy. Kylo Ren allowed Driver to show off the range of his acting skills as the commander of the First Order. Overall, the trilogy has grossed over $4.450 billion at the box office, and although it has garnered mixed reactions from fans and critics – particularly Rian Johnson’s Star Wars: The Last Jedi – everyone generally praised the performance of Driver. In addition to the cast of the original Star Wars trilogy – Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher and Harrison Ford – the news featured an ensemble cast that included Daisy Ridley, John Boyega and Oscar Isaac, among others.
Charlie Barber in Marriage Story (2019)
Arguably, Marriage Story is Adam Driver’s best film to date. In his fourth collaboration with Baumbach, Driver portrays a man going through a difficult divorce after his marriage to his wife (Scarlett Johansson) breaks down. Their breakup seems amicable until a cold-hearted lawyer (Laura Dern) starts working on their case. The two lead actors were nominated for Best Actor and Actress at the Oscars, respectively, but ultimately Dern was the only cast member to win an Oscar for Best Supporting Actress. Marriage Story also starred Alan Alda, Ray Liotta, Julie Hagerty and Merritt Wever.
Henry McHenry in Annette (2021)
A masterful conductor led the cast of Leos Carax’s musical for all of its 139 minutes. Driver’s Henry McHenry is a comedian who has lost his ability to make people laugh, but dries up the viewers’ joy as the story progresses, drawing some comparisons to Joaquin Phoenix’s Arthur Fleck. Annette is arguably Driver’s most mature and well-rounded performance to date, showcasing a wide range of emotions and overpowering her fellow cast members with her stature physique, including tiny Marion Cotillard.
Maurizio Gucci in House of Gucci (2021)
In 2021, Driver worked with Ridley Scott on sequel films, including a biopic about the assassination of Gucci fashion house boss Maurizio Gucci. Driver towered over his fellow cast members, including an unrecognizable Jared Leto as Paolo Gucci. Thanks to its $153 million gross, House of Gucci is the biggest box office hit with Driver in a lead role, excluding the Star Wars sequel trilogy (and Lincoln in 2012, where Driver had a minor role). The House of Gucci cast also included Lady Gaga, Jeremy Irons, Salma Hayek and Al Pacino, among others.
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Adam Driver’s Best Movies | Pretty Reel