They Came from Indiana: Adam Driver

They Came from Indiana: Adam Driver

When people think of famous actors who fill out movie and TV screens and dazzle us with their acting, charm or raw talent, most think of the warm sunny coasts of California as the starting point and birthplace of many famous stars. While this may be true to an extent as many famous faces have emerged from the like of LA and San Francisco, plenty of big names from the past have claimed Indiana as their home before they made it big.

The first famous face to grace this list of famous people hailing from Indiana is the recent star of HBO Series Girls and main villain of Star Wars: The Force Awakens, Adam Driver.

Born Adam Douglas Driver, Driver was born in San Diego to his mother Nancy and father Joe. His mother, a paralegal married Driver's father who hailed from Arkansas. Nancy was born in Mishawaka Indiana, a town that Driver would eventually spend a bulk of his childhood in.

Nancy and Joe separated and remarried, with Nancy taking Driver with her back to her hometown. Driver spent his early years singing in the local church, Immanuel Baptist Church's choir and attending Mishawaka High School where he was an active part of his theater community, participating in several plays as well as continuing his passion for singing in high school choir. This was a contrast to Driver's other activities and passion in school as he was often accused of being a poor student, earning poor grades, getting grounded and even starting his own fight club. It was the theater that would set Driver on his path to embracing the arts, leading him to here he is today.

After graduating from high school and only a few days after the September 11 attacks in 2001, Driver enlisted in the Marine Corps where was served for over two years before being medically discharged for a mountain biking related accident. He then attended the University of Indianapolis for one year before transferring to Julliard School to study drama. It was here that he met his future wife, Joanne Tucker and graduated in 2009.

Driver began his acting career on Broadway appearing in several small parts and working part time jobs before being offered the opportunity to appear in Clint Eastwood's J. Edgar and HBO's comedy-drama Girls.

Driver appeared in several other films before being offered the role to play the villain in the newest addition to the Star Wars saga, The Force Awakens where he played the villainous dark force user, Kylo Ren.

Driver is currently involved in future installments in the new Star Wars trilogy with Episodes VIII and Episode IX. Driver is also the head of his own non-profit organization Arts in the Armed Forces which stages performances for military personnel and staff.

For the teaching staff at Mishawaka High School, many still remember his time spent at the school, crediting his passion for the stage and theater, but also crediting his quiet nature and ability to "fall between the cracks" just as easily as he exploded on the stage with his nuanced characters and impressive performances.