Hi! Do you know if Adam Driver has ever mentioned how he got started with or what he thinks of his modeling career? Because he's totally a male model. From interviews about acting he always seems very surprised/confused that moviegoers think he's sexy (like the "No, no, that's nice, I don't know what to think of that" responses he gives). I get the feeling he could be similarly confused why photographers want to take his picture or dress him up for magazines. Any quotes/insight?
Okay, first I have to thank you for this ask, and I have to apologise for not answering it before. I’ve been thinking about it even since you sent it, because I love these types of things, but they also take me a lot of time because I want to provide as good an answer as possible. Which I’ve now finally sat down to do.
Okay, it turns out it’s a right bitch to find any interview where Adam talks about this to any extensive degree, so I just need to go with what I got.
As far as I can tell, Adam did his first fashion photo shoots in 2012. (If anyone has any different info on this, please let me know, I couldn’t find any before that.) As to his feelings on this, they’re hard to come by, but there’s a few times he’s mentioned this, mostly in interviews when he’s asked about his “unusual looks” (I’m sorry, but it must be simply galling to be asked about this as often as he’s been), like in this interview in The Guardian last year:
What about being a sex symbol?
[Laughs loudly] I have nothing to say about that.
You must have been told before that you have an amazing unusual face? It’s a compliment - not being the standard Hollywood McHunk has worked in your favour.
I have been told before that I have an unusual face. But my face is my face. I had a whole life before acting, over the years. Lots of things have been said about my face.
He also provides some insight in this piece from Stylist Magazine in 2013:
At 6ft 3in, he cuts a striking figure; his edgy persona and unusual looks having landed him modelling gigs for Gap and Vogue. Today at the Four Seasons, Beverly Hills, he’s casual in white T-shirt and jeans, his previously neat Bieber-esque hair now shoulder length and shaggy. He is pretty goofy, laughing when discussing how his frequently bare torso has been afforded the dubious pleasure of having its own Twitter account.
How does he feel about being objectified? “I haven’t processed that yet. I guess it’s better than people being like, ‘F*ck that guy!’ But I don’t know how to take that on.”
You have a strong screen presence. Is that tapping into something in you?
Maybe I am weird, and that is coming through in a lot of characters! I think with all roles, you bring ‘you’ to them. Every character I play I feel like he is going to put Kleenex in his nose at the end of every scene. But I don’t think about if they are weird. It’s not in my mind to make them unique, it’s just my take, my initial impulse.
You have a very distinct look. How do you feel about that?
I look the way I look. As you get older, you don’t care that much. I am who I am. The military had something to do with that, because you get torn down so much, you grow thick skin. I know I look odd. I never think I look cool! [Laughs]. Because of what I do, the way I look is on the forefront, but you can either let it limit you and go down the rabbit hole of, “Oh God, why don’t I look like that?” or use it to fuel you, like, “What’s wrong with being different?”
How do you feel about fame?
I don’t understand it. It’s all new to me. Being recognised on the street, that’s not a normal thing. So suddenly, when you go places, you find yourself being self-aware like, “Do I have something dangling…?” And everyone has phones. I hate phones. I am suddenly so scared of [camera] phones. It’s a weird adjustment.
(Yes, I know, the Bieber reference is galling, but otherwise it’s a nice piece, I recommend a read.)
I expect we’ve all seen the interview on The Late Night With Stephen Colbert from march this year, where this happened:
(The whole gifset is here.)
He does seem very uncomfortable discussing the Newsweek article. Whether that’s because he really feels insecure, or if it comes from thinking the whole sex symbol thing is ridiculous in general, it’s hard to say. Maybe a bit of both? He strikes me as a man that has a handle on his priorities, and I feel he’d much rather get recognition for the work he does, and not for his looks.
On the other hand, that may be wishful thinking on my part, especially considering this, Guy Trebay’s now rather infamous NY Times interview, from where some of his more famous quotes stem:
“I’m like a sight gag,” said Adam Driver, who plays the ugly-handsome, so-awful-to-Hannah-he’s-catnip bad boyfriend from HBO’s “Girls.”
“I have this really big face,” added Mr. Driver, whose powerful head suggests a public monument and whose striking features one writer called “worthy of the Mongolian plains.”
“Costume people are always saying they don’t have clothes big enough for me,” added Mr. Driver, who at 6-foot-3 is a veritable giant in an industry where 5-foot-10 is the median height for heartthrobs.
Whether despite or because of his unusual looks, Mr. Driver finds himself on the eve of the hit cable show’s highly anticipated third season (it returns in January) both a breakout star and, more curious still, an unexpected new favorite of fashion.
Somehow, he also found time to model for a September Vogue pictorial shot in Ireland by Annie Leibovitz and for Gap’s new “Back to Blue” ad campaign, which had its debut in mid-September and marked the brand’s return to TV advertising for the first time since 2009.
“I don’t totally get it,” the actor said one recent morning over coffee at a communal table in a cafe near his home in Brooklyn Heights. “I mean, when I read for ‘Girls,’ I was, like, the script says ‘Handsome Carpenter,’ so someone else is going to get the part. They’ll have someone handsome, not me. I mean, I’m not in any danger of getting leading-man parts.”
Mr. Driver characterizes his “Girls” character, Adam Sackler, in more prosaic terms: “He’s part poet, part rhinoceros and part Neanderthal.”
If all the recent hype, the adulation, the Emmy nomination and the breathless encomiums from the fashion flock have gone to the actor’s head, he does a credible job of concealing it. “The deadly thing in my job is to attach too much meaning to everything,” said Mr. Driver, who in person is thoughtful and unnervingly sincere, and smart enough to take a gimlet-eyed view of the overnight stardom that took him a decade to achieve. “You have to have a sense of humor about yourself.”
Now, apart from the editorial genius of describing him as “ugly-handsome”,
this interview pretty much sums up how he likely feels about his own looks and how he expects the world to react to them. On the other hand, looking at his roles, and photoshoots for that matter, he doesn’t seem to preoccupied with how people view him. And that, to me, is something that makes him even more attractive.
That’s some of my insight, but I thought it would be nice to include some of the things others have said about him, as it also sheds some light on how he’s gotten to be considered such an attractive model. Since it’s a rather long(er) read, I’ve put it under the cut.