Adam Driver on The “Incredibly High Stakes” of Shooting Every Scene in ‘Marriage Story’ | Close Up


(upbeat music) – Adam, “Marriage Story’s”
semi-autobiographical. Were you playing your director? – I may have, like all of these things, Noah’s wrote a script,
he did that hat trick that people, I think try to do, of writing something that’s incredibly specific but reaches a broader audience. I mean, like anything, like “Meyerowitz”, you know “The Squid and the Whale,” “While We’re Young,” they’re all in a sense
auto-biographical, then. But he wrote something that, I think we all projected our history onto. – What was the toughest
moment for you in that film or was there one that you
really struggled with? – Usually there’s like
one scene in a movie or maybe two that you’re dreading. With this one, every scene felt like, it’s all too early in the schedule, it’s too early for Halloween, (laughing) It’s too early for– (laughing) And I’m like okay well, then we can maybe put it to next week but then next week’s was worse, so. And again that’s, I think, a testament to good writing. Every scene felt the stakes
were incredibly high. They all felt urgent. They all felt necessary. There wasn’t a part
that you could take out where the movie would survive without it so I think that was our
first sign of oh this felt like it always should be
this urgent, hopefully. If it was badly written,
there’s only one way to do it. If it’s well written, the language is so rich
that every time you say it, it opens up an idea for something else and because Noah has structured, and Adam knows this from working
with Noah in “Meyerowitz,” because it’s the script is the script it feels very much like theater, I guess, where you’re talking about where the boundaries are very clear. The text is the text and I
find that incredibly freeing because your intention could be anything. And if you’re with another
actor, as Scarlett, in that instance, the set is, Noah is giving you another
piece of information that maybe you hadn’t thought of before. Where the line or you got in a fight with your wife before the
scene starts, or maybe nothing, maybe you’re having a good
moment before the scene starts. It just opens up your imagination of a different way of reading it. He’s taken, basically a
four month run of play and condensed it to two days. So I think that’s easier. If its just, have an emotion,
I don’t think I can do that. (upbeat music) – Adam, you were in the military. – Right away. (laughing) – Acting in trauma and dying are common. Do they seem trivial in comparison? – Well, I mean when the stakes
you’re pretending are life and death and the other they kind of are but the way the process in which you work on them is the exact same. It’s a group of people trying
to accomplish a mission that’s bigger than any one
person and you have a role and you have to know your
role within a gun team, and you’re only as good as the people that are there with you. There’s someone leading it and when they know what they’re doing, what you’re doing feels active
and relevant and exciting, and when they don’t it feels like a waste of resources and dangerous, and you’re just so aware
that you’re one part of a bigger picture. – How did you switch from being
a Marine to being an actor? – I was interested in it
before being in the military, then when you get in the
military you get out, you kind of have all this false confidence that civilian problems will
be small in comparison, which is an illusion. But then I was lucky enough
to get into an acting school and learned about acting
and plays and a process. Then I was lucky enough to work. (upbeat music) – Are you self critical? – Yeah. Yeah, yeah. I don’t think that you ever get over, ’cause in a way you kind
of know what your potential is more than anybody else in a sense. I have a lot of regret. Often when you leave a set, you can’t help but think about it, obviously it’s filmed so film is forever, so you never get a chance
to go back and do it again. I feel like that’s the thing about acting is that regardless of how often you do it or long you do it you never figure it out. – Do you prefer theater because of that? – I’ve learned from theater and that, always at the end of a
four month run of a play, your, always the last performance, it’s always the best one, and you’re like okay now
I have a better sense of what I wanna do and go back so I know that there’s no right answer. There’s no right way to play a scene. That’s my part of it,
I like the making of it and it’s someone else’s responsibility to make the choice of what
is the best version of it. You would just have to feel
comfortable with failing. You either get easier on
yourself, I think about, like okay then I’ll just let it go, or you don’t but I don’t
think you’ll ever figure that out that’s why I
think people keep doing it. I think. But I don’t know. Being more economical, I think I wish I could be, in things that I think I need I don’t. Whether it be acting or life. – Economical artistically,
financially, emotionally? – Well we can say artistically, I guess. If you think that you need to, certain things that have to be in place for you to do your job, and actually none of that’s true. We were using the example
earlier of porthole. Having it worked up in your
mind and then realizing getting there you have no
control over any of it. Or doing homework and research and losing weight and
putting a bunch of weight and then feeling
comfortable to let it all go ’cause none of that is helpful because your scene partner is drunk. (laughing) That’s not something
that’s happened to me, just pulling something out of (mumbles) But being more economical with, you know okay all that time, I have to either get better
about that I wasted it or I shouldn’t just waste that time and I should prioritize in a different way so I think that’s kind of the same thing. (upbeat music)

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Comments

  1. I think Adam and Shia can be good friends. They seem like they have thesame understanding of how to approach acting. Wish they have a movie together. Robert DeNiro looking at Adam with so much love! 😍

  2. For the longest time I was wondering who the hell was sitting right next to Adam, I thought it was David Letterman, lol

  3. Adam driver is emerging into one of the greatest actors of his generation. An amazing talent. He deserves an Oscar for his performance simply amazing

  4. I honestly think Shia is such a genuinely decent person. He looks like he’s really listening and interested in what the others are saying. Can’t wait for honey boy

  5. I don't think I ever realized how asymmetrical his face is. I can't stop looking at it. On a more important note, his answers were so thoughtful and intelligent. He clearly has the respect of the room.

  6. Let's all appreciate the fact that this table included some amazing, talented and legendary actors. Wish Joaquin could have joined them…

  7. Adam is very inteligent and articulate, plus a real acting talent. What a great roundtable this year, all amazing actors.

  8. So many adam driver comments. Sure, he is good at sitting there and talking and sounding good, but that doesnt show on the screen. Dont get it. He has zero personality and charisma.

  9. What is that look that Jamie is giving at 1:59 mark?!

    I cannot wait for this full interview and to watch Marriage Story. I love, love, love Adam Driver.

  10. One of the best roundtables ever. What a fucking lineup. Obviously would have loved Bale, Leo, Pitt, Egerton, Phoenix or Pattinson but can't win em all

  11. One of the best roundtables ever. What a fucking lineup. Obviously would have loved Bale, Leo, Pitt, Egerton, Phoenix or Pattinson but can't win em all

  12. Adam’s performance in Marriage Story is quite literally the single best performance from any actor I think I have ever seen in my entire life.

  13. Good year for many actors :

    Adam Driver : Marriage Story , The Report and Star Wars
    Robert De Niro : Joker and The Irishman
    Al Pacino : Once Upon A Time In Hollywood and The Irishman
    Brad Pitt : Once Upon A Time In Hollywood and Ad Astra
    Lucas Hedges : Waves and Honey Boy
    Scarlett Johansson : Jojo Rabbit , Marriage Story and Avengers : Endgame
    Timothee Chalamet : A Rainy Day In New York , The King and Little Women
    Tom Hanks : Toy Story 4 and A Beautiful Day In The Neighborhood
    Keanu Reeves : Toy Story 4 and John Wick 3
    Shia LaBeouf : The Peanut Butter Falcon and Honey Boy
    Sam Rockwell : Richard Jewell and Jojo Rabbit
    Jesse Plemons : The Irishman and El Camino
    Jesse Eisenberg : Zombieland Double Tap and The Art of Self Defence

    I might have missed some… If I did please add up 😀

  14. I hate how they always bring up that he was a marine, he did the training he never went to war or anything, cause he conveniently hurt himself and couldn’t go..

  15. Adam Driver was excellent in Amazon Prime's new movie, "The Report," about enhanced interrogation techniques used after 9/11.

  16. Just saw “Marriage Story” what a fucking performance, the battle for the Oscar is only between him and Joaquin

  17. This guy is the only great talented actor coming out from hollywood today. Unfurtunatly he is born in the wrong era, when hollywood really sucks! No great movies coming out from hollywood nowdays, only bullshit movies like marvel, star wars shit !!!

  18. I'm going to watch Marriage Story on Netflix now and then later watch The Report on Amazon Prime Video… Adam Driver is such a good actor that I don't even need to know what those two movies are about…. and so fascinating to know his transition from Marines to just being one a great actor!

  19. The fact De Niro actually wanted to talk to him at some points shows how intriguing Adam actually is. Like De Niro isn't always talkative

  20. In the future we will probably speak of Adam in the same breath as the likes of DeNiro or Brando. He will be one of the greatest, he's half way there already and is just getting started.

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