“Inside Llewyn Davis” is often considered one of the best and most personal dramas Joel and Ethan Coen have ever directed. In naming the 100 best movies of the 2010s earlier this year, IndieWire selected “Inside Llewyn Davis” as the decade’s fifth best film. So why is the musical drama such a sore spot for Adam Driver? A new Driver profile in The New Yorker reveals the actor began hating the act of watching his own performances with a passion after being unable to endure the famous “Llewyn Davis” scene in which his character, Al Cody, performs bozo backup vocals on the song “Please Mr. Kennedy” alongside Oscar Isaac and Justin Timberlake. Driver said he hated what he did in the scene so much that it made him vow not to watch his own work again.
Unfortunately for Driver, his vow could not stick when it came to the world premiere of “Star Wars: The Force Awakens.” The actor was forced to watch his role as Kylo Ren, an experience that left him feeling sick to his stomach. “I just went totally cold,” Driver told The New Yorker, “because I knew the scene was coming up where I had to kill Han Solo, and people were, like, hyperventilating when the title came up, and I felt like I had to puke.”
Driver is currently earning rave reviews for his leading turn in Noah Baumbach’s “Marriage Story,” a performance that is widely seen as a lock to earn him his first Oscar nomination for Best Actor, but Driver has yet to see it. Baumbach told The New Yorker that he is still “in a discussion” with Driver about seeing “Marriage Story.” Spike Lee told the magazine that Driver did watch “BlacKkKlansman” at Cannes (Driver landed a Best Supporting Actor Oscar nomination of his work in the movie), but Driver corrected him by saying he hid out in the greenroom during the screening and only returned to the theater for the closing bow.
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When asked by The New Yorker why Driver has such an aversion to watching himself, the actor’s “Logan Lucky” director Steven Soderbergh said, “I think he’s rightly concerned that he would become conscious of himself in a way that would be harmful to his acting.”
Driver has two high profile projects hitting the big screen before the end of 2019: “Marriage Story” and “Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker,” in which he is reprising his role as Kylo Ren for the third and possibly last time. “Marriage Story” opens in theaters November 6 before a Netflix launch December 6. The next “Star Wars” installment debuts December 20.