Adam Driver is originally from San Diego, California but he moved to Indiana when he was 7. As a child, he played the piano and sang in the church choir. A bit of a misfit, Driver founded a fight club based on the movie, sold vacuum cleaners door-to-door and did telemarketing to earn money as a young adult. After the September 11 attacks in 2001, he enlisted in the Marines but received a medical discharge a few years later. Rejected for the Julliard School on his first attempt, he got in on his second try for drama and graduated in 2009. At first, Driver found small roles on stage and worked as a waiter and busboy to make ends meet. His first break came in 2012 on Girls for which he received 3 Primetime Emmy Award nominations, but he is perhaps best known as Kylo Ren in the Star Wars franchise. Driver continues to act on stage and screen and garner praise. He has been nominated for Oscars, Golden Globes and BAFTAs. He is a deeply private person and does not maintain any social media accounts. Driver is married and has a son. He is 6 feet 3 inches tall and weighs about 195 lbs.
Adam Driver’s Diet
While most of his previous roles didn’t demand much physicality, Driver followed a pretty strict diet in preparation for Star Wars. He would eat 5-6 meals per day that included a lot of protein in the form of chicken, eggs, fish, nuts and beans, along with a protein shake. He also had plenty of fresh vegetables and fruit. For healthy fats he would often have peanut butter. Driver ate a moderate amount of carbs to keep his energy up in the heavy costume and long fight scenes, which also made water equally important. When left to his own devices, he loves cereal.
- Medium Carb 15% 15%
- Medium Fat 30% 30%
- Medium-High Protein 60% 60%
To play Kylo Ren, Driver ate every few hours, adding up to 5-6 meals per day. His diet was heavy on protein and vegetables, and included at least one protein shake.
Driver ate a moderate amount of carbs while prepping for Star Wars, except when he had to go shirtless. Then the carbs had to go.
Driver says in the Marines, soldiers would frequently trade elements of their MREs (ready-to-eat meals), just like kids do when they don’t like parts of their school lunches.
Straight Up Salt
Another takeaway from his military career was saving the salt packets to eat straight up as a way to replenish salts after a long, dehydrating hike.
Driver often has a second meal after dinner in the form of cereal. He quotes Jerry Seinfeld on that, saying it’s ‘multitasking’ by ‘eating and drinking at the same time.’
Because he worked out extremely hard, and wore a heavy costume for lengthy fight sequences as Kylo Ren, Driver took especial care to drink tons of water.
What to Eat
Everything in Moderation
What to Avoid
Driver on Chicken
‘I used to eat a whole chicken, every day, for lunch. I did that for 4 years.’
Driver on Eating
‘I just eat a lot of food.’
Driver on Second Dinner
‘I just eat a dinner, then eat a dinner after dinner because it’s usually not enough.’
Driver on Cooking
‘I’m not a very good cook. It’s something I’ve been working on.’
Adam Driver’s Fitness Routine
Driver began his prep for Star Wars months in advance of shooting, and kept it up for the duration of filming.
Even Bad Guys Need a Helping Hand
Driver worked with celebrity trainer Simon Waterson to prepare for the action-packed The Rise of Skywalker.
Shooting the film was very demanding. To recovery, Driver did a lot of dynamic stretching and used a Theragun and Hypervolt tools to reduce muscle soreness.
Driver worked out 5+ days a week to prepare for his role in Star Wars. He did strength and flexibility exercises along with light saber training.
Jump to It
Driver would combine traditional exercises with a plyometric (jump) transition to keep him limber and also completely ripped.
To top off his ferocious routine, Driver would do some killer ab-wheel work.
Driver’s trainer said sometimes his job involves prodding stars to work, but not with Driver. In his case, it was more like reining him in.
An Adam Driver Workout
Dynamic warm up: 10 min.
Workout: Do 12 reps of each exercise x 2-4 rounds. Move fluidly but do not sacrifice form. Repeat 3x/week, alternating with cardio & core.
Deadlift to squat thrust
Squat thrust to pull-up
Reverse lunge to biceps curl
Pushup to side plank twist
Clean & jerk to shoulder press to bent-over row to squat thrust
Finisher: 25 ab-wheel roll-outs x 5 sets. 1 min plank between sets.
Driver on Living Like Kylo Ren
‘It’s part of the world we’re trying to inhabit. Their bodies and the way they inhabit themselves physically is very much their world.’
Driver on the Brain-Body Connection
‘With brain and body, it’s great if you have a connection between the two, but when separated, that leads to a lot of conflict.’
Driver on Exercise
‘I feel like I have to move violently once a day or I’ll lose my mind.’
Driver’s Director on his Physique
‘Adam looks so damn good because he’s been training hardcore for the past 6 months.’
Adam Driver’s Supplements
Besides his daily whey protein shake, Driver doesn’t have much to say on the subject of supplements. So, below are supplements that can benefit anyone following a similar diet.
Adam Driver’s Lifestyle
Driver is quick to point out that while he was motivated to join the military following 9/11, he was also motivated to do something besides live in his parents’ back room and eat too much McDonald’s food.
Twist of Fate
Driver broke his sternum shortly before his unit was scheduled to deploy to Iraq. Because he wanted to go, he returned to training, but that only made the injury worse, resulting in a medical discharge.
Driver designed a new style of light saber which he carried in the The Rise of Skywalker trailer. For the first time, actors used ‘real’ lightsabers while shooting, rather than a stick that was later edited into a lightsaber.
Driver dislikes watching his own movies, but he broke his own rule with Star Wars because so much of it had been done digitally. He says he almost threw up during the screening.
Arts in the Armed Forces
Driver’s charity focuses on free arts programming for military personnel.
Driver on the Dangers of Celebrity
‘The deadly thing in my job is to attach too much meaning to everything. You have to have a sense of humor about yourself.’
Driver on the Military
‘In the military, you learn the essence of people. You see so many examples of self-sacrifice and moral courage. In the rest of life, you don’t get that many opportunities to be sure of your friends.’
Driver on Similarities Between the Marines and Acting
‘Something I learned in the Marine Corps that I’ve applied to acting is taking direction, and then working with a group of people to accomplish a mission, and knowing your role within that team.’
Driver on his Looks
‘’I have this really big face…I’m not in any danger of getting leading-man parts.’
Driver on Giving Back
‘Just the service aspect of running a nonprofit is so gratifying because it takes the attention off yourself.’
The Rise of Skywalker