Although opinions about the story of the Star Wars Sequel Trilogy vary wildly, one element of Disney’s modern trilogy that is mostly agreed upon is the quality of the performances. The Prequels these were not, as Lucasfilm enlisted talented actors who gave great performances with the material they were given. One of the best of the bunch was Adam Driver as Kylo Ren. A new video from Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker reveals the intense training the actor went through for the part. Take a look:
Adam Driver is a serious actor and he clearly is just as committed playing an evil space wizard in a massive blockbuster movie as he is playing a dramatic role in a film by an auteur director. The two-time Oscar nominee gave it his all in every aspect of his performance as Kylo Ren. That commitment to fully becoming the broken Ben Solo extended to the physical demands of the role as well.
As you can see in the Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker video above from IGN, Adam Driver took his role as Kylo Ren quite seriously and wanted to be the one performing all of the stunts for the character. This desire was the cause of some friendly strife between the actor and The Rise of Skywalker’s stunt coordinator Eunice Huthart.
The stunt coordinator was a bit skeptical on his front. It sounds like Eunice Huthart has heard it all before and previously dealt with actors that wanted to do all of their own stunts only to have to use a stunt double when their work wasn't up to snuff. She tried to impress upon Adam Driver that there are levels to stuntwork and he wouldn’t be able to do it all. Well, Adam Driver simply wouldn’t hear it.
The Girls alum wanted to do it all and he trained hard so that he could bring his own physicality to Kylo Ren. You can see the actor going through some intense training with practice swords in the video above so that he would be the one wielding the crossguard lightsaber every step of the way.
To the surprise of his stunt coordinator, Adam Driver trained hard and managed to perform up to her standards. Adam Driver delivered on the physical parts of playing Kylo Ren and because it looked good Eunice Huthart never needed to sub him out for the stunt double. So Adam Driver wound up performing all of his own stunts for Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker.
It wasn’t just enough for Adam Driver to do his own stunts and follow the direction from his stunt coordinator. It sounds like he had a very clear and specific image of whom Kylo Ren was that informed his actions and desire to do his own stunts. He wasn’t afraid to let his stunt coordinator know either, responding to requests based on whether he thought Kylo/Ben would or would not comply.
It’s a level of commitment and hard work that will hopefully be emulated by the cast of Star Wars’ next cinematic adventure, whatever that may be.