“Self-expression is just as valuable a tool as a rifle on your shoulder.” – Adam Driver

Before BlacKkKlansman and Star Wars, and definitely before the HBO show Girls, actor Adam Driver was a marine. Participating in that way of life was not the difficult part for Driver, the difficult part was when an injury ended his military career and he had to learn to become a civilian again. Given what a giant success the actor is, it’s hard to believe he was ever unsure of himself or his path forward. But that is exactly the subject that Adam Driver discusses in his 2016 TED Talk.

Adam Driver as a Marine prior to becoming an actor

Driver credits acting with helping him to put words to his feelings after leaving the military. Like many veterans, the former marine struggled to reconcile the regimented way of military life with the chaotic civilian world. He explains the difference between having a close community within an assigned unit verses trying to find something similar as a civilian. Acting made sense and it helped him be less angry. It was so helpful in fact that he started a non-profit called Arts in the Armed Forces; this group helps to expose military communities to contemporary theater and offer a more rounded cultural experience on base.

Watch Adam Driver’s entertaining Ted Talk along with an performance to promote his non-profit in “My journey from marine to actor.”