Military nicknames aren’t usually kind or flattering. Even Star Wars star Adam Driver, now famous for portraying robed villain Kylo Ren, got a taste of unforgiving military humor during his stint in the Marine Corps.
After the September 11 attacks, Driver joined the Marine Corps and served as an infantry mortarman for two years. Unfortunately, an injury prevented Driver from being deployed overseas. Driver was disappointed that he could not continue to serve, but he never forgot the Marine Corps or the colorful nickname it bestowed upon him.
Driver appeared on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert to discuss how his military service helped him prepare for his career as an actor. Colbert gleefully shared a picture of a teenaged Driver in his Marine uniform. The actor’s ears, masked by long hair in Star Wars: The Force Awakens, are fully exposed in their mammothy glory.
Colbert asked Driver if he had a nickname in his unit, probably with an ear-related zinger locked and loaded. To the comedian’s surprise, Driver didn’t even have the biggest ears in the Marine Corps. Someone else in his unit actually beat him in the ear department.
“There was another guy in my unit that had big ears, so he was Ears 1, and I guess I was Ears 2,” Driver said.
“You have big, beautiful ears,” Colbert replied, “but there was a guy who outranked you in ears?”
Driver admitted that poor Ears 1 got the majority of the ribbing, being the man with the bigger and floppier ears.
“General abuse is part of the whole thing,” Driver explained to Colbert. “But in a good way!”
Jokes aside, Driver told Colbert that the Marine Corps set him up for success at Julliard.
“For me I feel as if it is a small group of people working as a team. Everyone has a role, you have to know your role. It’s not about one individual person,” Driver said.