Like many of you, I watched and enjoyed the latest installment of George Lucas’s War of the Stars, The Last Jedi—a solid entry in a franchise that will end sometime after I’ve died. Between the porgs, the judgy fish nuns, and Rey’s coming into her own as a powerful Jedi KWEEN, I discovered a different sort of force awakening within: Kylo Ren, played with sulky perfection by Adam Driver, might be kind of hot?
Perhaps this is not a controversial statement for you, dear reader, but for me, it has caused a roiling burble of emotions deep in my loins. Adam Driver—an actor who is best known for his work on Girls, a television show that makes me want to tear out my fingernails one by one—has a craggy, confusingly-arranged face atop a mountainous slab of buff, white, milk-fed bod. Yet is only in the most recent iteration of the space opera that I have been willing to consider his attractiveness, thanks to a heady combination of physical appearance and the fact that Kylo Ren is the biggest dick in the galaxy.
Below is a compendium of the evidence.
Maybe it’s because his face is obscured or maybe because all I really see here are rippling forearms, a smooth, warm to the touch shoulders, and brute strength with a fake light saber—I’m into this. He’s 6'2", he looks like he drinks a gallon of milk every day, and I could rappel up and down the wide, expanse of his chest. Climb that shit like a lemon tree, straining for the juiciest fruit on the highest branch. It’s a big body—beefy, wide, firm—and it’s confusing me.
Please look at this photo of Adam Driver from a fake Instagram account purporting to be Adam Driver that only has three pictures, all of which were likely stolen from photo shoots Adam Driver has done. He looks like a model, but a real model—a European runway model, darling, one that would stalk angrily down a catwalk in Milano, bella, swathed in yards of Rick Owens. His face! Dat face. It’s a Face. Here’s what he said about things other people have said about his Face in an interview in the Guardian in 2015.
I have been told before that I have an unusual face. But my face is my face. I had a whole life before acting, over the years. Lots of things have been said about my face.
He knows what we’re saying about his face—a jolie laide face, mes petits, but one that, if studied long enough, starts to become appealing. It exists at the intersection of interesting and attractive, and almost veers into the latter. This face is Adam Driver’s, sure, but it’s also Kylo Ren’s.
The most attractive thing about Adam Driver is how he plays Kylo Ren—a conflicted villain who struggles with the light and the dark within. He’s following in Darth Vader’s footsteps, what with the mask, and the stompy boots and the cape and all, but the dark has not completely subsumed the light. His struggle is what makes him human and it’s perhaps the most appealing part about his character.
Consider the shirtless scene that perhaps ignited this confusion for me personally— Rey and Kylo sharing the special telepathic connection that binds them whether they like it or not and the slight frisson of chemistry between them. Does Rey know that she’s telepathically communicating with a man that is either so evil that he’s pretending to be not as evil to fuck with her? Yeah, I think so. Is she maybe into it a little bit because she loves moody assholes who are so damaged that part of you thinks you might be able to fix then? Ah, I don’t know!
Even though Adam on Girls was a dick, he was still the most lovable character in that entire show. Also, please recall this scene from 2011's Frances Ha, where Driver plays an asshole in a fedora, but the kind of asshole that I would still be attracted to despite knowing that I shouldn’t.
In 2016, the internet was alerted of a cat that bore an uncanny resemblance to Adam Driver. The cat, originally named Corey, was spotted by former xoVain editor Marci Robin and eventually adopted by xoJane editor Emily McCombs. The cat now has a middling Instagram presence and infamy that it will never, ever live down—one of the maddening and untold side effects of going viral.
Something about the cat and its resemblance to Adam Driver has really fucked me up. It’s not that the cat is hot—it’s not, it’s just an animal with a person face—but in comparison, Driver begins to look more and more appealing. The cat refills the coffers of Driver’s attractiveness pellets, tipping the scales in his favor; I feel sorry for the cat and then for Driver, who was compared to a cat and probably had to hear about it for some time. I love cats but I also love humans; also, I prefer my cats to be fluffier and with bigger eyes, more like a teddy bear than a weird, long-nosed alien.
Somehow Kylo Ren....maybe...comes out on top.