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Adam Driver Teases His Character-Driven Sci-Fi Movie 65 - Exclusive Interview

"Star Wars: The Force Awakens" alum Adam Driver is no stranger to the sci-fi genre. His new film "65" puts the actor (Mills) on a space mission to Earth 65 million years ago, when dinos were chilling on the planet. While Earth has a long way to go before developing the human species in the film, other planets have evolved humanity and tech to a level that we still haven't reached — 65 million years later. "65" is a fascinating mashup of history and sci-fi that hones in on love and loss as much as it does dinosaurs and sci-fi elements. Driver leads the film alongside Ariana Greenblatt (Koa) as the two try to escape Earth without the ability to communicate in the same language.

While Driver is most-known for playing Princess Leia and Han Solo's son in the "Star Wars" universe, the actor has an expansive resumé. He played Charlie in the intense drama "Marriage Story," in addition to starring in films like "House of Gucci," "Patterson," and "The Last Duel." He also appeared in 49 episodes of the series "Girls."

Looper spoke to Driver during an exclusive interview, where he discussed the sci-fi movie inspirations for "65," the movie's found family focus, and why he loves the sci-fi genre.

From Star Wars to 65

"65" manages to be completely unique while paying homage to the sci-fi classics that came before. Were there any actors or movies that helped inspire your own performance?

Yeah, we talked about "Alien" a lot and that the technology was going to be a mix of things that were tactile. It was real levers and switches. Ridley [Scott] was a big inspiration to these directors and how it wanted to look and feel and not [make] the technology a blend of things that are screens and the world to feel really tactile and not so overproduced.

You're a sci-fi pro. What do you love about sci-fi movies like "65" and "Star Wars"? What was it like transitioning from an angry young character like Kylo Ren to a more adult character who would risk anything for his daughter and even a girl he doesn't know?

I like the world-building that's involved in them. It's really escapist and entertaining and imaginative. That, to me at the time, was exciting when I was asked to do it. It was the height of the first wave of COVID, and no one knew how movies were going to be made and what they would be. To get a script that was dinosaurs and laser guns and prehistoric Earth, but [it] was a family movie that anybody could watch — so you could go watch with your kids — [it] was trying to be a strict hour and a half, but had this big, obvious theme of what was going on at the time as I'm sure every movie that was made during that time. You could make the comparison. 

You have these two people who were facing something that they'd never faced before, that were processing grief and couldn't communicate with each other about it and have lost their own family but again found family by the end. To not let that story relax until the very last moments was really ambitious and exciting and a rare opportunity.

Honing in on a few characters

I love when sci-fi peels back the layers and focuses on a few characters in an epic world. How do you think that enhances the storytelling and fans' connections to the characters?

Audiences aren't dumb, and the trap with sci-fi is that it almost gets lost in the production value of it. No one cares if it's visually spectacular if you're not emotionally invested in it. It could be beautiful, but if you're not ... these are the movies that I like. If you don't actually worry about them in danger, then you're probably not going to be invested in the movie or what happens to them.

That is obvious, and this seemed like there was potential for that ... Not the first part, but hopefully the latter, where no one's really going to care about the spectacle of seeing a dinosaur if you don't care about this girl or this guy and their relationship and making it. That's where we're making a movie that was more focused on that than the spectacle, [and that] was also exciting.

"65" releases exclusively in theaters on March 10.

This interview has been edited for clarity.