Terry Gross is one of the most acclaimed interviewers in the business, but even she has her down moments. Case in point: While conducting an interview with Adam Driver about Marriage Story — and The Report, and Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, and any other movie he might have out this season — he recently stormed out of an interview he did with Fresh Air, NPR sources told The Daily Beast.
The probable reason? The team was playing an audio clip from Marriage Story, namely a late scene in which his character — a theater director going through a nasty divorce with his actress wife, played by Scarlett Johansson — belts out a rendition of “Being Alive,” from Stephen Sondheim’s Company. And Driver, perhaps more than other actors, does not like listening to himself.
As per NPR, the Fresh Air team was aware of Driver’s allergies to his own voice, even encouraging him to take off the headphones while the scene played. But when the clip aired, Driver — who was recording in NPR’s New York offices while Gross was stationed in Philadelphia, as ever — apparently bolted. By the time the clip was over, he was reportedly out of the building.
“We don’t really understand why he left,” said Danny Miller, Fresh Air’s executive producer. “We were looking forward to the interview — Terry thinks he’s a terrific actor, he was a great guest when he was on [Fresh Air] in 2015 — so we were disappointed that we didn’t have a new interview to share with our listeners about Marriage Story.”
The incident occurred earlier this month, but it wasn’t made public until last week, when Gross told the audience that they had to scrap the promised Driver interview, airing a 2015 interview with Conan O’Brien in its stead.
Driver has been open about his distaste for listening to himself…on an older episode of Fresh Air. In 2015, he told Gross, “I don’t want to hear the bad acting that probably was happening during that clip.” Gross then asked if it throws him off to hear himself. “I’ve watched myself or listened to myself before, then always hate it,” he replied. “And then wish I could change it, but you can’t. And I think I have, like, a tendency to try to make things better or drive myself and the other people around me crazy with the things I wanted to change or I wish I could change.”
According to a New Yorker profile, Driver admitted to feeling nauseous during a premiere of Star Wars: The Force Awakens, and hiding in a green room during a screening of BlacKkKlansman.
(Via The Daily Beast)