Goshen News, Goshen, IN

State News

March 17, 2014

Mishawaka native making his mark on Hollywood


Driver wasted little time joining the thespians and drama groups as a freshman. He spent all four years acting in Mishawaka High School productions of "Arsenic and Old Lace," ''Into The Woods," and "Guys and Dolls," among others.

"They're not super popular kids," Manuszak says of the school's drama students in general, "but it gives them a time to shine, and they can be stars. And that's what happened to Adam."

Every Mishawaka High School yearbook from 1998 to 2001 prominently depicts Driver in photos from at least two stage productions each year.

"He fit in," says Ed Chamberlin, a mass media and speech teacher at Mishawaka who directed Driver in the school's production of "Guys and Dolls." ''He was in music, choir, things like that. He was a popular guy among his peers."

Although Driver was among the school's most talented kids, his talent was not lost on a lot of Mishawaka students at the time, Chamberlin notes.

"Adam was very good at doing things in an entertaining way," Chamberlin recalls. "He could go beyond the line itself."

Especially, comedy.

"Comedy is his thing," Chamberlin says, chuckling over a recent online video of Driver, Justin Timberlake and Oscar Isaac rehearsing the song "Please Mr. Kennedy" for the Coen brothers 2013 film, "Inside Llewyn Davis" in which Driver was cast in a bit part.

"They're singing the song in a recording studio," Chamberlin says, "and Adam's back in the corner interjecting these hilarious funny vocals. To me, that's the guy I remember."

But things went nowhere fast after Driver graduated in 2001. In interviews with Rolling Stone and Interview, he told of selling vacuums door-to-door, mowing lawns, working as a telemarketer for a basement water-proofing company, and paying his parents $200 a month to live in a back room of their Mishawaka house.

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