Goshen News, Goshen, IN

State News

March 17, 2014

Mishawaka native making his mark on Hollywood

(Continued)

Driver also found time to audition for Juilliard -- but he was rejected. He drove to California, but was so broke by the time he got there, he stayed two days then turned around and headed back to Mishawaka.

Then, on Sept. 11, 2001, the attacks on the World Trade Center changed the country -- and Driver's outlook.

"Yes, he was affected, especially after he didn't make Juilliard," Wright says. "He came to me and wanted to know what to do."

Wright suggested the United States Marines, prompting Driver to speak to a local recruiter.

He enlisted, and reported to training at Camp Pendleton in California. There, Driver told Rolling Stone, he was surprised to find how well he fit in with the military.

"Suddenly," Driver said during the interview, "being in the military with these guys who were under these heightened circumstances, isolated from their families, living this very kind of Greek lifestyle, it changed my life in a really big way."

Driver spent two years and eight months in the Marines, and was deployed to Iraq, before injuring his sternum in a biking accident and receiving an honorable medical discharge. Except this time, Driver headed back to Mishawaka knowing exactly what he wanted to pursue.

"When he got back from the Marines," Wright says, "He says, 'I really want to go act.' And I said, 'Go audition again at Juilliard.'"

The second time was a charm at Juilliard. Driver moved in with his uncle in Hoboken, N.J., waited tables for money and studied at Juilliard.

"I heard he was trying to make a career of it," says Chamberlin. "Acting? It's a tough way to go. It's a career I wouldn't recommend for anybody. But he got it."

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