The actor opened up about his experiences as a US Marine, and how a debilitating injury left him saddled with guilt and unable to fight.
Actor Adam Driver didn’t always enjoy a high-profile acting career. Before he was naked with Lena Dunham or murdered Han Solo in Star Wars: The Force Awakens, Driver was a member of the US Marine Corps — and recently joined forces with Budweiser to change the life of a wounded army veteran’s daughter, who was struggling to afford crushing college tuition.
Driver says that the nightmare of 9/11 pushed him to enlist with the Marines. After two years of training, he injured his sternum in a biking accident, and was unable to deploy to Iraq. Instead, he was medically discharged and, facing ongoing guilt, he went on to study drama at Julliard.
Unique as this career change might seem, Driver is not alone in jumping into public life after a completely different — and unexpected — job. We’ve rounded up six high-profile career changers who’ve proven that it’s never too late to start fresh.
OTHER CELEBS WHO HAVE SHIFTED CAREER GEARS
Driver isn’t the only familiar face to experience a surprising career change.
1. Joy Behar was a high school English teacher. Before becoming a professional comic and talk show host on ABC’s The View, Joy Behar taught at Lindenhurst High School on Long Island. Safe to say this would have been an entertaining class to attend.
2. Martha Stewart modeled for Chanel. Starting from age 15 and throughout her time as an undergraduate at New York’s Barnard College, the future domestic goddess was a model for a number of brands, including the luxury Parisian fashion house. Striking black and white images of Stewart modeling were unveiled in 2013, and, of her early days in front of the camera, she said this: “I got enough modeling jobs at $50/hour — which was a lot of money at that time.”
3. Hugh Jackman was a P.E. coach to high school students. In 1987, Australian actor Hugh Jackman moved to the UK for a gap year, where he taught P.E. at an English boarding school. He was reunited with an old student of his, Rollo, at the 2013 Zurich Film Festival. Upon seeing his former P.E. student who was reporting on the event from the red carpet, Jackman exclaimed: “Rollo, I’m sorry, man — we go way back. I used to teach you at a high school in P.E., and I want to know how your physical education is progressing. It’s very important to me… Did I set you up for life?” he joked.
4. Opera singer Andrea Bocelli was an attorney. Before taking up the mantle of renowned opera singer, Bocelli studied law at the University of Pisa, and later became a court-appointed attorney. “I studied to be a lawyer, and after that I did something, obviously, completely different. With a change, you learn something,” he told AARP The Magazine, in 2013. We wonder — did he sing his arguments to himself when he was practicing for trial?
5. Ina Garten worked on nuclear policy at the White House. In the late 1970’s, the woman who would become the culinary icon known as the “Barefoot Contessa” worked in the White House Office of Management and Budget. Her task? Running nuclear analysis under Presidents Ford and Carter. Prior to that, she earned her pilot’s license while her husband was fighting in the Vietnam War.
6. Harrison Ford was a carpenter. Interestingly, Adam Driver played the villain — and Ford’s on-screen son — in Star Wars: The Force Awakens. In a shocking twist, he murdered Ford’s signature character Han Solo, too. But before Ford became Han Solo and Indiana Jones embarked on his own film career, he was a carpenter. Brazilian singer Sergio Mendes shared a picture on Facebook from 1970, when Ford helped construct his recording studio.
"The Force Awakens"! Before Han Solo, there was a great carpenter named Harrison Ford. And here he is, with his crew, …
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