Adam Douglas Driver was born in San Diego, California. His mother, Nancy (Needham) Wright, is a paralegal from Mishawaka, Indiana, and his father, Joe Douglas Driver, who has deep roots in the American South, is from Little Rock, Arkansas. His stepfather is a Baptist minister. His ancestry includes English, Dutch, German, Irish, and Scottish. Driver was raised in Mishawaka after his parents' divorce, attending Mishawaka High School, where he appeared in plays. After 9/11, he enlisted in the Marines, serving for more than two years before being medically discharged after he suffered an injury, which prevented him from being deployed. Driver attended the University of Indianapolis (for a year) and then transferred to study drama at Juilliard in New York, graduating in 2009. He began acting in plays, appearing on Broadway, before being cast in Lena Dunham's series Girls (2012), as her character's love interest, Adam Sackler. The role gained him attention, and he subsequently began a robust film career, appearing in small roles in J. Edgar (2011) and Lincoln (2012), supporting roles in Frances Ha (2012) and Inside Llewyn Davis (2013), and graduating to major parts in the comedy-drama Sieben verdammt lange Tage (2014) and the upcoming Star Wars: Episode VII - Das Erwachen der Macht (2015) and Martin Scorsese's Silence (2016), the latter film opposite Andrew Garfield.