Adam Driver, a famous actor and a member of the lance corporal underground, gave the most Marine response possible when an audience member criticized his latest movie, Ferrari.
“F—k you, I don’t know,” the former mortarman responded, perfectly summing up the unofficial motto of lance corporals everywhere.
In the movie, Driver plays Enzo Ferrari, an Italian race car driver who founded the luxury sports car company that bears his name. In the movie, Ferrari must win a race to save his company from financial ruin.
The movie’s trailer features several racing scenes, including two in which cars literally fly off the racetrack and crash.
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These racing scenes failed to impress one member of the audience when Driver attended a question-and-answer session about the movie at Poland’s Camerimage Film Festival, according to a video of the exchange, which has been posted on “X.”
“What do you think about crash scenes that may look pretty harsh, drastic, and I must say cheesy for me,” the unnamed audience member asked Driver. “What do you think?”
After summoning his inner lance corporal to tell the man exactly what he thought, Driver followed up with, “Next question.”
For those of you who might be surprised at Driver’s concise response, it’s worth remembering that he enlisted in the Marines after Sept. 11, 2001, and was assigned to 1st Battalion, 1st Marines before being medically discharged in 2004 after he broke his sternum in a mountain bike accident.
Driver left the Corps as a lance corporal, the rank for Marines with the fewest f—ks to give.
Lance corporals are also used to being treated like mushrooms – kept in the dark and fed fertilizer – so Driver’s frank admission of “I don’t know” is well-earned.
In fact, lance corporals are kept out of the loop so often that shrugging the shoulders is known as the “lance corporal salute” in Marine Corps parlance.
The video showing the exchange with Driver and the audience member was also posted on Nov. 12 – just two days after the Marine Corps’ birthday. So, it’s possible that Driver was still radiating the “Oorah!” spirit of Chesty Puller at the time.
Having to leave the Marine Corps due to an injury was “devastating” for Driver, he told NPR’s Terry Gross during a 2015 interview on “Fresh Air.”
“It’s really about the people, this small, intimate, you know, group of people that you are lucky enough to get to serve with,” Driver said. “And it’s about them. Then, not going because you did something to yourself and, like, hurt yourself was pretty embarrassing and terrible.”
Driver said he tried to tough out his injury by going on a hike while wearing a 90-pound rucksack, but his chest started to separate, and it became clear he could not stay in the Corps.
Since leaving the Marine Corps, current and former service members have turned Driver into a symbol of veterans’ dark sense of humor. One meme captures a moment during a performance by comedian Ricky Gervais, who often tells insulting jokes while hosting award ceremonies. In the meme, Tom Hanks looks on somewhat aghast while Driver smiles broadly.
Driver’s reaction to the question about “cheesy” crash scenes in his latest movie shows that he remains a lance corporal at heart, ready to unsheathe his rhetorical knife hands when called upon, but always in defense.
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