STAR WARS, Kylo Ren, and Acting: yes they are All related...

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My bad; I haven't blogged a mere word in eons! Needed to see Star Wars: The Last Jedi, mm hmm. ;) Yes it's been out in theaters for a minute. Yes, every microsecond of the film has been scrutinized ranging from adulated praise to brutal hatred. I happened to love the film, not so much for the flamboyant FX and blockbuster status, but for the subtle nuances and intricate not-so-obvious thematic elements Rian Johnson wove throughout the storyline. When you strip away all the hype and hooplah of a $1B grossing film, a surprising story (that is actually pretty genius) unfurls before your senses. 

Okay, so the main baddie Kylo Ren may not be the handsomest Greek god in the bundle. His "acting skills" and/or portrayal of a villain may be subpar in the opinion of the masses for various reasons, ranging from unfamiliarity with Driver to questioning why someone such as him was even cast for this role. Um...I'm here to say he acted his ass off. If I walked away identifying with and relating to a particular character from this or any film, then an actor has revealed just a portion of his or her potential. Adam was phenomenal and let me tell you why.

Being the superficial visually driven and materially possessed human beings that we are, the fact remains that our minds tend to jump to instant judgments and criticisms (myself included) when viewing a major behemoth franchise film. We lean, either consciously or no, toward wanting incredibly beautiful actors in lead roles. So what if his hair doesn't lay perfectly flat when he is spinning mid-lightsaber battle. Actors train rigorously for months. I'd like to challenge anyone to pull off such fighting skills cloaked in heavy clothes, while surrounded by a snow-infested forest. And never mind being masked in a black balaclava he probably had to squint through lest he trip over some low hanging branch or whatnot. Regardless of what he looks like, he got talent folks.

The bottom line is this: ACTING IS HARD. This may be a trivial and pat answer, but it is the honest to God truth. I studied for years with one of the most prominent acting studios in Los Angeles and I barely scratched the surface with my acting chops- not due to my acting coach lacking teaching skills, but more my own difficulties in working through the complicated journey of getting out of my own head and fully embracing a character. Thus, I've heard and read a lot of people stating that acting is simple, you just show up and do it. Anyone who literally tells you this is gravely mistaken. It is not easy. Actors have insecurities and feelings just as anyone else does. It is the very rare exception of the individual who wakes up one morning and proceeds to land a same day acting job, nailing everything on the first take. It's one in a million, actually.

Actors grapple with their own appeal both visually and theatrically, so I don't give a flying *bleep* what insults or slights are hurled in Adam's direction; he is an artist in his own right and has struggled in his life in more than one instance. So what if his nose is big. He's probably his own harshest critic anyway. He may be still struggling in ways to reach whatever goal he has set for himself, but the fact remains that he landed a leading role in a revered megahit. And he was damn good.

Yeah, I loved Adam Driver as Kylo Ren. In my humble opinion, he was the spot on choice to play this role....let's give credit where credit is due. ;)