Two-time Academy Award nominee Adam Driver, who will soon be starring as Enzo Ferrari in a biopic of the Italian automobile magnate, will serve as the honorary starter for the 107th running of the Indianapolis 500 on Sunday.
“Adam is going to experience one of the most exhilarating, powerful and exciting moments in all of sports as he stands atop the flag stand and waves the green flag to officially start the world’s greatest race,” Indianapolis Motor Speedway president J Douglas Boles said.
Driver played Kylo Ren in the three most recent Star Wars films, and he was nominated for Academy Awards for his work in BlacKkKlansman and Marriage Story.
He also has received four Primetime Emmy nominations for the comedy drama Girls and his guest appearance on Saturday Night Live in 2020.
Driver grew up in Mishawaka in northern Indiana before serving in the armed forces with the Marines. He returned from duty and enrolled at the University of Indianapolis before auditioning for Julliard, where he graduated with a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree.
His other film credits include House Of Gucci directed by Ridley Scott, Steven Soderbergh’s Logan Lucky and Silence by Martin Scorsese. He also appeared on and off Broadway in Look Back In Anger and the revival of Lanford Wilson’s Burn This.
Driver enlisted in the Marines shortly after the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, and served in the 1st Marines as a mortarman for nearly three years.
After an injury while mountain biking, he was medically discharged as a lance corporal and went on to co-found Arts in the Armed Forces, a nonprofit that stages theatre and musical performance for members of the military.
“Race day is full of meaning for our drivers, our fans across the globe and most especially our active-duty military members and veterans,” Mr Boles said.
“Adam is not only a star recognised across the world but also a former US Marine who will be a very fitting addition to ‘The Greatest Spectacle in Racing’.”