There is currently a lot of discussion about the film industry’s existential crisis. The pandemic has dealt a blow, the internet poses a threat, and the WGA and Sag-Aftra strikes have caused delays. There have been times when it seemed like Hollywood would never return to its usual operations.
Well, breathe a sigh of relief, because normality has resumed. The strikes are over, the actors are back at work and Adam Driver just said “Fuck you” to a fan in front of an audience. Hollywood is back, baby.
If you haven’t watched the clip, be prepared. At a Q&A session for his new Ferrari movie at the EnergaCamerimage film festival in Poland, a member of the audience confronts Driver, stating that the crash scenes in the film are too intense and corny. As other audience members express their discomfort with the lack of respect shown, Driver responds without hesitation. “I don’t know, fuck you,” he mutters, causing both gasps and laughter from the crowd. “Let’s move on to the next question.”
The incident sparked controversy, leading the festival’s director to release a statement addressing it. The director deemed the question insignificant and stated that it went against the values of the festival. Was Adam Driver justified in his actions? Let’s examine the situation.
The brief response is “somewhat”. Those who have participated in Q&A events are likely familiar with the presence of at least one unpleasant person in the audience; someone who tends to make statements instead of asking questions and relishes in the attention of having a whole room listen to them. These individuals can become intoxicated with their newfound power. Lately, I have encountered a string of similar individuals who believe that it is impossible to say anything without offending someone. I have witnessed other Q&As where the guest has been reduced to tears due to the insensitive remarks of an audience member.
The driver’s inquiry was even more unfavorable as he was criticizing a aspect of Ferrari that the driver had no authority over. A crash scene may involve the efforts of numerous individuals – the director, the stunt coordinator, editors, special effects teams, and many others – but the actor is not among them. Unless the Ferrari crash scenes consist of a lengthy uninterrupted shot of Adam Driver expressing emotions at shattered glass, it is extremely unjust to denounce him for them.
With this thought in mind, a part of me was in absolute awe while watching Adam Driver. Despite the potentially tense situation of promoting himself, he was able to maintain clarity and tap into the most genuine version of his personality to confidently say, “Fuck you.” He truly is a superhuman. Imagine how much better the world would be if we all responded to incompetence and impoliteness with a nonchalant “fuck you.”
However, when he actually did it, something remarkable occurred. The video became extremely popular, not only stealing the spotlight from the event, but also from the entire festival. There is a high probability that when Ferrari is released, all the attention will be on the controversial “fuck you” moment. Michael Mann has been expressing his desire to make Ferrari for many years, but now the buzz has shifted to the lead actor’s disrespectful behavior towards a man in Poland.
Occasionally, outbursts of anger can significantly disrupt entire projects. It took Christian Bale years to change people’s perception of him as just the person who lost his temper while filming Terminator, and Jesse Eisenberg has been unable to escape his image of being impetuous and dismissive since he spoke condescendingly to a female interviewer ten years ago.
Adam Driver has unintentionally become known as the “Fuck You Guy.” Regardless of whether he enjoys this label, it will likely be a topic of discussion for the foreseeable future. Fortunately for Driver, his image aligns well with the “Fuck You” persona – he is a serious and experienced actor rather than a cutesy Disney star. However, he should be cautious not to fully embrace this identity. One or two more “Fuck Yous” and he could risk being compared to Sean Penn, which is not desirable for anyone.