The 'Star Wars: The Force Awakens' and 'Girls' star is mum on what happens in the commercial, but he did reveal which 'very unpredictable' four-legged animal is his costar.
Adam Driver is teaming up with Snickers this Sunday for something that has never been done before: the first-ever live Super Bowl commercial.
Created by BBDO New York, the 30-second Western-themed commercial will air during the third quarter of the football game and will feature a horse, “other less famous actors,” and a showdown, all of which was revealed in teasers released this week. Apart from that, not much else is known about the content of the ad. Ahead of the big day, EW spoke to the Girls and Star Wars: The Force Awakens star, who was in the middle of rehearsals, about why he wanted to do the commercial and why the horses of the world will like the commercial.
ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: So, why did you decide to participate in this live Super Bowl commercial?
ADAM DRIVER: [I thought] the Snickers commercials were hilarious that I had seen before and just the fact that the stakes are really high in that it’s during the Super Bowl and it’s live. It seemed like an interesting challenge.
Do you generally thrive off of high stakes situations like this?
Well, I mean I definitely like being scared. I don’t know that I necessarily thrive, but doing something that scares you is always a good thing to do.
Two days out, how are you feeling about it? Nervous? Excited? A mixture of both?
Yeah, I mean they’re really smart, really funny writers, really great crew, and the director is really great. I’m really kind of having a blast.
How much input have you had on the content of the TV spot?
I’ve been surprised. They’re kind of open to any suggestions, anything that you kind of want to throw out. I guess this has been going for a couple months now — conference calls back-and-forth — but they had a really strong idea that was totally theirs, and I think it’s really funny. It’s really just a good group of people, so I’m really having a ball, even though my voice doesn’t sound like it.
Apart from being live, how will this commercial be different from Snickers’ most recent Super Bowl commercials?
Well, I can’t say without giving it away. Obviously, the biggest thing, it being live is a big risk on their part. Hiring me was a big risk on their part, but apart from that, I don’t want to give away what happens. There’s a horse in this one, which there wasn’t in any of them before. The equestrians out there will love it.
Are you drawing on your past theater experience to help you prepare for this?
For sure. I like things that are like unconventional. I’ve always been interested in live things, basically going back to theater — the potential threat of it not going right, or that it’s just kind of more dangerous. It’s live and people know it. I think that just adds a level of excitement and challenge that makes it feel more alive. There’s no safety net at all and I think that’s always kind of a fascinating thing to be a part of and an interesting thing to watch. And, to do it on such a broad scale at the Super Bowl, the stakes couldn’t be higher — I mean, as far as stakes compared to open heart surgery. Those stakes are pretty high, but I guess in the commercial world and as an actor, you always kind of hope for things that come along that are very different. Who would’ve thought I would get this opportunity to be in a Super Bowl commercial? That’s not something I had on my agenda to do.
Correct me if I’m wrong, but the most comparable thing you’ve done to this is when hosting Saturday Night Live, which gets done in that week leading to the live show, right?
Sure, everything is at a rapid speed. You have to kind of stay focused in the midst of a lot of chaos, which is really a challenge. As you said, there aren’t a lot of opportunities that you get to do that. Theater is for sure one of them, but if you kind of get it wrong one time, you get the next day to do it for three or four months. This time, it’s like a part of film — well, not film, digital — and that’s it. You get one shot and that’s all you get. Where, for me, I get so used to doing things in film and television where you get a lot of options to try it again. But, there’s something about having something that’s final that is really thrilling and terrifying. But, yeah, I would say SNL is the closest thing to compare it to because you’re making changes all the way up to the minute — well, in my case, you’re making changes to the monologue or the skits or scenes that you maybe get to do once, so it doesn’t really leave you room to be precious or hold back or play it safe. You kind of just have to go with it and not overthink it all. I’ll overthink the way I eat a sandwich, is my habit. But with this, you have no time but just to react, which is always kind of good.
What has the rehearsal schedule been like?
We’re kind of here all day. I came in yesterday for kind of just a talk and walk-through. As I said before, we’ve been kind of talking about it on-and-off for about a month or two. I think there’s more work on it tomorrow and then we just kind of do it on the day. I guess it seems at the time like a lot, but there’s actually a lot of moving piece. Given that, it’s not a lot of time, which is part of the thrill of it.
You mentioned you guys have a horse. Is this your first time working with a horse, or live animal in general?
No. I mean — apart from the actors, the live animal part of it — working with animals is the best because you never know what they’re going to do. They’re very unpredictable and here we have one that’s very unpredictable in a live commercial. Kids and dogs are always the best actors, because you never know what they’re going to do. At any minute, either of them can just pee.
Has the horse had any accidents during rehearsals?
We’ve had a pee accident, but so far no one was injured. It is kind of amazing how much horses do pee. We had a horse pee like a river and it covered up all of the marks, so everyone had to get ankle deep and throw on more sand.
Super Bowl LI coverage begins Sunday, Feb. 5 at 6:30 p.m. ET on Fox.