Well, so much for Kylo Ren learning to keep his emotions in check.
(Even Snoke would be reaching for a tissue.)
Driver teamed up with Budweiser and the Folds of Honor Foundation to make it happen. The actor, a former Marine, told HuffPost he jumped at the chance to get involved when he heard how the two organizations were helping military families.
This is nothing new for Budweiser, which has apparently helped fund around 2,200 scholarships over the past six years with Folds of Honor. However, actually seeing Driver driving to Brodheadsville, Pennsylvania, to surprise nursing student Haley Williams with the opportunity to better pursue her dreams is pretty special to watch. And the actor made sure he wasn’t left out of the family hug.
Over email, Driver told HuffPost more about the experience, what it was like surprising the Williams family, and how he really just didn’t want to hit anything while driving:
What was it like driving to the house? How’d you feel finally walking inside?
I was driving with a film crew in the car, so I was mostly focused on not running over a mailbox, but apart from that, getting out of the car I just felt lucky to be there. I was very touched by Hayley and her family’s story and wanted to be of service to them. Getting a front row seat to them absorbing why I was in their kitchen and that Budweiser and Folds of Honor would be covering the remainder of her education is something I won’t easily forget.
Your own story has a lot of similarities to that of the Williams family. What was that connection like when you met them? How has this experience affected you?
I found the Williams’ to be an incredibly close knit and loving family. I understood where Hayley’s father John was coming from right away. John was injured right before being deployed. I was also injured right before deployment, so that sense of not finishing your job with the people you started with is something we connected on. Unfortunately, he is left with limited mobility and over the past 20 years he has received multiple back surgeries to try to help.
Despite his injuries he works incredibly hard as a bus driver to support his family. Hayley’s father inspired her to become a nurse to help people just like him. So as I said I felt very fortunate to be there and to help Haley take the next step.
There’s definitely a moment where they are realizing who you are. Were you at all nervous about, “Oh, these people might not know who I am?”
Honestly, I didn’t think about it too much. I was more excited than anything. Perseverance is a quality that can’t be celebrated enough. Hayley and her family embody it. So again, I was lucky to meet them.
(Lastly, yes, we did ask one question about “Star Wars.”)
You’ve said you think Episode VIII is “remarkable.” What do you think fans can expect?
I said what Rian had written was remarkable. He created new rules for the “Star Wars” universe and balanced the familiar and unfamiliar very adeptly while respecting that his audience can handle ambiguity. Which you can see in his previous films. Characters and story are his priority.