The actor revealed that there was a distinct and “constant” Ku Klux Klan presence in his hometown of Indiana, but made it clear that the state itself wasn’t racist.
“I knew people that were involved in the KKK,” Driver, 35, told Deadline in an interview released Saturday. “There was a friend I had, growing up in Indiana, where his dad was very much involved, and they lived down the street from us. And it’s something I didn’t really know about until [I saw] this guy more. I don’t see him anymore; they’re not a part of my life. But there was a constant Klan presence, and in that, I’m talking like once a year.”
He added, “I wouldn’t go to these events — I feel like it was [in] Granger or South Bend. Sometimes, it was more official, and sometimes it was less on the grid. There was kind of a constant presence of this group, and because you’re raised with it, it becomes this thing … I never understood it then, and I moved to Indiana from California, so I was already in the middle of a culture shock. Not to paint Indiana with this brush of, ‘The entire state is racist,’ because it’s not.”
Driver, who also stars as Kylo Ren in the “Star Wars” franchise, didn’t let the experience affect him too much growing up, especially once he left Indiana for California.
“I haven’t really spent a lot of time being self-reflective of it, but I just remember being so confused by it at the time, and knew that that was … I’m looking for all the adjectives to accurately describe ‘stupid,’ ” he said. “Ignorant and hateful, and nothing that I wanted to be a part of.”