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‘BlacKkKlansman’ actor Adam Driver talks KKK presence in Indiana hometown

Adam Driver (left) and John David Washington in "BlacKkKlansman." | FOCUS FEATURES

MISHAWAKA, Ind. — “Star Wars” actor Adam Driver has raised some eyebrows in his northern Indiana hometown after saying Ku Klux Klan rallies were frequent during his childhood and that some of his neighbors were Klan members.

“If anything, I was more aware of it as a kid growing up in Indiana, because there were always Klan rallies, like, every summer. There were people in the Klan who were in our neighborhood,” the actor reportedly told USA Today.

The Indianapolis Star reports the Mishawaka native made the comments during a USA Today interview about his role in the new movie “BlacKkKlansman.” Driver also said in the interview that living in New York has helped distance himself from the views of hate groups.

The KKK had a tight grip on Indiana in the 1920s. Historians estimate that nearly a third of Indiana’s native-born white Protestant men were members at one point.

Indiana University professor emeritus James Madison says he has no doubt Driver was exposed to the KKK but doubts he saw many, if any, rallies. The Southern Poverty Law Center says there was a KKK rally in nearby South Bend around 2001, when Driver was a teenager.

Driver’s representatives didn’t return the newspaper’s messages for comment.

Driver stars as Kylo Ren in the latest “Star Wars” trilogy, having portrayed the antagonist in both “The Force Awakens” and “The Last Jedi.” He’s set to reprise the role in the upcoming “Star Wars: Episode IX,” due in 2019.