If the promo photos for Burn This told us anything, it was: This play is going to be Extremely Horny. In reality, it is a more muted, albeit tragic, love story about a lithe choreographer named Anna (Keri Russell) who connects with the volatile restaurant manager Pale (Adam Driver) after her roommate and his brother — a celebrated gay dancer — dies suddenly. There’s yelling, offstage sex, and, primarily, Adam Driver being enormous.
As you may remember from such posts as I Want to Be Adam Driver’s Baby and 21 Things I Would Like to Do With Adam Driver, we simply love how large Adam Driver is. So much so that four writers who saw the play together during previews gathered to discuss a, uh … burning question: How big, exactly, is Adam Driver in Burn This?
Gabriella Paiella, senior writer, The Cut: Hello, friends. Thank you all for joining me here today to discuss the most pressing question of our time.
Madeleine Aggeler, staff writer, The Cut: He is, quite simply, enormous.
Jackson McHenry, associate editor, Vulture: I am excited to discuss. It’s a really immense, thigh-forward experience.
GP: Yeah, there’s that scene where you think he’s going to take off his shirt …
Madison Malone Kircher, associate editor, Intelligencer: But then it’s his pants!!! I didn’t know IT bands could ripple. But they can!!!
GP: I felt like a cartoon character whose eyes were bulging out of its head.
JM: He’s also served by the size contrast with Keri Russell — a dancer! — who is small and mostly hair by volume.
MA: I was so flustered by his quads that at one point I spilled all of the contents of my purse on the floor.
GP: See, I thought the force of him thundering onstage made your purse empty spontaneously.
JM: When he entered the play, it didn’t not feel like the giant entering to surprise Jack after he’s climbed up a beanstalk.
GP: Fee fi fo fum!
MMK: His performance is as good as he is large, I must say.
MA: Incredible performance. There is nothing I want more in my life now than for this incomprehensibly large man to carefully make me tea.
JM: His intensity really adds to his largeness. It’s a play built for a large man to go wild in it.
MMK: I’ve felt bad for folks who were seated stage left since that scene where he exits the bedroom putting the robe on. The robe is really only semi-off when he’s stage right.
MA: THE ROBE.
JM: A robe that is small on Keri Russell and looks like an American Girl doll’s outfit on Adam Driver.
GP: How many robes do we think he ripped during rehearsals?
MMK: I assume it’s a robe per show. Those sleeves were not engineered for my man’s arms.
MA: 80 percent of the budget was robes that were destroyed.
MA: He looked, in that robe, the way I feel like I look when I try on a racy Going-Out Dress in the badly lit changing rooms of Zara. Enormous, uncomfortable, but also excited?
JM: Feels worth noting John Malkovich originally played this part and according to Google he is six feet tall. It is a part written only for the tall.
GP: How tall is Adam Driver? Eight-foot-nine?
MMK: My Alexa says six-two.
JM: Spiritually, he is much taller. Height is a matter of emotion.
MA: What is everyone’s best metaphor for how big Adam Driver is?
MMK: I think Adam isn’t so much the giant in “Jack and the Beanstalk” as the dang beanstalk itself. Reaching skyward, sturdy enough to climb.
GP: Yeah, I was thinking a wise old oak tree on Viagra.
JM: Atlas after an intense leg day.
MA: I really think they should have put a cardboard cutout of him in the lobby so people could see what it would be like to stand next to him.
GP: Oh, that’s a great idea — *takes drag of cigarette* — with a sign that says “you must be this tall to ride.”
MA: There could have been more sex …
GP: I’ve been a fan of Adam Driver and his size in his various screen roles. But I truly didn’t have an accurate conception of his bigness until seeing him in person … the magic of The Theater!
JM: I felt the same about seeing Lee Pace, another large, in Angels in America. If you wanna see the large men be large, you gotta go to Broadway!
MMK: Nice brag, Jackson. Was anybody else struck by the shoes? Turns out you need very large shoes to support you if you are ten feet tall.
JM: They looked like Lincoln Town Cars. And yet I still believed it when he complained about them constraining his feet, which, if anything, were larger. I also believed it when his character insisted that he runs hot. Adam Driver would have a higher-than-normal body temperature.
MMK: In summation, Adam Driver: Large. Hot. In a play on Broadway you can see right now.
GP: End scene!