‘Marriage Story’ star Adam Driver ponders the L.A. vs. NYC debate


At the 2019 Toronto International Film Festival, Adam Driver talks about the new Noah Baumbach film he stars in alongside Scarlett Johansson, “Marriage Story.”

The space. There’s just so much of it in Los Angeles.

That’s one of the main arguments used to lure Adam Driver’s character from New York City to L.A. in “Marriage Story,” Noah Baumbach’s new film about a couple enduring a bicoastal divorce.

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In the movie, Driver plays a theater director whose partner (Scarlett Johansson) wants to move back to her native L.A. after the split. Baumbach, who wrote and directed the Netflix film, said he tried to see benefits to each city in the movie — even though he himself is a dyed-in-the-wool New Yorker.

“I wanted to see both sides,” Baumbach said.

“You go to L.A. and you’re like, ‘Oh, the sun. I forgot about the sun. I haven’t seen it,’” noted Driver, a fellow New Yorker. “Also, there’s so much space. I live in New York and I think it’s the greatest city in the world, but I definitely see the benefit of living in L.A. It’s a beautiful place.”


Director Noah Baumbach, left, and actor Adam Driver, from the film "Marriage Story," photographed at the Toronto International Film Festival
(Jay L. Clendenin / Los Angeles Times )

One thing Baumbach sees as an L.A. oddity? Driving with children.

“Their view is always the back of your head, and your view is always the road, so you have all these conversations talking ahead,” the filmmaker said. “It’s a very specific kind of way of communicating.”

“[And ] you go to L.A., you’re always overdressed,” added Driver. “Every room you go into, you’re sweating, because you haven’t really prepared.”

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