If you have a spare 50 minutes, please watch last night’s Adam Driver interview at the Santa Barbara Film Festival. Indiewire‘s Anne Thompson asked the right succinct questions and stayed out of the way for the most part, allowing the Marriage Story star and Best Actor nominee to dispense his dry, amusingly honest, occasionally self-deprecating patter.

I was sitting in the third row and realizing that I’d never really paid attention to Driver’s interview shtick and muttering “wow, great stuff…he’s so smart and fleet and hip to the bullshit.”

The easiest way is to just watch Driver in action, but if you insist on a description…okay, here goes. He’s a brilliant raconteur. He’s also a clever and darting conversationalist, almost on the level of a stand-up comedian. He constantly digresses and frequently re-defines what he’s saying, and I mean in a way that’s very off-handed and matter-of-fact and quite funny.

Sample Driver riff, imagined by HE: “The guy looked like a walrus with long brown whiskers and the body of an under-inflated beach ball…well, not a beach ball exactly but he had what anyone would describe as exercise and dietary issues…well, I don’t really know what his diet is but if you told me he eats nothing but pasta and banana cream pies and pints of Ben & Jerry’s ice cream I wouldn’t be surprised…okay, maybe surprised as I don’t believe anyone could stay alive after eating that crap day after day but either way he looks like Mr. Creosote…I hope I never look that way.” **

No questions about “Please Mr. Kennedy” — too familiar, over-discussed.

I don’t care what Driver says about Kylo Ren. Trust me, he doesn’t miss him a bit. He likes the money but that’s par for the course.

Marriage Story costar Scarlett Johansson (aka “ScarJo”) was also supposed to sit down with Thompson, but she bailed at the last minute. She was in Santa Barbara yesterday afternoon, staying with b.f. Colin Jost at the five-star Miramar but became “violently ill” around dinner hour.

Whatever actually happened is her business, but I’m generally suspicious of people who use the term “violently ill.” It’s overly dramatic. Sounds like they’re trying too hard. I’ve been ill from time to time, but never “violently” ill. What is that anyway? You’re so ill you start turning over tables and slugging people?

I tried to file yesterday afternoon about Thursday night’s Renee Zellweger tribute, but I fell behind. She’s a very skilled performer in all senses of that term, social included. She’s unfailingly demure, gracious, low-key but always with a chuckle or a quip. She has the Best Actress Oscar in the bag so it’s all smooth sliding at this point. THR‘s Scott Feinberg handled the interview like a pro.