Two icons of Formula 1 racing are the heros in ‘Rush’. It is the true story of the great sporting rivalry between English playboy James Hunt and his brilliant opponent Austrian Niki Lauda.
Speaking at the London premiere, director Ron Howard said the film had all the right ingredients: “Sex, danger, Formula 1, the 70s. I mean, these things all merge, you know, they collide – it’s witty, it’s funny. The characters surprise you in the way they entertain you. Look, it’s a movie that I [would] really wanted to see.”
Chris Hemsworth plays Hunt, who died aged 45 in 1993. The Australian actor said people are fascinated by the sport: “I think it’s the thrill of death that these guys throw themselves into, and to either participate in something like that or to observe it, as someone in the crowd – as a fan – is just as thrilling half the time. And I think everyone gets swept up in it.”
American actress Olivia Wilde enthused about her character in the film, James Hunt’s first wife Suzy Miller: “She was amazing, fearless, glamorous, sexy, spontaneous. She went from being married to James Hunt to Richard Burton, so she’s not afraid of a challenge.”
German actor Daniel Bruhl, who shot to fame in ‘Goodbye Lenin’, plays Niki Lauda. He remembered his first meeting with the former F1 champion.
“One day he called at 6 o’clock in the morning and it was hilarious, he said, ‘Well, I guess we have to meet now,’ and I said ‘Yeah, that would be good,’ ‘Just bring hand luggage to Vienna in case we don’t like each other you can piss off,’ and I said ‘Oh!’ Fortunately I had to buy some extra clothes in Vienna because I stayed longer than expected. That is the way he is and that’s what I admire about him, is his fearlessness.”
Lauda was at the premiere, where he waxed nostalgic about his great rival: “The really sad thing about it is that James is not here anymore. If he would be here with me, then I would be really happy.”
Rush is set after a catastrophic crash at the 1976 German Grand Prix as the two drivers prepared to clash again in Japan.