Interview

Cast Of Ford v Ferrari Says Film Is About More Than Just Car Racing

In 1966 the Ford Motor Company set their minds to defeating Ferrari at the 24 Hours of Le Mans after Ferrari put a stop to a potential buy out of their company. It was a difficult task to accomplish, considering they didn’t have either a car or a driver, and a very short period of time to get ready. The film Ford v Ferrari that is screening at TIFF 2019 takes a look at the road that was ahead of Ford and how they prepared themselves for the challenge.

Director James Mangold (Logan, Walk The Line) knew he wanted to make the film, but didn’t exactly know how he was going to go about doing it. He’d been given the script before he started filming Logan, but like everyone else he figured it would be too expensive to make. In the end though he found a way to get his budget below $100 million, and was able to move forward with it. While the film is centered around car racing, and in particular one large car race, Mangold said the film is ultimately about friendship and relationships. He called it the Lawrence of Arabia of car race movies. He likes the fact that the film is a sort of “throw-back”, where there wasn’t a lot of green screening and special effects. They built their sets to look like should, and skinned vehicles to look like the vintage cars. They even had replica engines built for the scenes where they needed to show what was under the hood. As for his actors, Mangold said he always likes the space between the lines, where you can see what people are doing when they aren’t talking or essential to the scene, and in this case the actors in the film filled those spaces perfectly.

In the film Christian Bale plays race car driver Ken Miles, whom Bale has met and developed a friendship with. Bale called him not only a great character, but also adored him and loved playing him. To him the film transcends racing, and watching it with the audience at TIFF tore his heart out. As he watched it, he said the film became about his own life, and the friends and family he’s lost along the way. Bale admitted that he liked the fact that he got a little taste of the danger the racers go through, and can see why they do what they do. It’s not a lifestyle for him though, and he prefers driving his old second hand Toyota Tacoma. He really admires his co-star Matt Damon as well, called him a superb actor and one of the most decent men he’s ever met. 

Jon Bernthal was happy to play a younger Lee Iacocca, so he could help audiences see the legendary man before he’d become the legend. That way we could see him on his journey instead of when he had arrived. He called it an honour to play him. He didn’t know much about racing either, and one of the things he likes about the film is that is helps people understand it a little better. 

Ford v Ferrari hits theatres in November.

By: Roderick Thedorff



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