U.S. film director RON HOWARD "visited Madrid for a few hours on Wednesday," to talk about his soon-to-be-released film about the '76 F1 season, according to Héctor Martínez of AS. Howard, who directed "Rush," a movie to be released in September about the '76 F1 season and the competition that season between drivers JAMES HUNT and NIKI LAUDA, played by CHRIS HEMSWORTH and DANIEL BRÜHL, respectively, discussed his connection to F1 and his thoughts on the sport's current stars. The following is an excerpt from the Q&A:
Q: Were you already a fan of F1 or did you become a fan of it while making this movie?
Ron Howard: I was not much a fan of motorsports, I was more into baseball and basketball. But I like the drama and you tend to have many doses of drama in sports. Especially in F1, I believe it makes for something that is very attractive in terms of cinematography. The sound of the races, for example, the speed. This is one of the reasons that F1 is so fascinating on TV, because there are many good camera angles.
Q: Speaking of sounds, watching the movie, the seat trembles when the motors start. Why?
Howard: Of course, of course. Because the first thing you notice when you go to a race is the sound, even before you see the cars. This is my experience and it is what I wanted to offer to the viewers.
Q: As a U.S. director, people would expect a movie about IndyCar, but you chose F1. Why?
Howard: It is not so much for F1 in itself, but for the characters. They [Hunt and Lauda] are two passionate people with great personalities, and so different from each other. Each one has an interesting story and when they combine, when you show the rivalry, Wow! I also wanted to show the danger of F1, especially in the '70s. All this together, this combination, makes the story very interesting.
Q: Could you make a movie today with drivers that sometimes think 10 seconds before every phase to be politically correct?
Howard: The '70s were a more dangerous era, with more freedom, and I wanted to show this. ... James Hunt and Niki Lauda were famous for not deceiving anyone, for telling the truth. It really did not matter to them what people thought. I believe that today there are notable stories and interesting drivers with charm. What happens is we do not have perspective. We see the races, but we should consider their complete development. But yes, within 20 years it would not surprise me if there is a movie about drivers like [Ferrari's Fernando] Alonso and [Mercedes' Lewis] Hamilton.
Q: Lauda's and Hunt's cars in the movie, were they real bodies, real engines, or both?
Howard: Both. We had the real cars for both. The owners of these historic F1s let us use them. These cars are worth millions. The owners liked the story that we were telling so they let us use them. However, they did not allow other people to drive them, not even the specialists (AS, 8/21).