Life In The Fast Lane
Yesterday was not a slow Wednesday night at Chelsea Bow Tie Cinemas. The Cinema Society screened Ron Howard’s high-octane new racing film, Rush, for an audience that included Courtney Love, Richard Phillips, and Craig McDean. Safe to say the speed freaks left feeling pretty satisfied.
Having debuted at the Toronto International Film Festival, Rush seems on track to please Formula 1 wonks and general audiences alike. It dramatizes one of the great rivalries in the history of motor sport, between a pair of seventies-era drivers—a fun-loving Briton and a calculating Austrian—played by Chris Hemsworth and Daniel Brühl. The evening was co-sponsored by Piaget and Ferrari (the latter of which inevitably ends up getting plenty of screen time) and wrapped up with an after-party at Hôtel Americano.
Hemsworth’s character, James Hunt, was a scintillating pop icon in his day. “He was the first Englishman that I remember considering attractive,” screenwriter Peter Morgan recalled, adding that he and Howard cast a wide net before landing their Australian leading man. “There wasn’t a sexy enough Englishman to play James Hunt.”
And indeed, his story is a remarkable one. Hemsworth, who lost thirty pounds of Avengers bulk in order to fit into an F1 car, figured it would be hard for spectators to look away. “Anything thrilling or adrenaline-driven like this, where there’s a huge amount of risk involved…you’re forced to pay attention and even, I think, to watch someone participate in that,” he mused. Then again, some viewers might be just as drawn to the sex scenes, for which Hemsworth drops his trousers more than once—something he confessed was “more daunting than the racing, to be honest.”
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