Opening in theaters on December 25th is ‘Ferrari,’ which chronicles the life of iconic entrepreneur Enzo Ferrari. The movie was directed by Michael Mann (‘Heat’) and stars Adam Driver (‘Star Wars: The Last Jedi’) in the title role.
Moviefone recently had the pleasure of speaking with Adam Driver about his work on ‘Ferrari,’ his approach to playing the iconic character, working with Michael Mann, Ferrari’s complex relationship with his wife Laura, and creating that relationship on screen with Penélope Cruz.
Moviefone: To begin with, can you talk about your approach to playing a person as iconic as Enzo Ferrari and what was the key for you in finding the character? Was it creating him internally first or with the costume and makeup departments, finding his external look that helped you the most with the performance?
Adam Driver: Because of the nature of our shooting schedule and the budget really, it had to be internal at first. The prosthetics and costumes, because we got delayed, some of those decisions were made very late. But mostly, it’s almost always internal. It starts with the script and then you try to work on it, and that’s Michael’s thing. 90% of his notes are about internal life. You’re spot on in starting with that, because that’s where he started with this character. His take was that Ferrari was a racer first, so that’s how he wanted to see him navigate the track of this movie, as someone who has prolonged focus, and during these potential pitfalls or crashes, just to continue the metaphor, is calm on the surface, but has this engine going throughout.
MF: For my money, Michael Mann is one of the greatest directors of all time. What was it like for you collaborating with him on this film and watching firsthand the specific way that he makes movies?
AD: I agree with you. I think he is one of the greatest filmmakers of all time, and his movies I’ve returned to again and again, and they’ve been a massive inspiration for me. He has incredible taste, and I’m not saying that because I got the part, but his tastes in subject matter and how he shoots things, I love. So, when you trust a director’s taste, you feel way more confident that they’re making the movie that they want to make. He was someone that, just on a personal level, I am incredibly moved by. I was very excited to work with him, but who he is as a person, I care about Michael deeply, and I love his films and his relentlessness in going for something that feels tactile and authentic, that I’m moved by.
MF: Finally, Enzo had a very complex relationship with his wife, Laura. Can you talk about that relationship and creating it on screen with Penélope Cruz?
AD: She makes things easy, because she’s so good and available and present, and that’s the strength of the script is that there’s this relationship that’s not so obvious. After the movie, I think in 1963, there was a kind of revolt among the engineers. They didn’t appreciate how she was conducting business, and they came to Enzo saying that “She’s got to go. If you don’t fire her, we quit.” His response was then “Fine, quit,” and he fired them all. That same year, Laura fell into a ditch, and they said “She fell into a ditch. We pulled her out.” He’s like, “Why’d you pull her out?” That’s what it was with them. They’re fighting one minute, and maybe making love the next, but there’s this in our film, an unresolved grief that’s between them, that you only get glimpses of who they used to be. Again, I don’t feel like scripts come along that are that seemingly bold, I guess, and not shying away from creating a complicated linear character.
What is the plot of ‘Ferrari’?
In the summer of 1957, Enzo Ferrari (Adam Driver), reeling from the death of his son Dino, the deteriorating marriage with his wife Laura (Penélope Cruz), and his company’s impending bankruptcy, enters his racing team to the 1957 Mille Miglia.
Who is in the cast of ‘Ferrari’?
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