The two-time Academy Award nominee, who plays Enzo Ferrari in the upcoming movie, has revealed that he wasn’t allowed to drive an actual Ferrari during filming, according to Reuters. The reason was simple: The production couldn’t afford to have anything happen to its star.
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“They were the scariest things on set, but they wouldn’t let me drive the cars for insurance reasons,” Driver said during a press conference for the film at the 80th Venice Film Festival on Thursday.
It makes sense that producers would be anxious about Driver getting behind the wheel of one of the company’s legendary sports cars. The film, which is directed by Michael Mann, is a biopic of the Italian marque’s founder. It charts one of the toughest years of his life—1957—during which he fought to keep his eponymous company solvent, went head-to-head with Maserati on the race track, and struggled with grief following the death of his son, Dino, the year before.
The film producers were apparently a little less worried about one of Driver’s castmates, though. The former Grey’s Anatomy star Patrick Dempsey, who plays Italian race car driver Piero Taruffi in the film, was allowed to drive replicas of one of the automaker’s open-top race cars.
“It was quite terrifying. Driving a modern car you have a roll cage, but there was no cage with these cars,” Dempsey told the gathered press. As harrowing as it may have been, it also sounds like the actor loved it. “That is how we should be living,” he said of the experience.
Ferrari, which also stars Penelope Cruz and Shailene Woodley, is one of the most anticipated films of the year. The early response has been strong, too. The movie received a six-minute-long standing ovation following its premiere at Venice on Thursday, according to Variety. The film is also in the running for the prestigious Golden Lion award, which will be given out before the festival ends on September 9.
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