Tuesday, 3 September 2013

Rush Revs Its Engines At London Premiere - Sky News

The glamour of Formula One has hit the streets of London for the world premiere of Rush - a film about the bitter rivalry between drivers James Hunt and Niki Lauda in the 1970s.

Current McLaren team-mates Jenson Button and Sergio Perez revved their engines as they slowly drove around Leicester Square and onto the red carpet.

Ron Howard  - who directed Frost/Nixon and A Beautiful Mind - is behind the biographical movie.

Chris Hemsworth
Australian actor Chris Hemsworth plays 1976 F1 champion James Hunt

It stars Australian actor Chris Hemsworth as playboy British racer James Hunt - a risk-taker with a penchant for drugs, women and alcohol.

Germany's Daniel Bruhl plays the dour, detail-obsessed Austrian Niki Lauda, who almost lost his life when his Ferrari left the track in the German Grand Prix of 1976.

Lauda was trapped in his burning car for over a minute before he was freed.

He sustained horrific burns to his face and toxic fumes burnt his lungs.

Olivia Wilde
Olivia Wilde, who plays Hunt's first wife Suzy Miller, signs autographs

Lauda told Sky News that he has no recollection of the crash: "I was inside so I was busy staying alive.

"The movie is done very realistically and I, too, was shocked when I saw the hospital scenes, how they treated me, what they had to do to keep me alive."

Against all odds, Lauda returned to the track just weeks later to try to prevent Hunt from winning the Formula 1 championship.

"RUSH" The Movie World Premiere - Red Carpet
F1 drivers Sergio Perez and Jenson Button were at the premiere

The Hunt-Lauda rivalry is widely considered to be one of the fiercest that sport has ever known - certainly the most intense that F1 has ever known.

"It's a gauntlet, emotional and physical, that they put themselves through to try to achieve greatness, to fulfil that need that they had (to win)," said director Ron Howard. 

"All of that was only intensified by the fact that it was played out in Formula 1 - a world that is dangerous, that is visual, that is cinematic, that is so visceral - so I thought it was a fantastic combination."

Niki Lauda
Niki Lauda says he now feels "very warm" about his great rival

But Lauda himself feels the film slightly over-eggs the personal tension with Hunt.

Asked how he feels about his rival now, he said: "I wish James could be here tonight, because this would be my best day.

"I feel very warm about him."

Hunt died from a heart attack in 1993, aged just 45.

David Hasselhoff and Hayley Roberts arrive at the world premiere of Rush at a cinema in Leicester Square, central London
David Hasselhoff and Hayley Roberts arrive at the world premiere

British Formula One driver Jenson Button praised the film's action scenes.

"They've really captured the fight and the emotion between the two rivals," said the 2009 F1 champion. "The racing actually looks real for once - which is quite nice."

James Hunt's son, Tom, was also on the red carpet and said he was happy with his father's portrayal in the film.

He told Sky News he understood why Ron Howard had covered his father's playboy lifestyle.

"There were bits of that involved in dad's life. That's part of who dad was - that's partly why he was so famous and popular."

Rush is released in the UK on September 13.

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