Adam Driver Recalls ‘Terrifying’ Experience Driving Old School Racecar

Adam Driver

In Michael Mann’s biographical drama “Ferrari,” the talented actor Adam Driver takes on the iconic role of sports-car magnate Enzo Ferrari. However, while portraying this legendary figure, Driver didn’t have the chance to drive one of the actual 1950s-era replicas of Ferrari’s classic cars. Instead, he maneuvered an “open-wheel single seater” vehicle that was specially modified to attach a camera.

When asked about his experience driving these unique vintage cars by Variety, Driver had a straightforward response: “Terrifying.”

He shared that the experience truly transports you back in time, making you realize that one wrong turn could have dire consequences. As he explained, “It teleports you back to the time, and you realize if you turn left or right the wrong way, then you’re dead.”

During the “Ferrari” North American premiere at the New York Film Festival, Driver candidly expressed his feelings, pointing out that contemporary Ferraris, at least, come equipped with seatbelts for added safety.

Upcoming ‘Ferrari’ Film: Vintage Cars, Danger, and Enzo’s Life

Driver went on to describe the single-seater vehicle as a “moving coffin,” a term he had previously used at a press conference during the festival. The driving sequences took place at an abandoned airstrip in Modena, Italy, where the danger of these vintage cars became palpable.

Mann, the director of “Ferrari,” elaborated on the historical context, noting that back in the 1950s, it was considered safer to be thrown from the car during a crash rather than being dragged along with it. This is why seatbelts were not used.

In preparation for the racing sequences in the film, Mann had several actors, including Adam Driver, test drive contemporary Ferraris during pre-production. This served as “racecar driving 101” to help the team get a feel for these high-performance vehicles.

The “Ferrari” film follows the life of Enzo Ferrari in 1957 as his company prepares to enter the Mille Miglia, a challenging 1000-mile open-road motorsport race. The movie’s cast includes Penelope Cruz, Shailene Woodley, Gabriel Leone, and Sarah Gadon.

Mann shared that they employed at least 14 or 15 cars for the recreation of the 1957 Mille Miglia race. Some of the main Ferraris and Maseratis were accurately re-created to scale through 3D scanning of real 1950s-era models, given their incredible value.

“Ferrari” is set to premiere in theaters on December 25, offering audiences a glimpse into the remarkable life of Enzo Ferrari and the thrilling world of vintage sports cars.