“What was so interesting to me about it was the compression of all the dynamics of these tempestuous lives in three months,” explained director Michael Mann about what drew him to the true story in “Ferrari.” And “the more specific one got into that culture and these people and their psyche, I think the more universal the whole picture became.” “Ferrari” was selected as the closing night film at the 61st New York Film Festival, which concluded on October 15. Watch his NYFF press conference with actors Adam Driver, Penelope Cruz and Gabriel Leone above.
Set in the summer of 1957, “Ferrari” tells the story of Enzo Ferrari (Driver), his marriage to Laura (Cruz), and the treacherous Mille Miglia race across Italy. To portray the man and his auto empire, Mann and Driver got to explore “Enzo’s study, which has been untouched since he died … It’s understanding the culture he’s in and having almost a tactile input from all the objects, everything all around us.” They also explored the mindset of racing and how it reflects a fundamental human condition: “We try to run faster, further, achieve more, go to the moon. Whatever the limits are that are in front of us, we push outwards as a species.”
Driver described “information overload” when it came to researching Enzo, but you “take the things that apply to you and make sense with the script.” What mattered most was capturing his “internal life … His brother had died and his father had died. Being alone, really having to forge his own path and it being a catalyst for how he lived the rest of his life was an internal thing that we talked about all the time. And also just the mentality of a racer was something we talked about a lot, which we did by racing Ferraris.” That mindset, he realized, was a “myopic, prolonged focus … calm on the surface and furiously paddling underneath.”
For Cruz, it was “very important to have that time … sometimes by yourself, doing that investigation of getting close, getting to really understand who that being is. There is an added responsibility when you are playing a real person. The world didn’t know a lot about Laura Ferrari, but I was very lucky having Michael introducing me to a lot of people that really knew her and really knew Enzo.” They visited the Ferraris’ home, which contained “a lot of details in the atmosphere that explain the kind of deep depression that she was in after losing [her son] Dino.” She and Enzo stayed together because they had “real love” for each other, “not comfortable love, not easy, but I think they both had a great respect for each other, and also he had respect for what she did for the company.”
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