‘Rush’: Chris Hemsworth Talks About Portraying Racing Legend James Hunt

Rush is Chris Hemsworth’s upcoming film about the rivalry between British racing legend James Hunt, who had a reputation for being a playboy and his arch-rival, Austrian icon, Niki Lauda, played by Spanish/German actor Daniel Brühl.

Chris Hemsworth and Daniel Brühl faced different challenges in portraying real life characters. For Brühl, the hard part was that Lauda is still alive, and, in Hemsworth’s case, he had to play the late racing legend in a believable fashion.

Rush is an interesting film, as biopics go. Director Ron Howard didn’t attempt to cover the whole life story of these two race car drivers but one defining moment in their career, which almost ended in the death of Niki Lauda.

The film focuses on the 1976 season and the fight Hunt and Lauda were locked in in their quest to attain the Championship in their dangerous sport.

Chris Hemsworth says there is no clear villain or hero in the film and adds that even director Ron Howard agreed with that opinion.

His character, James Hunt, is more likable because he is charming, easy going, and extremely handsome, which he is more than aware of. On the other hand, Niki Lauda is just the opposite in every respect.

When asked by Hitfix how he researched Hunt, Chris Hemsworth says that the BBC gave Ron Howard a lot of footage since most of the documented images are on his racing, not his personal life.

James Hunt in 1978.

Hemsworth describes Hunt as someone who had a fascination with life, always wanting to explore everything, much like a child.

“He’s fun to be around. That’s why people loved him.” he tells Hitfix

The challenge for Chris Hemsworth is to keep the character interesting and relevant. He adds that working with an ensemble, like in the Thor franchise, is different than taking on a role like Hunt.

Rush with Chris Hemsworth and Daniel Brühl opens in select theaters on September 20 and everywhere on September 27.