Adam Driver’s Ferrari film: Behind-the-scenes thrills and challenges

Michael Mann’s ‘Ferrari’ chronicles the high-speed drama of 1957, including actors’ daring stunts in iconic replicas


In the realm of cinema, crafting authenticity often requires actors to step into extraordinary roles. However, for Adam Driver, who stars in the upcoming film “Ferrari,” taking on the iconic sports car’s persona came with an unexpected twist – he was not allowed to drive an actual Ferrari.

Directed by veteran filmmaker Michael Mann, “Ferrari” delves into a pivotal year in the life of Enzo Ferrari in 1957. The film portrays Ferrari’s struggles to keep his company afloat, his personal traumas, and his fierce rivalry with local competitor Maserati on the racetrack. Highlighting adrenalin-fueled sequences of the red sports cars competing in Italy’s legendary Mille Miglia road race, the movie promises an immersive experience for viewers.

However, one aspect of the film’s production proved too risky even for a talented actor like Adam Driver. He was denied the opportunity to drive an authentic Ferrari. Instead, Driver and his co-stars had to navigate exact replicas of the iconic, open-topped cars, which offered no protection to the exposed drivers.


U.S. actor Patrick Dempsey, who shares the screen with Driver in “Ferrari,” took on the exhilarating challenge of driving these replicas. Reflecting on the experience, Dempsey admitted, “It was quite terrifying. Driving a modern car you have a roll cage, but there was no cage with these cars.” He emphasized the intoxicating thrill of taking part in endurance races, where the focus narrows down to the present moment. “That is the beauty of it, that is the addiction of it, that is what is hard to give up. It is a calm exhilaration. That is how we should be living,” he added.

Director Michael Mann left no stone unturned to capture the essence of the era authentically. Besides building exact replicas of the cars, Mann went the extra mile by recording the sounds of the original vehicles, including an old Maserati racer owned by Nick Mason, the drummer of the legendary rock group Pink Floyd. These sounds will help transport viewers back to the intense world of 1957, where these cars reigned supreme on the racetracks.

Mann shared his admiration for the cars, describing them as “beautiful, threatening, and quite savage.” His meticulous attention to detail promises to provide an immersive cinematic experience for audiences eager to step into the world of Enzo Ferrari and his iconic creations.

“Ferrari” is among the 23 films competing for the prestigious Golden Lion award at the Venice Film Festival, which runs until September 9. With its blend of high-speed drama, authentic portrayals, and daring stunts, the film is poised to captivate audiences and transport them back to the heart-pounding world of 1950s auto racing. While Adam Driver may not have been allowed behind the wheel of a real Ferrari, his performance and the film’s dedication to realism are sure to leave a lasting impression on viewers.