The filming of a film in which Hollywood heartthrob Brad Pitt plays the role of a veteran Formula One driver began last weekend at the British Grand Prix at Silverstone in England – with Pitt saying he enjoyed it.
The actor was full of praise and respect for the sport and the drivers on Sunday after spending the weekend in their company. Pitt also says that the sport as a whole has welcomed the film (the title “Apex” is reportedly being considered) which is backed by Apple. He plays the lead role.
“I’m enjoying my holes,” Pitt said after racing around the course himself. “I even feel a little dizzy. It’s great to be here. We have a great laugh. It’s really just the best time.”
Pitt says he received a warm welcome from the drivers when he and the director of the film, Joseph Kosinski, joined the drivers’ information session before the race.
“To be a part of it in this way? To tell our story? Everyone was cool with us, the teams opened their doors to us; the FIA was very helpful, F1 and Stefano Domenicali – everyone was just amazing.”
The seven-time Formula One world champion, Lewis Hamilton of Mercedes, is an executive producer of the film and says “it was probably the best driver briefing ever”.
In the film, Pitt plays the role of a veteran driver who joins an F1 team at Silverstone – with an imaginary 11th team participating, complete with a workshop and pits right next to Ferrari’s.
Using F2 cars converted by Mercedes, the “movie cars” also took a place on the program at the race on Sunday and appeared for a lap on the track – just before the Grand Prix started. The cars were driven by veteran drivers Craig Dolby and Luciano Bachetta.
Mercedes’ George Russell says it was a fantastic experience to work with Pitt.
“It’s like seeing an international superstar for the first time; it’s unreal. It’s only when you spend time with that person, whether it’s Tom Cruise, Brad Pitt or Roger Federer, that you realize they’re just ordinary people.
“He made jokes and enjoyed himself; he was really just one of us. I’m very excited to see the film,” says Russell.
Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc and Alpine’s Pierre Gasly were among the drivers excited about the chance to spend time with Pitt. The defending world champion, Max Verstappen, was slightly less impressed.
“I think they are going to use a few photos of everyone, in terms of cameras on board and such,” said the Dutchman.
“Ultimately, a film is always made to create a bit of a show, because of course it won’t all be real, but it’s all good. I’m not really involved in that.”