Tracy Letts on the 'scary' challenges of making 'Ford v Ferrari' originally appeared on goodmorningamerica.com
There can be some hilarious challenges in movie making. Tracy Letts is starring in the new film, "Ford v Ferrari," based on the true story of automakers battling to build the top car. Letts shared a few secrets with ABC News about how they pulled off some dazzling scenes featuring the actors zooming around the tracks at full speed.
"(Director) James Mangold was very good about putting actors in real circumstances," Letts said in a recent appearance on "Popcorn with Peter Travers."
"To the point where we didn't have to manufacture a lot. We were in real cars," he said.
But that realness did present some challenges for Letts who is 6'3".
"We did get up to speeds of about a hundred miles per hour," Letts, 54, told Travers. "But it wasn't the speed that was the scary part. It was the claustrophobia. Those cars are not made for big guys. And I'm a big guy. To wedge me in that car, I couldn't extend my legs, can't open the door because the camera's there. The roof of the car is about six inches over your head. (I was) buckled in. I'm in a period suit. My hair shellacked, (I was) covered in makeup. You can't move. You sit there for hours. It's a little scary."
Letts plays the role of Henry Ford II who found himself vying against Enzo Ferrari (Remo Girone) for the spot of top car maker.
"For me, the whole basis of the story for both our movie and the real-life story, was the reason they went to this race because of Henry Ford's insecurity," Letts said. "He got his feelings hurt by Enzo Ferrari. And he decided to go to Le Mans (an annual sports car racing event) and beat Enzo at his own game. And that's the reason this story even exists."
Christian Bale, Matt Damon, Jon Bernthal and Catriona Balfe round out the all-star cast.
"One of the great things about the story is that it's complicated. It's not black and white," said Letts. "There's an interesting dichotomy between these guys who are mavericks testing the limits of these automobiles and putting their lives at risk, working for this giant corporate structure, with a lot of financial interests. It's one of the interesting gray areas this movie exists in."
He added, "it is a human story. It's not about the cars."
Watch the full interview with Peter Travers and Tracy Letts in the video above.