Matt Damon, Christian Bale On ‘Ford V Ferrari’ (Full Interview) | TODAYMay 10, 2020
How are you, good night? How long ago did they finish the movie? A year ago, yes, it's Halloween, actually, exactly, yes, yes, exactly, yes. If you would have said this is great. I have this car now, but a very fancy old Buick that was like 20 years old. My grandmother would have been driving. not so cool Yes Yes. They were great there. from friends but Ben was Affleck was it was like a 74 Toyota Corona and it had holes in the floor you could see the road go by yeah it was a great car that helped us I think it was custom I'll go. great man oh wait we lived in a VW camper for a while we have fond memories of those things you know you can open and make a cup of tea or whatever but then again you said cool car pretty cool cars , so the movie is apparently about cars and about big industry and about a career but just singles dude, while you were watching your work on this movie, what did you think the movie was about? well it's about this friendship and what i want to say to me because i'm not a car person i could really relate to this idea of â€‹â€‹getting together with a group of people to work on something by putting all your effort and energy into it and that's more important than anything else and you know those kinds of sacrifices you make in the friendships that develop through that and that's nice you know that's making movies and any group of people that come together and collaborate on something is easy to relate to if i think if you're in the movie business how about you yeah?
Know the friendship, the misfits trump here, that he's a completely unrealistic dreamer but actually managed to succeed with it and also the dynamic that you know she's going to be obviously she's an amazing runner but now she's having a In many ways, being like this kind of helps in a movie set in it. Will you get there? You know the director from the actors and they have these ideas but you know the movie would never get made because there's a lot of passion but zero strategy or how to really apply it and then with this is the relationship between Ken Miles and Shelby was that she was able to see this amazing talent within Ken Miles but Ken kept shooting himself in the foot the whole time throughout his career and Shelby really go and just listen to me I know how to get you there whatever the hell and this wonderful bond between them is two people who you have a shared goal and because there is this incredible bond between the two of you. just like in real life sometimes the passions they have for each other boil over into what in the movie is an amazing fight scene yeah yeah yeah well it's like a brotherhood it really is in that fight when we were filming it, we talked about it I like.
The way I would fight my brother growing up is that there's kind of an invisible line that you intuitively know what it is and when you cross it it's clear to both of you like I hit you too hard, there this. You know you don't really want to hurt each other, but you don't, so it was that kind of fight, so it was a really dumb fight scene, but I think it was a lot of fun shooting it. I think after and you also know after doing all the Bourne stuff and all the Batman stuff where we actually have to try to look like the Kate guy, it was lovely to do a movie where we just fight, a scene where the one we just had to look pathetic. yes there is no winner of the fight only Peters got tired of the fight scene there is also a movie element to me it is us against the man for lack of a better better phrase.
I think that was one thing. I was very attracted to that and it was that they absolutely know that of course they could not have done it without Ford absolutely, they need you to know that this is some kind of Goliath this Industry thing to be able to bring the money and all that, but they also did it despite of them and the nature of it. it happens very often and it happens again you know it correlates a lot to the movie you know where everyone needs each other everyone is absolutely essential but often a lot of that happens yeah well it's real life everything what you do in corporate america feels like a total so a little bit more exciting because it's real life two hundred and thirty miles an hour there you know much better but shelby was shelby knew you knew she needed ken miles, he knew it, but he also knew that you knew he had to keep it. he had to play both worlds and maintain if ken came in contact with that corporate world it was going to be a disaster i tribulus so ken was the guy who would never give up a battle he would win every battle. e and then he would lose the war yeah and Shelby just knew that he alone and it was interesting is you're in the lead up to this learning that the best drivers often don't get the ride is there you're looking for other qualities in someone isn't it just oh yeah yeah what we play on the ego we can't put this guy put the mic in front of this guy we don't know what he's going to say and and Shelby doesn't kiss help it's like he's but clearly he's the guy like he's the best driver but but they don't want they don't want to take that risk talk to me about driving now how much did you drive in this we would love to tell you we did everything i love lie completely ghost was lust but the racing would have been so boring if it was me actually driving it i would have thought god i'm pushing this to the limit ok but it would have been me you know we're not a bit these are some of the best racing sequences of all you have to give t u limits and come on there are amazing riders we had on this we had weird riders actually race them and why would you be stupid enough to think you could ever start racing them? i had so much fun driving and learning how to be some kind of bear driver the adrenaline rush is amazing its absolutely hypnotic and addictive but if there is something dynamic going on in a car i could certainly say for myself it wasn't me who was behind the movie you gotta drive a cool car how you were like when you were going to his house yeah yeah that was an old Cobra yeah yeah those were so much fun but you can't I mean we were saying before that you can't keep up with it very hard to keep both rear wheels on the ground because it's so light which is what makes it fun i can just drift i mean it takes so little it actually did quite a drift in that scene look around you i don't know if i was one of those who used or didn't use b ut and I wasn't even trying to share the same agent yeah yeah for decades oh yeah yeah but I did but he likes it better well I've been on I'm over 25 years with Patrick, so I was e in Vice I think you probably in 20 something years there was never a cup of coffee like you guys come on I got seniority let's get these guys together that never happened after all oh we met and I would always know what Christian was. i even know i've always seen
christians work you know about them and i laughed afterwards and he left patrick happens i put it in a hat batman what are you thinking but seriously there was never a conversation about wait we have the 200 and well movies don not really we come together like this it's not like you and me we should work together let's find it works the other way where you just see what a very reactive job there's just a career he's like you're waiting to see what's coming okay okay who's working on what type or If I keep up with the directors, I do well.
I really like these directors, what do you know? What is happening? but but but it's hard to remember when I did the Rainmaker with Francis Ford Coppola this was 20 years ago and I had the best time working with them it was like six months and at the end I told him completely honestly, Francis, I had a wonderful time. I really hope we can do it again and he looked at me and even as sincerely said so did I and it hit me at that moment like oh like you're this kind of mega director but you're not in charge it's like you have that reacting to what comes out native Lee as something very ephemeral is like in that moment and then maybe it will happen again maybe it will happen again but you never, never know, you have to react, you have to respond to the stories that move you and to you I want to say that I hope there's a way to bring everyone back together, but only when you're doing a franchise like Batman or a Bourne series can you count on Union, you're going, oh, let's do one more. like we're going to get this team together again but it's very rare in the movie business for sure mostly our relationship was like oh
mattis going to show this movie so they're like oh god we're going to Bay and then we'll create that's what you know wait for it that's usually the way it works it's really good I'm like I'm like the canary I'm like I'm sitting there going like Christian do this you're going to get more awards I hope or not he's offended because the I'm going to congratulate both of them because we enjoy seeing them at the movies, but since their movies appear on cable TV, for example, for both of them it's been hard for me to sleep.
It cost me considerable that's a wonderful compliment because while I'm browsing if I land on any of your films I'm stuck I'm really stuck oh I took it at most he was so worried about how bad we were I couldn't he was having nightmares for that night that it's completely different i had of course i've appeared in photos like glued to you that's what you're talking about very interesting a journey under way how do these guys still get when you see them working on a film? what would impress you? there's just something underneath all of that, it's very, very, very deep and you can see there's nothing superficial about it and that's what it's like to see him work up close was a lot of fun for me because he's
fully involved and engaged and I talked to a lot of actors who worked with him before and they were all very complementary and they all said the same thing he has amazing discipline and commitment can you have him when he's in character or when you're on his set after shooting a scene can you talk to him like
christianBale or is he the guy, not crazy, I know, but it's if he stays physically in his voice, well, but it's not, I want to say that I've known his wife for more than 20 years, it's that I can't, we can have conversations, he's not like me Ken miles, which is Christian Bale, because that would be completely, it would be insane.
I don't know, there's a limit to how far you can take it because I mean, remember you're not getting a call sheet every day like you are. you have to be on time, you know you're making a movie, you have to be able to do a lot of different takes, you can't get in the car and just never come back, you know, I mean you always have to feel like I know what he said i left what is several of your movies over time especially vice i was saying scaring me scaring my vice it was so good i was at the end i thought i forgot it wasn't Dick Cheney yeah yeah no Dick Cheney is on line one someone stole my identity and my soul yeah yeah yeah yeah so when you look at this young man soul is where that heart is hey so when you look at mr.
Damien what do I do call me actually yes no sir yes and no eye contact what do you see when you see it on the screen I see I see I see a really wonderful subtlety and nuance there's so much he's doing all the time I think I've actually said this before in
interviews which I think a great example is the movie The Good Shepherd which only said like two people for sure but really more people will see that I love that movie that I love and it's doing it a lot but without any notion of showing more swagger about it you know and that depends on the character obviously you know some characters are very calm and distilled and some are so much bigger than that and that's just life but he's absolutely a master like that these bore you too a bit with this.
I think he'll be a good director too I'm not that good at I'd love to do it I've had a couple of mistakes with a promised land this movie I wrote with John Krasinski I almost directed that one and then Manchester by the sea was John and I commissioned Kenny to write and then I read Kenny's script and I called him and told him he had to direct and it absolutely is and as a producer of that movie it was the right call one of these days, but it seems like it turned out great for those guys just in terms of the movie itself because it's so big and people have been saying that it has a sort of old-fashioned quality to it in terms of its bigness and what feels like a movie. okay, well, it's just that they're not making movies about people on this scale you know unless it's unless it's an opportunity to be a franchise like the idea that you'd just make one movie that will never be a franchise there will never be one part two like this is is is is is so risky nowadays because there's no DVD behind the movie anymore so all this revenue stream is gone so it's a really tough gamble for these studios now so don't we get scripts like this very often, right? what does it feel like i remember when i
interviewed you years ago when there was a time in your life that was more than just a time when the phone stopped ringing well mmm what kind of things come your way nowbecause this business yeah I'm using the business is a big evolution yeah but it's really changing I mean we talk about it but you only take one at a time but you can definitely see a change and you can see it in the movies that they're dating, you know? with the with the t The international box office is becoming such a big part, yes, the movies that travel the best are the ones with less language and less cultural confusion.
I'm going to fight three times the good guys are going to win twice like you're done and and and that's going to play everywhere and so and so know them that's the movie being made and remade and remade and people keep going and meanwhile like the the kind of human dramas the kind of human dramas from 20 to 70 million dollars are just gone they're not gone and they're not coming back well they've migrated to tv so yeah yeah , which is great, you know, I mean there's really, really great stuff on TV like there's a job for you if you're creating content if you're doing it right so that's okay but everything is changing yeah yeah for people who don't understand d road racing don't understand how important the whole type of corporate war that
fordtried to wage with
ferrariis, why should they come see this?
Because it's a very exciting movie about people and dreams and it's very relatable. outreach characters these are people you know we can take Shelby they're actually people you want to spend time with they're really entertaining and good and all the conflict and all that and then everyone meets people who just non stop getting in the way of their lives and stomping on their dreams so they don't happen and they can think yeah I know who my Ford is you know I know who that guy is in my life very relatable despite how big and how much money you know more are needed endeavors, like car racing, soul crushers, and ultimately, at the end of the day, it doesn't
matter how much money has gone into these cars, etc., and all of that, it's just a guy sitting in that car and all It all comes down to that and it all comes down to whether that guy can mentally stay on a razor's edge and with Lamont you can stay on a razor's edge for 24 hours straight and not give in to the pressure that's what it all comes down to, he's distilled into just the movie a man's grit ula was great yeah as a person of a certain age who has some memories from all that time i really liked it but also all the conflict between the corporation these guys who need you to know i need you to know do this we can't do well but we really don't want you to do it your way we have some notes that's how many times you get that phone call oh well we couldn't we couldn't film in the actual LeMond in the circus shot because it's changed for complete.
We shot in the old part of Lamont in the old city, which is beautiful but unrecognizable from what it was in the '60s, so yeah, you'll be in that race. there are times when we're racing in Georgia and then we're racing in Agra Dulce, you know, it was only two places because most of it was done in Georgia, but what they had to do was because it's a 24-hour race that goes from day to night in the rain. having all this coordination about what the cars look like and the level of what you know, I mean, okay, how much dirt is on it, how much you know, and it's and everything has to match up and when you're coordinating that from across the country and I mean which was a lot, it was a lot of work for you, plus this kind of stunting and driving, and because all of that is on camera, there are amazing drivers doing all of that with you.
I know none of it is CGI the CGI is like the crowd here you know and things we had to make sure the place was huge yeah it was huge so they built it but they built it there's so many it's all was so well photographed and so well documented that they could relate to building it within an inch Charlie, a gay Pew who was on the pit crew, he was like 23 in 66, he was with us and he couldn't, he came into the pits and he was like this , this is rare. because this is awesome exactly as it was so these are real dudes did you come back and like the preserves?
There's footage of these guys yeah go back and look yeah I saw a lot I mean it was helpful in getting the sounded and looked look it wasn't I wasn't afraid to give an interview an audio available
todayI don't hear it and I don't you're giving an impression it's not it's not it's not like with was someone as if you're playing someone who's so well known he's not a he's not so well known so Cheney yes Cheney if you're someone who's in the news every day you know people you object to you know that's a very different thing than I feel so weird so here's someone saying Cheney and pointing at me but did you look who did you?
Look, yeah, there's not a lot of interviews with Ken Miles, they're a few, but it seems like he's getting this kind of BBC feathery voice during them, but there's footage of him driving on the right and all that, but Peter Miles, his son He was incredibly generous with his time. he sat with me and told me a lot of stories about him and gave me a lot about the family, my own albums there and books that can be recommended etc. your
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