James Mangold Talks ‘Ford v Ferrari’ and Learning from De Niro on ‘Cop Land’

     November 13, 2019

One of my favorite movies of 2019 is director James Mangold’s Ford v Ferrari. Not only is the true-story racing drama incredibly well made, it’s loaded with fantastic performances from every single cast member. Trust me, if you want to see a brilliant piece of filmmaking, look no further than Ford v Ferrari. For more on the film, you can read Adam Chitwood’s glowing review.

ford-v-ferrari-matt-damon

Image via 20th Century Fox

If you haven’t seen the trailer, Ford v Ferrari is set against the backdrop of 1966’s 24 Hours of Le Mans race in France and follows maverick American car designer Carroll Shelby (Matt Damon), who is challenged by Henry Ford II (Tracy Letts) and Lee Iacocca (Jon Bernthal) to build a revolutionary car that would allow Ford to challenge Ferrari. Christian Bale plays the fearless British racer Ken Miles, who gets behind the wheel of the new Ford racing vehicle. The film also stars Caitriona BalfeJosh Lucas, and Noah Jupe.

With the film arriving in theaters this weekend, I recently sat down with James Mangold for an exclusive interview. During the wide-ranging conversation he talked about if he still gets excited working with big name actors, what he learned from working with Robert De Niro on Copland that helped him as a director, what he does to help craft his actors performances, what it was like filming the “pathetic” fight sequence between Bale and Damon, how they filmed the great driving scene with Damon and Letts on the race track, and you can hear him talk about a great photo that happened with Harrison Ford at the Ford v Ferrari premiere party (you’ll see the pic in the interview).

ford-v-ferrari-christian-bale

Image via 20th Century Fox

Check out what he had to say in the player above and below is exactly what we talked about.

James Mangold:

  • The great photo with Harrison Ford where he’s smiling.
  • Does he still get excited to work with these huge actors like Harrison Ford or Angelina Jolie?
  • What makes great actors great actors?
  • What he does to help craft his actors performances.
  • What he learned from working with Robert De Niro on Copland that helped him as a director.
  • What was it like filming the “pathetic” fight sequence between Christian Bale and Matt Damon?
  • How did they film the great scene with Matt Damon and Tracy Letts driving on the race track?
ford-v-ferrari-christian-bale-matt-damon

Image via 20th Century Fox

Here’s the official synopsis:

Academy Award-winners Matt Damon and Christian Bale star in FORD v FERRARI, based on the remarkable true story of the visionary American car designer Carroll Shelby (Damon) and the fearless British-born driver Ken Miles (Bale), who together battled corporate interference, the laws of physics, and their own personal demons to build a revolutionary race car for Ford Motor Company and take on the dominating race cars of Enzo Ferrari at the 24 Hours of Le Mans in France in 1966.

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