Lewis Hamilton is producing a Formula 1-inspired movie that will star Brad Pitt; Hamilton has played a leading role in attempts to increase diversity within the sport; the seven-time world champion says he is heavily involved with the casting process
Thursday 1 June 2023 13:16, UK
Lewis Hamilton says he is ensuring the upcoming Formula 1-inspired movie that he is producing will be "diverse" and make the sport look "how it's supposed to" in the future.
The seven-time world champion is a producer on the project, which has attracted a star-studded ensemble that includes Brad Pitt as the lead actor, and is being directed by Joseph Kosinski.
Hamilton became F1's first Black driver when he entered the sport in 2007 and has played a leading role in attempting to make the sport more diverse.
The Hamilton Commission, established by the 38-year-old in 2020 in conjunction with the Royal Academy of Engineering, released a report in 2021 with recommendations relating to "shifting change within motorsport".
Asked during the Monaco Grand Prix weekend whether he was planning to feature in the movie, Hamilton said: "No, not really, I don't really have any desire to be in front of the camera, but there may be an element in it where maybe I'll slot in and play a small cameo, but at the moment that's not the plan.
"I'm more enjoying the part in the background, making sure that I'm really talking to Joe about who we're hiring, making sure that it's diverse, making sure that the sport looks how it's supposed to look in the future, in terms of being more accessible."
Hamilton revealed he is playing an active role in the casting, following recent reports that British actor Damson Idris and Irish actor Kerry Condon have now been added to the cast.
"Recruitment is going great, and I get to see all of those videos come through of people auditioning for the roles.
"And I get to be part of the decision making of who we choose, who we like and who is most suited or not."
Hamilton said that the recent cancellation of the Emilia-Romagna Grand Prix because of flooding in northern Italy afforded him the opportunity to spend a Saturday in London going through the script with Kosinski, producer Jerry Bruckheimer and Pitt.
Plans are in place for Pitt to take to the track during the British Grand Prix weekend at Silverstone in July as part of filming, while the F1 paddock is expected to be used for further shooting of scenes at various races during the second half of the season.
Hamilton continued: "We have an amazing cast. It's such a privilege… because we weren't racing, we spent the whole day going through the script in London.
"Just to be able to sit there with Joe and Jerry, who are such legends, and then sit there and watch Brad work - I'm learning so much through the process and have even more of an appreciation of what it takes to create a movie.
"I'm sure that will continue to grow as I see this thing slowly grow and build into something special."
Ahead of the Monaco GP, at which Hamilton finished fourth as his Mercedes team debuted significant upgrades to their W14 car, the Brit attended the Cannes Film Festival, which was taking place a short distance along the Cote D'Azur.
Hamilton said he was inspired by seeing Leonardo Di Caprio's latest film and has aspirations of taking the movie he is working on to the prestigious festival.
"I went to Cannes on Tuesday and got to see greats like Leo, who has just released his movie," Hamilton said.
"Who knows, maybe we'll go to Cannes with the movie once it's out."
As for when Hamilton might make his big-screen debut, the Brit says he is desperate to feature in a potential next Top Gun movie, having missed out on the opportunity to feature in the franchise's 2022 release due to scheduling conflicts.
"I'll wait for my proper movie debut, because I'm going to need to train and practise, because I don't want to suck at it," Hamilton said.
"If Top Gun 3 ever happens, I'm going to be in it, and I will miss a race for it, just so you know. I'm not going to give up that chance next time."
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