News & Media

Six Pack of Pop: Ron Howard on racing, movies

October 02, 2013,

Academy Award winning director has surprising pick for favorite motorsports movie

Ron Howard, winner of Best Director and Best Picture Oscars for "A Beautiful Mind," prepared for his latest motion picture, "Rush," by attending last August's Crown Royal Presents the Curtiss Shaver 400 at the Brickyard powered by as a guest of four-time Brickyard winner Jeff Gordon. Howard also drove the pace car for the race.

Howard and Gordon got to know each other while filming "The Crossing" for NASCAR Productions, both at Indianapolis Motor Speedway and at Universal Studios in Hollywood. Click here to watch the five-part series as these legends of entertainment and racing trade stories about their craft.

In April, Howard held a Twitter Q&A about "Rush," his film about a Formula One rivalry between drivers James Hunt and Niki Lauda. This week's Six Pack of Pop combines questions and answers from Howard's experience at the Brickyard and that Twitter chat.

Q: What did you think about your time at Indianapolis Motor Speedway and your host, Jeff Gordon?

Ron Howard:
"I've been a longtime admirer of Jeff’s work both on and off the track. Not only is he a stellar driver, but his commitment to ending older hunger in America shows his passion for helping others. I'm honored to drive the Pace Car at IMS, and I thank NASCAR for giving me this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity."

Q: What was it like driving the 2013 60th Anniversary Corvette Pace Car during the pace laps for the Crown Royal 400 at the Brickyard?

Ron Howard:
"It was a real thrill, and I am glad I was able to pull it off OK, but I will never forget it. I also had enough composure to click off a picture while doing it, too, so we will see how that turns out. By going to the drivers' meeting, I really felt like I was a part of the event."

Q: What is your favorite racing movie?

Ron Howard:
"'Talladega Nights!,'" Howard told the Associated Press. "I laughed my (rear end) off at that thing."

@ClipperSE: How long does it take to make and release a film (this one) from concept to release? How many drafts of a script?

#Rushmovie will have taken exactly 2 yrs from the day I signed on to direct Peter Morgan's already written screenplay. So 3 yrs.

@CanyonDentalCen: Is this a movie I can take my wife to? She thinks it's a guy movie.

In test screenings women rate movie just as hi as men :-) Lots of emotion in Rush & it don't hurt having (Chris) Hemsworth ;-)

@kevin_fisher427: Did the sound editors sample different marques' engines in creating the audio texture of the film? If so, how many? 

Sound & pic editors were fanatical about recording and using engine sound accurately. Sound mixers loved it.