Orlando Bloom on the 'mad dream' that inspired new film Gran Turismo
Orlando Bloom has given us the inside track on his new racing film Gran Turismo and the ‘mad dream’ behind it.
Set to release in cinemas in August, we got to catch up with the 46-year-old star at the film’s Cannes photo call on Friday.
He features in the movie as the former Nissan Europe executive who was the brains behind GT Academy, alongside David Harbour, former Spice Girl Geri Halliwell Horner, Djimon Hounsou and rising star Archie Madekwe.
Speaking exclusively to Metro.co.uk at the film’s launch on the Carlton Cannes’ pier, Bloom explained: ‘I play a guy called Danny who’s based on real life character, Darren Cox, who came up with this idea to take simulated car drivers – kids who could drive really well – he came up with this GT Academy idea to take kids from race car games – so the game Gran Turismo – and put them into real cars on tracks and see what happened.
‘It was this mad dream really and Jann Mardenborough (Madekwe, Midsommar) won that contest, and because he was so good at driving a simulation vehicle with a matter of months of training he got so good in a car that he actually podiumed at Le Mans.
‘So it’s a movie about dream big enough and you never know what might happen.’
The 24 Hours of Le Mans is a world-famous, endurance-focused sportscar race held annually in the French town, which previously featured in 2019 drama Le Mans ’66 with Christian Bale and Matt Damon, released as Ford v Ferrari in the US.
Bloom, who made his big screen debut over 20 years ago now as elf Legolas in Peter Jackson’s The Lord of the Rings trilogy, has something of a reputation as a dare-devil, thanks in no part to breaking his back as a teenager after an attempt to get onto a roof terrace by leaping onto a drainpipe that gave way.
Naturally, he confirms, he has ‘always loved’ race-car driving.
‘I think the way my brain works is I move quite quickly and that helps me, so in some ways I really enjoy it.
‘It was fun to get to play in this space too, although I didn’t really get to drive the cars because Darren Cox is the guy who comes up with the idea to do this, he was the marketing genius and the brain behind the idea, so I didn’t get as much fun driving as I’d like!’
However, he’s not complaining, with the actor – who is married to popstar Katy Perry – calling the shoot for Gran Turismo ‘a fantastic experience’.
‘We got to go to these tracks all around the world. We shot the majority of the film in Budapest, but we went to the Red Bull ring, for example. It was a cool experience to just go in and see without the rest of the hoopla there – just our film hoopla, which was pretty big – the experience of what that’s like.’
He was also full of praise for director Neill Blomkamp, best known for District 9, and his pitch.
Bloom revealed: ‘I really just responded to Neill when he approached me about the idea of this script and the idea of a true story about Jann Mardenborough, a kid from Wales who dreamed big enough and got to drive cars, and still is today, and I was like, “Oh that’s cool, it’s a movie for dreamers.”’
Gran Turismo is scheduled to release in UK cinemas on August 11.
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