Speed Racer is a very boy friendly movie with racing cars, martial arts and a monkey. Well, everybody loves a monkey. It's got something for the ladies too. Trixie, Speed's girlfriend played by Christina Ricci, represents the ladies, holding her own on the track and in the fights. She also gets to dress up nice.
Christina Ricci on Speed Racer
"I enjoyed it immensely," said Ricci. "A lot of pink. Pink and red which is kind of awesome. I liked her clips and her makeup. It was really fun. It's fun to play someone who's a little bit cartoonish. They dressed me up like a doll, but then they let me go and fight people and race cars and fly a helicopter so it was fun."
Since Speed Racer filmed on a green screen, Ricci did not have to research the world of auto racing. "Not with this. It's not a real world anyway and the thing is that if you went and you were like, 'I'm going to be really method about this and think everything through' and then you're sitting in the car and they asked you do something and you went, 'That's physically impossible.' The brothers would be like, 'Uh, huh. Thanks. Do it anyway.' The two things don't go well."
During development, the filmmakers showed the actors concepts for the world of Speed Racer that would be created in post. It was still a minimal substitute for the final product.
"Well, they tried to prepare us and they showed us a lot of images and we could know as much or as little as we wanted to about everything. As much as you know or you think you know it's all really very specifically in their heads. When the whole cast got there, the first time we all arrived Larry [Wachowski] took us through the art department and tried to show us how this thing was done, what this concept was and what that concept was and showing us the sort of concept of the bubble where they go and shoot everything in 360 degrees and then they put us in it."
That sort of technical demonstration only goes so far. "Now how much of that I actually understood I'm not sure, but you get a sense from these directors that the vision they have in their head is so complete and so intricate and complex that it really inspires a great deal of trust and confidence. Also, there's the knowledge that I'd be doing myself a great disservice if I even attempted to think that I knew what they were thinking in their heads and to not just do what they were telling me to do." The only way to make sure that you fit into what their vision is and what will ultimately be manifest onscreen is to do what they tell you to do. So there's really a sense on set that everyone does exactly what the Wachowski's tell you to do."