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Matthew Fox on Speed Racer

Published May 13, 2008 in Movie Interviews
By Fred Topel | Image property of Warner Bros
Speed Racer Speed Racer
Speed Racer is a green screen movie, where all the actors perform on a stage. The filmmakers add the environments later in post-production. However, Matthew Fox, who plays Racer X, said there was a little bit more reality to principal photography than green screen might indicate.

Matthew Fox on Speed Racer

"They actually built my car," said Fox. "They built the Mach 5 and the Shooting Star in practical. They had to, because there were a couple of scenes in the movie where Emile and I actually get in and out of the car. So you have to have the actual car for that. All the racing stuff was you'd have your cockpit on a gimbal, like a hydraulically manipulated gimbal, which was super intense. They actually had sequences from what was happening in the sequence of the movie. It was programmed into a hydraulically manipulated gimbal so that you would be driving your cockpit and the thing would be just knocking the crap out of you, as it would if you were doing that sequence in the race. And then they'd be filming it with cameras swooping in from all angles and things spinning and going up. I mean, I had days where I got out of that thing and this shoulder from being bounced up against that door was really bruised."

Speed Racer also has some martial arts fight scenes, and Fox did his own fighting. "I did all of it. And I'm proud of it. I worked my ass off. Yes. Larry and Andy are incredibly good at doing that kind of thing. We had some conversations early on about how much better they would be able to shoot it if I did it all. That kind of put the pressure on, because I wanted to do it all. I enjoy that type of thing very much. But I did, I worked really hard. I mean, we did about six weeks of training with the stunt guys who are just the frickin' best and got all the stuff down. They would prepare me for the fact that once we got into those fight sequences, Larry and Andy might just decide to change things and I had to be prepared to move in a lot of different directions and bring a lot of different forms into it."

One fight scene has Racer X nearly exposed, but the other has him in full leather costume. "The stuff that I did in the suit was incredibly difficult because I was sweating so hard underneath that. Just from an exhaustion level and a heat level and a dehydration level that was tough, but also, the lenses would fog really quickly, which led to me hitting a couple of stunt guys accidentally. I always feel like sh*t when that happens, but we had to make it look good. Because I was doing the stunts, you have to bring those moves in really, really tight or it looks like a miss. Then the sequence without the suit was much easier, but it was still challenging, just because the fight's pretty intense. I loved it. I loved it. I'm really proud of the fact that I did it all. The thing I kept saying to them was, 'I want to do everything up to the point that it doesn't look good.' And they were like, 'Well, trust us. We'll tell you if it doesn't look good.'"

Fox is a car enthusiast in real life, but the fantasy of Speed Racer gets his passion going even more. "It's obviously so far beyond anything that we're dealing with right now, but within the context of its world, I think it's absolutely beautiful and amazing, the things that they can do. And the hyper-real world of Speed Racer just is so cool. It's so cool. I mean, my little boy is just dying. He's dying. He cannot wait. He's six and he's just flipping out."

Speed Racer is out in theaters now.

For the trailers, stills, posters, review and more information on the film, go to the Speed Racer Movie Page.
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Compiled By (Sources)
Fred Topel
Sources: Image property of Warner Bros

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