Synopsis : Featuring Oscar® winners Mira Sorvino and the screenwriter of Crash, this thrilling, high-speed biopic tells the story of genius auto inventor Ferruccio Lamborghini (Frank Grillo, “Kingdom,” “Boss Level”). All his life Ferruccio has dreamed of beating his longtime rival Enzo Ferrari (Gabriel Byrne, “War of the Worlds”)–and the upcoming Geneva grand prix could be his chance to blow past Ferrari for good. But can Ferruccio get his untested vehicle prepped for victory with the competition just months away? The race is on!
Rating: R (A Sexual Reference|Some Language)
Genre: Biography, Drama
Exclusive Interview with Actor Frank Grillo
Q: When people think of Ferruccio Lamborghini, they associate the name with the fancy sportscar Lamborghini Countach or Lamborghini Miura. But he establish his career by making a tractor and an air conditioner. There are so many layers and elements of Lamborghini that we don’t know about initially. Was that part of your attraction for why you chose this role?
FG: I didn’t know a lot of that, so it did attract me. This guy started Lamborghini the automobile company later in his life, when he was already very successful and very wealthy. So he was driven, I think based on this situation with Ferrari. He became driven to make a great sportscar. He’s a very interesting, very, very multi-layered, multi-faceted human being.
Q: What’s amazing about the relationship between Ferruccio and his father is that even though Ferruccio doesn’t follow in his father’s footstep as a farmer, who grew grapes, he has his way of showing respect by creating the tractor. Can you talk about his relationship with his father ?
FG: I have three sons, and my father was also obviously a big part of my life. Ferruccio respected his father, he loved his father, but he knew that he didn’t want to be his father. At one point, you see he goes to his father — and this is what I loved about it, this was very Italian, very cultural. He went to his father and he said “I’m going to do something really amazing, and I need help” — and his father didn’t hesitate. He mortgaged his farm to help facilitate Ferruccio’s [starting] the tractor company. I thought it was a beautiful story about a father, a parent who believed in his child. When I was doing my research, I [saw] that’s what gave Ferruccio the confidence in himself, the confidence that his father had in him.
Q: Do you think you passed your talent along to your son Remy, because your son is also directing a film,”Man’s Son”?
FG: Yeah. Yeah, and I hope to facilitate that film. And yet, when he showed me the first cut of the film, it was terrible. I had to tell him so, and I said “This is no good. This is not what you want to put out there. Go back to work. Go back to the drawing board. Here’s some notes.” Four months later, he’s got something that I think is really interesting.
But I’m not just happy that he wants to make films. He’s got to make good films. I think it’s important — I know I digress a bit — but it’s important to have the people, like a father or mother or whoever is your person that you look up to, that you guide them with honesty. Every kid is not great at what they do, and you need to let them know that. So that’s what I do with my kid.
But to get back to it, I think Ferruccio’s father was a big influence on him being able to start the tractor company.
Q: Lamborghini gather a team of great mechanics that used to work with Ferrari, Alfa Romeo, Maserati. What was fascinating about this character as a leader?
FG: When you look at any great captain of industry, any great leader, whoever it is, they usually find the best people at what they do and they bring them to their company, and then they let them do their thing. That’s what Ferruccio did. He even let them do things that they didn’t even believe they could do. That’s how much he believed in them. He knew how talented they were. And that’s a great leader.
That’s a great leader in general, that’s a great business leader. I recently read Ted Turner’s biography, and that’s what he did. He would get the best people, and then get out of the way and let them do their thing.
That’s why I loved playing Ferruccio. He understood what they were capable of, even when they didn’t understand what they were capable of.
Q: Could you talk about working with director Bobby Moresco? What conversations did you have before shooting the film?
FG: Yeah, Bobby’s great. Bobby’s a genuine New Yorker like I am, Bobby has Italian in him as well. We talked a lot, because you could tell twenty stories about Lamborghini, he’s got a long life of a lot of successes. But we really homed in on what he wrote and why he wrote this particular part of Lamborghini’s life.
We kept it very loose and open, and we discovered things as we were going. This is why I loved working with Bobby, because nothing was precious. If he wrote something and I said something that sounded better, he said “Say that. You’re Lamborghini, I’m not Lamborghini. Say that.” And that kind of relationship we developed, and we had an amazing working relationship together. So much so that we’re working on two other movies together.
So without Bobby, without Bobby’s brilliant writing and Bobby’s gentle directing — the way he directed, it’s such a gentle way — we wouldn’t have the movie. It wouldn’t be there.
Q: It’s really nice to see Mira Sorvino, and there was a very engaging fight scene between your character Ferruccio and Mira’s character, his wife Anita. Can you talk about working with her, and also how you put together that fight scene?
FG: Yeah. Mira is an amazing Academy Award winning actress. I didn’t get to rehearse with her, so we kindof were thrown together. In that scene where she throws the bread at me, wasn’t scripted. It wasn’t scripted that I yelled or got excited. It was just written. I was frustrated and banged on the table, and Mira started throwing bread at me. That’s the sign of a great — like, she just went with it. She went with the flow. It turned pout to be a really great, interesting scene.
Again, getting to work with amazing people, you’re talking — she’s at the top of the food chain. The fun of it is discovering the characters in the moment. And that’s what Bobby let us do.
Q: Thank you.
The film opens in select theaters, digital, and on demand Nov 18th.
Here’s the trailer of the film.