On August 1, 1976, Niki Lauda was the victim of a terrible Formula 1 accident in Germany, which Ron Howard stages in the biopic “Rush”. Impressed by the feature film, the Austrian runner was “terrified” by certain scenes.
Rush : a fierce competition between two sizes
After getting interested in boxing with drama From the shadow to the light, then to a (televisual) confrontation with Frost / Nixon: The Hour of Truth, Ron Howard stages a sports clash in Rush. Released in 2013, the feature film looks back on the legendary rivalry between two brilliant pilots with opposite temperaments.
On the one hand: the intrepid James Hunt (Chris Hemsworth), hothead from the British aristocracy. On the other: the meticulous Niki Lauda (Daniel Brühl), Austrian racer of extreme precision. “The computer against the playboy”, as the director describes them in an interview for Premiere.
By allowing themselves historical freedoms, in particular rejecting the birth of their friendship and accentuating the discipline of Niki Lauda, Rush traces the history of this fierce competition. The film obviously returns to the terrible accident of the 1er August 1976.
Launched at 240 km / h on the Nürburgring circuit, the Austrian rider loses control of his Ferrari, thrown into the middle of the track after hitting an embankment and a rock. Two other cars hit the vehicle head-on. Trapped in flames, Niki Lauda is extirpated from the carcass by three of his colleagues, his lungs burning. Hospitalized and after four days in a state of latent death, the athlete surprises all his opponents when he appears at the start of the Italian Grand Prix a month later, on September 12, 1976.
Olivia Wilde, Alexandra Maria Lara, Natalie Dormer and Pierfrancesco Favino complete the cast of this biopic led drastically, like its original soundtrack by Hans Zimmer.
Troubling scenes for Niki Lauda
Asked by the Guardian in 2016, the miraculous runner talks about his relationship with James Hunt – who died of a heart attack at just 45 in 1993 – and the loyalty with which Rush transcribed it. He thus declares:
We have had a respectful and pleasant relationship. We trusted each other. He wouldn’t have pushed you out of the way, which was important at the time. So this movie, Rush, is good. It’s 80% correct, with a bit of Hollywood.
During an interview for the Telegraph, the sportsman who died at the age of 70 in 2019 says he would have liked his friend James Hunt to also discover the feature film. Niki Lauda says she is particularly impressed with the scenes in the hospital, or even “terrified” as he assures him of The team in 2013. He specifies toAUTO Weekly :
When Daniel Brühl, who plays my character, came to talk to me during the shoot with all that black on his body and the bandage on his head, I was really shocked. It’s crying realism, it really reproduces the ambiences of the hospitals of the time. Now that I can see everything from the outside, looking back years, I realize how badly I was.
About how he felt when he was taken care of, he explains :
We feel very tired and we would like to sleep. But we know it’s not just about going to sleep. This is another thing. And then we just fight with our heads. We hear noises and we hear voices, and we just try to listen to what they say and get our brains working to prepare the body to fight disease. (…) That’s how I survived.
Sensations that Niki Lauda therefore relived when she discovered Ron Howard’s film.