At the Long Beach Grand Prix, the roar of high-powered race car engines fills the air, a deep bass thrum cutting through the smell of exhaust in the early summer heat. Tens of thousands of race fans have gathered to take in the metal-and-rubber reality of racing, but in the Long Beach Convention Center, a small group of journalists have gathered to talk about a big-screen fantasy vision of the spectacle roaring around us, Cinematical was there to speak with the people behind Speed Racer: Emile Hirsch, Christina Ricci and Matthew Fox, as well as producer Joel Silver.
Christina Ricci, who plays Speed’s chase-copter pilot Trixie, explained how playing a part among green screens and special effects wasn’t that much of a challenge with the Wachowski Brothers behind the film: “They inspire such confidence, because you know they have such a complete vision in their head; at times, you can’t really quite get what they’re seeing …” I ask if it was difficult to handle the disconnect between the mechanics of filming not knowing what a scene would wind up looking like. “No. Because when you have directors you know have got that covered, you kind of do what they tell you to do. They inspire such confidence and such trust that you would be doing yourself a great disservice in trying to argue in some way, or trying to do anything but really put yourself in their hands.” I asked her what her initial reaction was when she finally saw the finished film. “I was really excited. Really excited. And kind of overwhelmed. I was like “Holy shit!” I felt like I needed to see it again, because it’s a lot at once. …”