When Michael Fassbender drove for Porsche at the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 2022, he carried on a long tradition of movie stars moonlighting as race car drivers that goes back to Paul Newman. Now, it appears that Fassbender is doing his part to mentor the next generation of actors with a need for speed.
Nicholas Hoult has been a semi-regular presence on the auto racing circuit for the past several years, rising through the ranks as a celebrity driver for Ferrari. In a new interview with GQ Spain, the “Succession” star credited Fassbender with inspiring his interest in the sport and helping him get his foot in the door.
“It was through Michael Fassbender,” Hoult said when asked about the origins of his racing career. “We used to go karting while we filmed the ‘X-Men’ movies and then he did the Ferrari Challenge. Afterwards, Ferrari very kindly offered me the opportunity to do its Corso Pilota program. And so I progressed through that program, which prepares you to pilot the 488 Challenge. I already did my first race weekend last year and I hope to do a couple more this year.”
Hoult explained that he sees acting and racing as natural compliments to each other, as racing offers him the kind of clearly defined rules and success metrics that he can’t find on a movie set.
“It is an adrenaline rush, but it is also very specific and quite meditative in its flow, the state of inflow and outflow. But there are also very clear parameters of when you have done well and when you have not done it and what you need to work on,” he said. “When you act it is quite difficult to get clear parameters because there are many elements involved in doing something great or doing something simply good or doing something bad. There are so many elements that can change… While with the races it is very clear.”
Fassbender has prioritized his racing career in recent years and has not appeared in a film since 2019’s “X-Men: Dark Phoenix.” But he’ll soon return to acting in a big way with roles in Taika Waititi’s “Next Goal Wins” and Na Hong-jin’s upcoming film “Hope.”