What was it like playing playboy Formula One driver James Hunt?
"Any time you get to play a character that doesn't want to conform to any particular rules or standards is great. My character was certainly, I think, the biggest example of that as far as what I have been exposed to. He did what he wanted to do whether you agree with it or not. I think that you've got to respect that."
Did you have much experience with racing before you started filming Rush?
Is it safe to say you're a thrill-seeker?
Growing up, did you face a lot of competition from your brothers?
"Yeah, we were competitive growing up, but in a kind-of sporty way. I think more than competitiveness, it was sort of the immediacy of making a decision. I think it’s addictive, which is why we do any sort of adrenaline-driven activities – mountain climbing, and what have you. We'd go mountain climbing and fast climbing — I've broken this, and I've broken that because of our competitions."
How did you physically prepare for the film?
"First of all, I would rather have to put on weight than have to lose it. Basically, I went from lifting weights and eating lots of protein to doing the opposite: running, cardio, under-eating, over-training. I have said this before, but my wife was pregnant at the time, and she reminds me that I was moodier than she was. I went from about 215 pounds to 195 pounds, which was painful."
How has becoming a parent affected you as an actor?
"I think you don’t tend to sweat the small stuff as much. Whether you want to be or not, you've got to be present for them, and I absolutely want to be. It puts things in perspective; all of a sudden you realize what it's all about. Everything else is driving and supporting her as opposed to my own personal ego, and whatever I want, you know? You start to think about things differently."
Speaking of driving, what kind of driver are you?
"I'm pretty safe, especially when the baby seat is in the back — even when she is not sitting in it. I get in the car with my wife now, and even when our daughter isn't there, I'm like, ‘Whoa, slow down! What’s the rush? There’s a red light!’ And she’s always like, ‘Shut up! When did you become a driving instructor?"