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Damson Idris on Filming Alongside Brad Pitt, Real Drivers for ‘F1’ Movie: “We Shoot All of This Epic Stuff”

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Damson Idris is looking back at filming alongside Brad Pitt and real Formula 1 drivers for the upcoming Joseph Kosinski-directed F1 movie.

The Snowfall actor recently sat down with Vanity Fair where he recalled his audition for the highly-anticipated movie as well as the first day of filming once he landed the role of Joshua Pearce, the teammate to Pitt’s Sonny Hayes at APXGP, a fictional racing team on the grid.

“I look to my left, it’s Brad Pitt. I look to my right, it’s Javier Bardem. I look at my hands, they’re shaking,” he said of the first filming day at the British Grand Prix last year. “And we shoot all of this epic stuff and all the amazing drivers are there, from Lewis [Hamilton] to [Max] Verstappen to everyone.”

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F1 follows Sony, a former driver who comes out of retirement to mentor and team up with younger driver Joshua. Hamilton, a seven-time F1 world champion and current driver on the Mercedes-AMG Petronas F1 team, also served as a producer on the film.

“I was in the car for 45 minutes today,” Idris said of filming inside the race cars in Abu Dhabi. “It sounds normal, but it’s not. It’s very hot out here. You’re strapped in, sweating through the helmet. You lose so much weight.”

But before the Outside the Wire star could step into the APXGP racing suit, he had to prove to Kosinski and producer Jerry Bruckheimer that he was up for the challenge. Idris said he was traveling when he learned he got the role and headed straight to the Silverstone Circuit in the U.K. to test his driving skills.

“It was wet that day, I’ll never forget,” he recalled. “I was like, oh my gosh, please don’t crash. One, because you’ll probably die, but two, more importantly, you won’t get the part.”

Now, after a year of filming for the movie that just debuted its first teaser trailer, Idris can say working with Kosinski was a dream come true.

“He is a director’s director,” he explained.” He is the epitome of cinema in my opinion. The feeling I felt when I walked out of Top Gun was how I felt when I was a kid and I watched E.T. or Star Wars. Those movies are just defined by one thing: entertainment. Everyone, no matter what your background, could come and watch this film.… His process is amazing.”

And working with Oscar-winner Pitt is also something he’ll never forget. “Talk about a superstar,” Idris added. “His humility is second to none. I don’t know if people know this, but he is really good behind that car. Really good. Too good almost. He makes me nervous how good he is.”

F1 hits theaters in North America on June 27, 2025.

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