Three-time Formula 1 World Champion Niki Lauda and actor Chris Hemsworth were on hand at the Beverly Hilton Sunday night, January 12, to trade jokes on stage as well as present the film nomination, "Rush," for the Golden Globe Awards. The movie directed by Ron Howard about the 1976 rivalry of Lauda and James Hunt (played by Hemsworth) was nominated for Best Picture, Drama by the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, which sponsors the Golden Globes. The award presentations were televised live on NBC.
Formula 1 fans had to wait until quite late in the three-hour program to see Niki Lauda walk out on stage. Wearing a tuxedo, black tie, red pocket handkerchief, and his signature red Aabar Abu Dhabi baseball cap, and standing next to Hemsworth, the towering star of "Thor" as well as "Rush," the champion was all smiles, clearly enjoying a big night out in tinsel-town.
He said, "'Rush' is a totally accurate and honest movie about when James Hunt and I pushed ourselves to the absolute limit, where there was no margin for error, or you end up looking like this . . ."
Smiling the whole time, he removed his hat, turned his head and said to Hemsworth, "Look at me Chris . . . but I'm here in Hollywood!"
Then Hemsworth introduced "Rush," and a clip of the movie was shown.
In the meantime, Daniel Bruhl, who plays Lauda in the film and was nominated for Best Supporting Actor, sat at the "Rush" table with director, Ron Howard.
As it turned out, neither "Rush" nor Bruhl won their categories. "12 Years a Slave" won for Best Motion Picture, Drama and the Best Supporting Actor globe went home with Jared Leto of "Dallas Buyers Club."
With millions of people watching movie award programs for evening entertainment in the dead of winter, perhaps "Rush" participants and fans can take comfort in the notion that having a presence at the awards gives greater awareness to audiences of not only the movie but also the sport and history of Formula 1.
Oscar nominations come out January 16, and F1 and "Rush" fans will certainly be on the look-out to see if "Rush" garners any nods for Hollywood's biggest trophy.
"Rush" is nominated for four BAFTA Awards (the UK equivalent of the Academy Awards) including Best Picture.
"Rush" will be available for home viewers when it comes out in HD digital format on January 14 and on DVD/Blu-ray on January 28.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Connie Ann Kirk, Ph.D. has been credentialed by the FIA to write about Formula 1. With a historic racer from upstate New York, she is working on a new book about racers and racing. Check out her blog about the sport, Motor Sport Muse.