While sitting down at the EW and PEOPLE video studio at the Toronto International Film Festival alongside director James Mangold, they opened up about the film’s parallels to movie-making. Damon stars as American car designer Carroll Shelby and Bale as race car driver Ken Miles in this true-life inspired tale of how the two men teamed up to build a race car for Ford that was good enough to challenge Ferrari at the 24 Hours of Le Mans race in 1966.
“Where I really related to both guys, but particularly to Shelby [Damon’s character] was in this idea of cooperating with other people, collaborating with other people to make something that really matters to you,” Damon explained. “That’s what we’ve all been doing for our entire adult lives and Christian’s entire childhood even… The thing isn’t as important as the passion is relatable to me and to us.”
Mangold echoed Damon’s comparisons to filmmaking. “It’s similar in our world,” he said. “In the movie world and in the sports world in general, sometimes there is no time for chit chat, we just talk about our craft, but we reveal a lot about each other to each other in the way we talk about our craft and apply it.”
Damon also reflected on how his and Bale’s characters forge a friendship over their shared passion. “These guys both had this same passion,” he said. “They were different people but they had this same passion to build this thing and they had to do it together, and when you’re making something that’s bigger than yourself, there’s no pretending to the other person that it doesn’t matter. You both know very deeply how much it matters because it matters that much to you and you know it matters that much to him.”
While reflecting on the movie’s tale as a metaphor for their creative process, Bale also honed in on something that was specific to his and Damon’s characters and their own methods as actors. “Matt is equally able to multitask and see the big picture, and I think he’s going to make a bloody good director one day, and I’m not ever going to make a bloody good director,” Bale said with a laugh.
Damon used this statement as an opportunity to jokingly ask Bale to be in his movie.
Watch the clip above for more. Ford v Ferrari made its international premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival, and it hits theaters Nov. 15.