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The World’s Fastest Indian in our magazines

THE MOVIE: The World’s Fastest Indian

Anthony Hopkins • Diane Ladd • Chris Lawford
DIRECTOR: Roger Donaldson

Anthony Hopkins THE CONCEPT:
Based on the true story of Burt Munro: In the late 1960s when the New Zealander traveled to Bonneville Salt Flats in Utah on a shoestring budget, to attempt to break the speed record with his classic Indian motorcycle. His quest has become legendary within the motorcycle community….

U.S. RELEASE: February 3 2006, Limited
• Rated: PG-13


“I started out at the very beginning making a documentary about the real guy that this script was inspired by, so the movie for me has been a connection with the very beginnings of my film making career. I was not with Burt the first time he came to America, I was with him on one of this last trips, and the character in the film is really based upon that character that I knew. He broke many records, but there’s one he set in 1967 that is still in the record books.”

“It was necessary [to me] to present Burt as close as I could, because I don’t look like him, I’m built differently, I’ve got the typical Welsh Rugby players belly, and Burt is very long and sinewy, but that’s okay, we both have white hair. I listened to his accent a lot, I watched interviews he did when Roger interviewed him thirty years ago. The essence of the guy was that he enjoyed life, and being with the ladies. He didn’t drink or smoke, his passion was his bike. I thought, that’s a nice guy, there’s something really rich in him, and he’s not afraid of anything.”

“Tony is a very dedicated actor and he worked very hard. Probably the toughest part of the job was to do it in this very distinctive accent. I said to him, ‘If there’s one place they’ll criticize you, it’s going to be New Zealand, but don’t worry about them, there’s not that many of them in the world!’ At first they were a little bit like, ‘What’s a foreigner doing playing this famous New Zealander?’ But the truth is, they’ve been the first to embrace him.”

“I don’t ride a motorcycle myself, I fell off of one years ago when I was in the army, and I nearly broke my back. I’m not a speed freak, I’m the slowest driver in California, which is kind of smart, because I don’t want to see those flashing lights behind me, because I don’t want to go to traffic school. I always do the speed limit.”

“I think you’ve probably realized as I did that Tony is a pretty charming guy. And there is another side of his personality. He’s not necessarily the butler out of some of those depressing English movies he’s made, he’s actually a very interesting erudite guy with a great sense of humor. There are a lot of elements in this story where both of us felt we were breaking new ground, different from what we’ve done before.”

Written by Judy Sloane. Back to top

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Feature © 2006 Visual Imagination.
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Film Review, #667, March 2006 cover

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