'In the 70s, sex was safe and F1 dangerous. Now it's the other way round'.
James Hunt died of a heart attack in 1993 at the age of 45. So how did you research his character? I read biographies and watched the interviews he gave. He was incredibly passionate, outspoken and a great amount of fun, but he also had a dark side, which made him so interesting. What did you discover about his playboy and womanising side? It is said he had slept with 5,000 women. There's a classic story in which all the BA flight attendants who came into Japan were staying at the same hotel as him in 1976, just before his big race at Fuji for the World Championship - and he spent the night with each of them.
What did you learn about Hunt's era in the 1970s? James belonged in that time because it was a period when sex was safe and Formula One driving PARTNER: wife Elsa was dangerous. Now, of course, it's the other way round.
Do you remember your first kiss? Yeah. I think it was a birthday party and it was a peck on the cheek. Her name was Jade White and she lived up the road from my grandma's place. My grandma used to look after us after school. You put on weight for Thor: The Dark World and then had to lose it for Rush. Was that a problem? Yeah, I went from one extreme to the other. I went from eating everything and lifting weights to eating nothing. I lost 20lbs in a hurry but food was on my mind the whole time - last thing at night when I went to sleep and the first thing in the morning when I woke. James Hunt got his rush from motor racing. How do you get yours? weigh th th Yeah, I went f the other. I we everything and eating n hur min las we fimJ gI I s With Pataky I play a lot of sports. I surf and ride motorbikes, although I don't have a bike of my own at the moment. My wife does, though, and she's probably a better rider than I am. Elsa and my dad sit and talk about motorbikes for hours.
You travel a lot for your movies, so where is home for you these days? We have a place in Australia and Elsa has a place in Spain. But I'll be in London until the end of the year shooting The Heart Of The City, with Ron Howard again. It's the third or fourth film I've made there so London's becoming our home, too. Your wife is Spanish and you are Australian. Do you have cultural differences at home? I tend to just agree with whatever she says because she's the boss. Elsa is fiery and passionate and puts me in my place! But the Spanish love to have fun and are very social, so it was an easy fit.
How do you feel about being the current 'it' boy of Hollywood? I experienced the novelty of fame via TV when I was much younger, so the temptations just don't interest me.
Rush is out today.
HUNK: Chris, right, with Anthony Hopkins in Thor PARTNER: With wife Elsa Pataky