Emile Hirsch still has his hair a little dark, only a week and a half after wrapping Speed Racer. He kind of resembles the animated Speed, and it sounds like he did his part to portray him as fans remember. He also shared how his costar turned things on their heads.
“I watched all 52 episodes of Speed Racer so I felt primed and ready to step into the wacky world that we were going to become a part of,” said Hirsch. “Although nothing prepared me for the first day with Chim Chim. Let me just tell you, we’re at a breakfast table and suddenly they go, ‘Okay, Chim Chim’s coming in.’ They set [the chimpanzee] down, the little two year old chimp and he’s sitting there. Let me just tell you, he’s probably the most spontaneous actor I’ve ever worked with. He gave improv a new meaning.”
The dialogue may be delivered in the cartoon’s trademark super fast translation style too. “Sometimes. You’ll have to see. I don’t want to give too much away.”
Better known for edgy character roles like those in Alpha Dog and the new release Into the Wild, Hirsch took on his first blockbuster for artistic reasons. “Just that it was so different from anything I’d ever read. I’d never really read the blockbuster scripts. They don’t usually send them my way. But this was something I thought was so different and the fact that the Wachowski brothers were making it to me was the nail in the coffin for wanting to do it. The Matrix is one of my favorite movies.”
Speed Racer is set for release May 9, 2008.