Former Formula One playboy Eddie Irvine is ready for life in the fast lane again - after signing up to play himself in a Hollywood movie.
Ulsterman Irvine, who was ditched by Jaguar at the end of last year, joined his co-stars for six days of filming on location in Prague yesterday. After just a day of filming the former track hero admitted he is quickly settling into the lifestyle of a movie star.
"It is going well," Irvine said. "It is similar to Formula One hours but there is lots more downtime. It is easier than Formula One pressure-wise - and the job is not too difficult because I get to sit here between two beautiful girls!"
Irvine is making a cameo appearance in the film - a romance produced by Paramount with the working title 'The Prince and Me' to be released next year - as himself.
"They just called up and asked me to be in it," he said. "They specifically wanted me because they knew I was really charming...
"I am playing Eddie Irvine, a racing driver, and my friend is a prince. He is a fanatic and we have a race. I can't say much more than that. I don't know whether I get to kiss the girl - but I know I don't get to do it in the movie!"
He got the part because he was the only man for the job - and a movie insider insisted: "This man is a potential movie star."
Irvine is acting with established stars such as Sleepy Hollow actress Miranda Richardson. Johnny English star Ben Miller and Devil's Own actress Julia Stiles - who has starred with Brad Pitt and Harrison Ford - are also in the film.
So how do they rate him? "My co-stars are really nice people," said Irvine. "Everyone says they have been very impressed with me. I am an important part of the storyline so I can't be cut out of it - it just depends how well I do as to how much time I get in it."
Irvine has been keeping busy since ending his ten-year career in Formula One, but he still does not know what he wants to do with himself in the future. But the outspoken star insisted he does not want to return to racing.
He knows it will be some time before he can to follow football hard-man Vinnie Jones into a full time movie career, but he is not ruling it out - although he would prefer parts playing less of the hard man and more of the ladies man.
"Being in films was not a childhood dream or anything, but it is a bit of fun and I am having a great time," said Irvine.
"I am flat out at the moment - producing a documentary, doing this, spending time on my boat. I am just doing various things to see what takes my fancy.
"I don't have any plans to be in any more films just yet, but we'll wait and see. You never know. I am not a thug. I couldn't play any of the parts that Vinnie Jones does - I just don't have the bulk."