Grapevine: Jacques to Drive in 'Villeneuve'

Leonardo diCaprio playing the role of Jacques Villeneuve? The Canadian says he certainly wouldn't object to that

Grapevine: Jacques to Drive in 'Villeneuve'

The movie "Villeneuve", based on the life of Jacques and his famous father Gilles, is set to be released in 2007, and the Sauber driver has revealed further details about the production this week, in an interview with Italy's Gazzetta dello Sport.

According to Villeneuve, he will appear in various driving scenes taking place through the movie - but the movie will not be a motor racing one, despite taking place in the motorsport scenery.

"It surely won't be a racing tale with cars on track taking the main role," he said. "I'm happy about it, because each time someone tried to take F1 to the big screen, it's never gone too well."

Villeneuve is set to play his father as well as himself in the driving shots planned for the movie, and he is expected to advise the producers on the script - although he said he would not be credited for the writing.

"I will only need to explain the way certain events happened, in order to try to be true to reality," he said. "In case they don't like my version, then the production can do how they see fit...The screenwriters will have to change some stuff to make it more Hollywood-like, anyway. After all, in an hour and a half or two it's impossible to faithfully recount a person's life."

Villeneuve ruled out the option of acting himself in the movie and said he doesn't have a choice of actors - although the Titanic star would be quite acceptable by him.

"The actors haven't been chosen yet," Villeneuve told the newspaper. "I'm curious about it, and I wonder who could be suited. Certainly not someone tall... I'd prefer a likable actor more than a good looking one. But if for my role they picked a guy like Leonardo di Caprio, I won't be complaining."

Asked why he has agreed to support the movie, Villeneuve said: "I like the idea, because people still remember my father a lot. Now they will have the opportunity of better knowing what kind of person he was, and the path he followed to reach success. It will be easier to understand his personality and why he enjoyed taking so many risks. In the end, more than our tale, it will most of all be his tale being told."

The Canadian - who was 11 years old when his father, aged 32, was killed at Zolder during qualifying for the Belgian Grand Prix - had in the past refused to talk about his father or draw parallels between his own career and his father's. But he says nowadays it has become easier for people to separate between the father and the son.

He said: "People didn't want to listen to what I had to say - they didn't want to speak to me, but with my father. They'd get upset if I told them I raced for my personal pleasure, and not for carrying on with Gilles' work. There were even people thinking I hated him. No way, I'm proud to be the son of a man so well loved. He was my hero, but it was important to make clear that I wasn't him.

"Today, people don't see us like one anymore. I also won the World Championship and done many things, and I've already lived more years than him. But when I had the chance of driving his Ferrari 312T3 at Goodwood last year, and wearing his helmet, it was a special thing, and a way to salute him and thank him."

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