'Ferrari' Producer Dismisses 'Cultural Appropriation' Claim, Defends Adam Driver Casting

Filmmaker Andrea Iervolino denies 'cultural appropriation' accusation and explains why he cast the 'Star Wars' actor in the lead role although he's not a French.

AceShowbiz - "Ferrari" producer Andrea Iervolino has fired back at criticism of the decision to cast Adam Driver in the lead role. The 35-year-old producer insisted that Italian cinema has not produced enough high-profile stars to play the part of Enzo Ferrari - the founder of the legendary car company - and rubbished suggestions of "cultural appropriation" by film star Pierfrancesco Favino.

"Italian cinema needs to look beyond Italy and come up with synergies with the international film industry, which wants to invest in Italian icons. Films like 'Ferrari', which will be distributed in 150 countries, promote Italy and Italian genius," Iervolino - who is Italian-Canadian - said at the Venice Film Festival.

The producer called on Italy's film industry to "make films based on stories that speak to the whole world, with international stars who work side by side with our own talent."

Favino had questioned why acclaimed actors such as Toni Servillo - who featured in "The Great Beauty" - did not get more roles in Hollywood pictures. The "Comandante" star said, "There's an issue of cultural appropriation."

"Instead, the parts are given to foreign actors who are distant from the story's real rotagonists, starting with the exotic accents. If a Cuban can't play a Mexican, why can an American play an Italian? It only happens with us. In another time (Vittorio) Gassman would have played Ferrari. Now, Driver does it and no one says anything."

Meanwhile, Adam revealed that he was not allowed to drive any of the famous cars during the making of Michael Mann's movie - which chronicles Enzo Ferrari's struggles to keep his company afloat amid turmoil in his personal life during the 1950s. The 39-year-old actor said, "They were the scariest things on set, but they wouldn't let me drive the cars for insurance reasons."

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