Actors Matt Damon, Christian Bale geared up for roles as Indy 500 honorary starters

INDIANAPOLIS — Batman believes the Batmobile would have a chance to win the Indy 500.

Christian Bale, who played the Dark Knight in all three films of “The Dark Knight Trilogy,” says his vehicle would measure up against the 33 Indy cars participating in Sunday’s 103rd running of the Indianapolis 500. While the Batmobile is bulkier and could be tested for speed by the Indy cars, Bale thinks some of the car’s other features would give it the edge.

“It might have a slight advantage in that it could jump,” Bale said. “I don’t know if that would be legal or not.”

Matt Damon was unsure of Bale’s claim, noting his pit crew would be confined to one man.

“I think the problem you’d run into is the only person in your pit crew is Michael Caine,” Damon said. “He takes a while to fix things.”

Damon and Bale will be the honorary starters for the Indy 500. This comes ahead of the duo’s new film, “Ford v. Ferrari,” which is set to premiere Nov. 15.

The film, out of Walt Disney Studios, centers around the 1966 24 Hours of Le Mans race in France, where Ford developed a race car to challenge the cars of Enzo Ferrari. Damon will play Carroll Shelby, designer of the Shelby Mustang, while Bale stars as Ken Miles, the British driver who raced in Shelby’s creation for Ford in the race.

“I think it’s all about the personalities …” Bale said. “With someone like Ken Miles, he was a real purist and was someone who would try to win every single battle but often lose the war and he would shoot himself in the foot again and again and again.”

This race will the first time either actor has attended the Indianapolis 500. Both Damon and Bale are entirely unsure what to expect when they step into the starter’s box.

“I’ve never been here, but I’ve heard about it, read about it, watched it on TV and I know there is no expectation I have for what I’m going to see tomorrow,” Damon said. “I can’t wait.”

“Ford v. Ferrari” also has an Indianapolis bond. The film’s screenplay was written by North Central High School and Ball State alum Jason Keller.

“I read the script and I absolutely loved it,” Damon said. “There had been different iterations of this story. … It was an easy decision for me.”

This will be the second time the Indy 500 has had two honorary starters. Jake Gyllenhaal and Jeff Bauman were co-Honorary Starters in 2017.

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