When Aaron Paul received the script for "Need for Speed," he had very little interest in even reading the story, let alone taking a starring a role in the movie. Paul ultimately decided to read the script, which is based on the popular EA Entertainment racing game, and found himself surprisingly intrigued by the story of a street racer framed for a crime he didn't commit. He seeks his revenge while taking a cross-country trip in a custom-built Ford Mustang, which he hopes to enter in underground and illegal street race called the De Leon. He trained at Willow Springs International Raceway, driving from Los Angeles before dawn for lessons that lasted up to 10 hours a day.
Paul did many of his own stunts, but said professionals were brought in for "the real heavy lifting" and Paul was only in scenes where the driving didn't exceed 130 mph. Need for Speed opens in theaters today.
TOP 10: RACING MOVIES
1. SMOKEY AND THE BANDIT- Bandit Darwell and Cledus Snow are forced to attempt their cross-country booze smuggle with Sheriff Buford T. Justice and his son Junior chasing them the entire way.
2. TALLEDEGA NIGHTS: THE BALLAD OF RICKY BOBBY- tells the story of how Ricky Bobby makes it to the top of the racing world, but then loses it all after a horrific crash.
3. THE FAST AND THE FURIOUS- The late Paul Walker plays a cop who gets involved in the underground world of street racing to get to the bottom of a crime.
4. THE CANNONBALL RUN- 1981’s Cannonball Run follows the story of a group of wild street racers that compete in a cross-country race (loosely) based on a true story.
5. THE VANISHING POINT- This 1971 movie stars Barry Newman as car delivery employee Kowalski, who takes delivery of a 1970 Dodge Challenger to take from Colorado to San Francisco, California. Shortly after pickup, he takes a bet to get the car there in less than 15 hours.
6. GREASED LIGHTNING - Funnyman Richard Pryor played Wendell Scott in this crash, bang biopic that old the story of the first black stock car racing champion in America.
7. THE GUMBALL RALLY- The Gumball Rally is a 1976 film directed and co-written by Charles Bail about a coast-to-coast road race.
8. TWO LANE BLACKTOP- James Taylor is the driver, Dennis Wilson of the Beach Boys is the mechanic as they drag race their way across the country.
9. CARS- Star race car Lightning McQueen (narrated by Owen Wilson) is forced to help a small town rebuild their roads after McQueen ruins them.
10. DAYS OF THUNDER- Tom Cruise makes his way to the race track in 1991’s Days of Thunder. Cruise plays Cole Trickle, an up and coming stock car racer who tries to make it on the NASCAR circuit.