Chris Hemsworth Spins a Formula E Race Car in New York

The actor apparently found that driving a race car isn't as easy as his portrayal of Formula One driver James Hunt makes it look.

Formula E Qualcomm New York City ePrix
John Lamparski—Getty Images

The 2013 movie Rush was an entertaining and accurate portrayal of the Formula One rivalry and friendship between drivers Niki Lauda and James Hunt. Chris Hemsworth, who portrayed Hunt in the film, got the opportunity to try out a real race car at this past weekend's Formula E race in Brooklyn, New York and it was there that Hemsworth appeared to find that actually being a race car driver is more difficult than playing one on the big screen. While lapping the track he got a little too close to a wall, nudging it with the nose of the car and spinning out, according to The Daily Mail. How embarrassing.

It's not like Hemsworth had no idea what he was doing—on the contrary. Formula One veteran and former Formula E champion Nelson Piquet Jr. helped him get familiar with the car before heading out on the track. And certainly the lessons he learned while portraying James Hunt in Rush must have given him at least a basic familiarity with a race car. But once out on the track, even for demonstration laps, it can be difficult to resist taking the next turn just a little bit faster or clipping the apex an inch or two tighter, which seems to be what happened to Hemsworth. Also, a real Formula E car is most likely more powerful than a movie prop race car, not to mention the instant-on torque of an electric motor that an internal combustion engine doesn't provide. We've already experienced that for ourselves.

When you're a public figure, you have to presume that your mistakes are going to be public as well. Fortunately, this was a relatively minor crash. Hemsworth was unhurt, and the car appeared to suffer no significant damage as well. But no doubt he learned that driving a real race car is quite a bit different than it looks in the movies.