It’s sad that Steve McQueen died so young (he was just fifty when he died in 1980), but few people attain the sort of image immortality that he has. Family, friends and fans talk about him as if they saw him just yesterday. In this exclusive clip of the documentary Steve McQueen: The Man & Le Mans, we listen to racing luminaries such as Derek Bell, Jonathan Williams and David Piper as they look back at their time hanging out with Steve McQueen as he filmed Le Mans.
They each already had careers as racing drivers, but thanks to McQueen, they also had careers as “actors.” Rather than hiring stunt drivers or b-listers to drive the cars during the shoot, McQueen hired fellow racers. He gave them a hefty $200 ($1,226 in today’s cash) a day and a Porsche 911 (naturally). McQueen was the highest paid actor in the world at the time, and he was in a mood to splurge.
Although the film shows how these drivers have aged over the years, it is fascinating to see how they reminisce about the past, the glory days, the speed and the life of Steve McQueen.