A cursory search on the internet points to a few truth vs fact points about the movie "Rush", but none of them addresses the popular scene where Niki Lauda meets and wins over his future wife when he asks "Why should I drive fast", she says "Because I'm asking you to", and he drives very fast.

Did that incident actually happen, or is it just introduced for the sake of the movie?

2 Answers 2


Not really. The film's writer Peter Morgan admitted he made that part up.

The way Niki met his wife was not in the way I showed it, but I said [to them], “Does it truthfully represent the nature of your relationships, the atmosphere and the vibes between you?” And they both signed off on it.

It helped that Morgan's wife is Austrian and actually knew Lauda in person.

Niki Lauda himself, however, said in an interview that the story is close enough:

In Rush, we see you meeting your first wife Marlene after you picked her up while she was hitchhiking. Is that a true story?

Actually I met her at a party, but I did drive her somewhere soon after – and she did not recognise who I was. She thought I was a tennis player.

The movie also shows you picking up hitchhikers and scaring them half to death when you drive at extreme high speeds?

That part is true [smiles]!

  • 1
    Nice! Also, the very next paragraph says: "The movie also shows you picking up hitchhikers and scaring them half to death when you drive at extreme high speeds? That part is true (smiles)!"
    – Julia
    Mar 27, 2016 at 13:45
  • Oh, I missed that somehow! Shall I add it in?
    – Walt
    Mar 27, 2016 at 13:47
  • 1
    Of course! I'm already impressed that you found that info. Although the one thing the article doesn't confirm is whether his future wife was also present in the car with the hitchhikers. Besides, the movie doesn't show them as hitchhikers. They are guys who pick him up when the car broke down.
    – Julia
    Mar 27, 2016 at 13:50
  • 1
    Well spotted! (Added)
    – Walt
    Mar 27, 2016 at 13:52

The closest you're going to get is an interview with actress Alexandra Lara, who portrayed Marlene Lauda in the movie:

Did you know, or find out if the scene in the car with the Italians actually happened to Niki and Marlene?

They met after that party at Curd Jürgens house, and I don’t know exactly to be honest if the hitchhiking, if that moment is real or just a beautiful invention but it worked rather well. I thought it was very funny that he’s telling her how to drive a car and she has no idea who is sitting next to her, that’s funny.

This is taken from an interview with The Hollywood News.

Now, most actors want to know a little about the back story of a biopic, to help them understand the character and their motivation. And to say she did not know if a pivotal scene is legit kind of tells me (purely speculation, but a somewhat educated speculation) that the scene was made up and the actor did not want to come out and say it.

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