The 2003 version of the classic crime caper goes on the movie circuit today and Benoni-born Hollywood starlet Charlize Theron, who did her own stunt driving at the wheel of a Mini Cooper, says she outdrove many of her male co-stars!The Italian Job goes on the movie circuit today and Benoni-born Hollywood starlet Charlize Theron, who did her own stunt driving at the wheel of a Mini Cooper, says she outdrove many of her male co-stars!content here

The 2003 remake of the classic crime caper goes on the movie circuit today and Benoni-born Hollywood starlet Charlize Theron, who did her own stunt driving at the wheel of a Mini Cooper, says she outdrove many of her male co-stars!


The original movie was made in 1969 and starred Michael Caine, but the esteemed actor was arguably upstaged by a gaggle of Minis in one of the greatest car chase scenes ever shot. It takes place in Italy through the biggest traffic jam Turin has ever seen – and the police in their Alfa Romeo Giulias could not catch the elusive Minis.


For the 2003 version, BMW supplied about 32 new Minis to Paramount Pictures. According to a recent story, Sean Graham, stunt driver in the new film, destroyed three in a row and seven cars completely with "lots of other damage" along the way to producing some of the greatest car stunts, “fitting to the standards Rémy Julienne achieved in the original”.


circa 2003 begins in Venice and the Italian Alps as in the original, but plays out mostly in Los Angeles. The gold robbery, followed by a dramatic car chase featuring Minis are really where the similarity ends. The film has a star-studded cast, which includes Charlize, Mark Wahlberg, Edward Norton, Jason Statham, Seth Green, Mos Def and Donald Sutherland.


Charlize had a lot of work to do in the film and reportedly did a lot of the stunt driving for the film's action scenes herself.


"I do consider myself a good driver and I was told by the stunt guy, (Graham), that I put the guys to shame," she recently said. "I got my schedule and they added three more weeks of driving school for me and none for the guys. I went: 'Wait a second, you haven't seen me drive'.


"Like, just give me the benefit of the doubt, you know. And it turned out that I didn't need it. It was just this automatic thing that they were worried because I was a girl I would not be able to drive the car as well," the star added.


Extensive work was done on the Minis before they could be used for stunt driving. "The Minis were great stunt cars. Usually we get beat up rubbish to work with, but BMW supplied us 32 cars that were fantastic. They're great handling cars and work well for what we wanted to do with them, but they don't jump," Graham said.


"We took all the safety devices BMW engineered into the Mini out straight away. No airbags, traction control, pyrotechnic seat belts or ABS. Everything BMW doesn't want the Mini to do in day to day driving, we wanted it to do on ," he added.


As such, suspensions were beefed up, roll cages put in some of the cars and skid plates underneath to protect the engines. "We drove Minis in places cars have never been allowed before," continued Graham. "We drove on Hollywood Boulevard, but also into the subway. You're not allowed to operate petrol-engined vehicles down there, so we had to convert three Minis to electric power".


The car chase also ends up in the sewage line as did the original with a dramatic exit where Graham nearly rolled his blue car, the first out, nose over tail, the report said.


"We put massive steel plates in the bottom of the sewer to make it flat for us to land, but my car removed one of them when I landed. The second car just cleared it, but the third landed in the hole and stopped dead from about 110 km/h," Graham said.

Original article from Car