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Spy: The man who plays McLaren

Dwayne Cameron playing Bruce McLaren - with director Roger Donaldson.
Dwayne Cameron playing Bruce McLaren - with director Roger Donaldson.

Filming has just wrapped on Kiwi directing legend Roger Donaldson's new film about the life of renowned racing car driver Bruce McLaren.

Spy can reveal, Donaldson, who directed The World's Fastest Indian, cast Agent Anna actor Dwayne Cameron as McLaren, in what Cameron describes as a true director's tribute to another trailblazer. The movie is very much about the Kiwi pioneering spirit and passion to succeed.

Cameron, who left Auckland for Los Angeles on Thursday to work on some new projects, told Spy he was always on his toes during filming. "Filming McLaren was a unique experience - for starters I got a call from my agent at Johnson & Laird saying Roger Donaldson wanted to meet me at 3pm that day. I drove to meet him and I was offered the role on the spot. In less than a week we were filming."

Cameron was honoured to work with him and was pretty chuffed to be among some pretty famous Donaldson leading men, including Daniel Day-Lewis, Al Pacino, Anthony Hopkins and Robin Williams.

Cameron is not a speedster and had a professional race driver at the McLaren racetrack in Taupo for the racing scenes.

However, he did get to know all about McLaren.

"He was this upbeat guy who followed his passion diligently, built his cars from the ground up, took on the world and won and he changed the motor racing industry forever.

"I'm happy his story is being told and I hope it inspires many people to follow their dreams.

"I learned a lot when I got to meet some of the real people in his life - including his sister Jan McLaren and some of the family - when we filmed Bruce and Patty McLaren's wedding.

"It felt very special that day. While we were filming, the wedding guest extras were asked who in the room had been at Bruce's real wedding in 1961 and half a dozen people put their hands up."

This and meeting racing star Chris Amon were two poignant moments.

"In 1966 McLaren and Amon teamed up to win the 24 hours of Le Mans and the third member of the trio, Denny Hulme, was the Formula One world champion in 1967. Here I was sitting at the lunch table dressed as Bruce McLaren in his full racing gear talking to the real Chris Amon 50 years later."

McLaren died in a crash while testing a new car in the UK in 1970.

- Spy.co.nz

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