updated 05/01/2009 AT 6:00 PM ET
•originally published 05/03/2009 AT 11:45 AM ET
The longest affair of Eric Bana’s life has been with a 1974 Ford XB Falcon Coupe. The 40-year-old actor, who races cars in between making movies, bought the muscle car when he was 15 back in his native Australia.
Now, Bana has made a film about his obsession with the Falcon: Love the Beast. The 92-minute documentary, which includes extensive footage of Bana behind the wheel of the Falcon during a five-day endurance race in Tasmania in 2007, had its American premiere April 29 at the Tribeca Film Festival in New York City.
After the screening, Bana fielded questions from the audience. Asked if he would allow his own children, son Klaus, 9, and daughter Sophie, 7, to race cars, he said, “Thankfully, my kids have no interest in cars whatsoever, which means I have my whole garage to myself.”
Bana sidestepped a question on how many cars he owns. “Less than Jay Leno,” he said. (Leno, who appears in Beast, is famous for needing multiple warehouses to hold his extensive auto collection.) In his everyday life, Bana says he tools around in a 4-wheel drive Nissan Pathfinder that runs on diesel fuel.
As for the Falcon – Bana wrecked his beloved Beast when he crashed it on the fourth day of the race in Tasmania – it currently sits in a garage back home in Melbourne. “I need to stop doing all this movie stuff and repair it,” said Bana.