Friday, February 5, 2016

Heart like a racer (Shirley Muldowney)

In the 1990s, I was the auto-racing writer at the Charleston (S.C.) Post & Courier, and drag-racing great Shirley Muldowney was supposed to race at a nearby track. The P.R. folks  set up a phone interview, and I called her from Charlotte Motor Speedway, where I was covering a race that weekend.

I don't remember a ton about the interview, but it was as much fun as I've had talking to a driver or athlete. Muldowney was a great talker, and she had a fun personality. Both of us laughed a lot.

We started talking about the movie "Heart Like a Wheel," which followed her career. I'd seen it and liked it, but it was obvious Muldowney didn't like it.

She had wanted another actress other than Bonnie Bedelia playing her. She admitted that Bedelia was pretty and a fine actress, but she had wanted Jamie Lee Curtis. Years after the 1983 movie had been made, it still bothered her.

"Anyone would want Jamie Lee Curtis," she insisted.

After I re-watched  another 1983 movie, "Trading Places," with Curtis as one of the stars, I realized why Muldowney would have thought that. Watch "Trading Places" again. You'll see.

Contact: I can be reached at or Also, my Twitter handle is EDITORatWORK.

No comments: