Patrick Dempsey has described filming Ferrari in Italy opposite actor Adam Driver with “demanding but wonderful” director Michael Mann as his “dream job”.

The US actor stars as Italian racing driver Piero Taruffi in the biopic about Enzo Ferrari, played by Driver, alongside Penelope Cruz, Shailene Woodley and Jack O’Connell, who all appeared in Leicester Square on Monday for the film’s premiere.

“It’s the best experience I’ve ever had making a movie,” Dempsey told the PA news agency.

“And working with Adam was a lot of fun as well. He has a great sense of humour, wonderful professionalism.

“To be in Modena working on a Ferrari movie with Michael Mann – dream job.”

He added: “Working with Michael Mann was a dream job, he’s very demanding but wonderful.”

Mann, whose directorial credits include Heat, Collateral and Public Enemies, said it was great being part of the racing community for half a year.

He told PA: “To be able to do a film that dives into the tempestuous personal life in all its operatic technicolour which is what was happening in these three months of 1957 this takes place that is what was so thrilling and exciting, it kept me riveted on this project.”

Ferrari premiere
Adam Driver arrives for the premiere of Ferrari at Odeon Luxe, Leicester Square in central London (Jeff Moore/PA)

Meanwhile Driver said he doesn’t think they could have made the film had they not done it in Italy – “it just wouldn’t have worked”, he said.

He told PA: “We raced some Ferraris in Modena, we drove the chassis for one of the 801’s I think that was in the movie, and there is a difference between one if you roll over you’ll take your head off and one where you will are at least protected by a cage, and you became almost heroic these guys were to pursue an ideal over their own personal safety.”

He continued: “We raced cars which was helpful, it was very much Michael’s way into the character which was someone calm on the surface but had a constant engine going.

“We met Piero Ferrari who was very open about his father’s life, literally opening the doors to his apartment, Enzo’s apartment, his briefcase, everything about him, we went to the factor, it was extensive and long.

Ferrari premiere
Jack O’Connell, Penelope Cruz, Adam Driver, Micheal Mann, Shailene Woodley and Patrick Dempsey arrive for the premiere of Ferrari at Odeon Luxe, Leicester Square in central London (Jeff Moore/PA)

“We read the book, we shot in the locations where the things actually happened, it is all kind of helpful. And the script of course was great.”

Piero Ferrari told PA he has watched the film four times already.

He said: “It is a nice family story in a difficult moment of life with tragedies but my father was a winner, he succeeded and he realised his dreams.”