Ryan Hunter-Reay: IndyCar’s Matthew Modine

rhrmmzimbiocom

Photos from zimbio.com

In our ongoing efforts toward the Hollywood-ization of IndyCar – the tinselly celebrity, emotionally uplifting and magical parts of Hollywood, not its utterly out of ideas, irrelevancy and self indulgent aspects – we bring you the latest comparison of an IndyCar champion to his movie star doppelganger. While the similarities are striking in these two enigmatic stars’ countenances, there are a number of other parallels between Ryan Hunter-Reay and Matthew Modine, apart from the fact that many fans around the world “love them long time.”

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Photos from basementrejects.com and zimbio.com

Fittingly both of these huge stars were born in California, not far from Hollywood-land from whence dreams spring and die. “It’s Vietnam  – the movie!” As a result both are passionate in support of their various causes. Unlike some of their Cali compatriots though, these two flaxen-haired he-men are much more than just pretty faces. Arguably under-rated, Hunter-Reay and Modine rank among the most talented in their respective fields and possess the records to prove it. Whether it’s Hunter Reay’s thrilling race wins or Modine’s entertaining film roles, these two certified celebrities definitely “pack the gear to serve in my beloved Corps,” as Gunnery Sergeant Hartman put it.

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Image from newsbusters.com

In over a decade of racing, RHR has fourteen big league wins (two in Champ Car and twelve in IndyCar), a championship in 2012 and his biggest hit of all the thrilling Indianapolis 500 victory in 2014. A testament to longevity, in just under a hundred and seventy career starts he’s finished in the top five thirty seven times and the top ten another forty three. Hunter-Reay’s winning percentage is .8, better than a majority of the field and on the uptick in recent years. Why, you ask? To paraphrase the door gunner in ‘Full metal Jacket,’ “cause he’s so f*&#in’ good.” He won thrice in 2014 at Indy, Iowa and Alabama. RHR’s racing philosophy is similar to when in the same movie a Marine was asked by a reporter about U.S. involvement in Vietnam. He said succinctly, “I think we should win it.”

98th Indianapolis 500 Mile Race

Photo from heavy.com

For Matthew Modine the equivalent to winning the Indy 500 and highlight of his career surely was working with master filmmaker Stanley Kubrick in ‘Full Metal Jacket.’ This in spite of all the abuse from Gunny Hartman, endless takes by Kubrick and lousy London weather. Modine’s character “Joker” endured much in the classic war film as has Hunter-Reay in his career; both survived their ordeals and are much the richer for having done so. Regarding his thoughts on Kubrick, Modine’s repeatedly described the famed director as “a genius.” He’s had other leading roles and hits  – ‘Memphis Belle,’ ‘Pacific Heights’ and ‘The Dark Knight Rises’ among them – but none as timeless and enduring as Kubrick’s Vietnam War masterpiece.

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Images from movpins.com and shortlist.com

Hunter-Reay’s and Modine’s star power has proved lasting, an impressive feat considering their here today, gone tomorrow professions. Fun to watch, highly entertaining and truly talented, our two tow headed look-a-likes easily could pass for brothers – exceptionally successful brothers, at that. They’re certainly not “miserable pukes” or even “the lowest form of life on earth.” They’ve both reached the pinnacle of their professions with plenty more must-see performances still to come. Who says everything out of Hollywood, or even California, is all bad? There are happily at least a couple of exceptions.

mmmovieactorscom2011 IndyCar St. Petersburg

Photos from movieactors.com and megasportsnews.com

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32 thoughts on “Ryan Hunter-Reay: IndyCar’s Matthew Modine

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