Ron Howard Casts Alexandra Maria Lara in RUSH August 23, 2011 German actress scores female lead. Alexandra Maria Lara (‘Downfall,’ ‘The Reader’) has landed the female lead in Ron Howard’s racing drama ‘Rush,’ reports Variety. The German actress will be starring opposite ‘Thor’ star Chris Hemsworth and Daniel Bruhl (‘Inglourious Basterds’). The drama follows British Formula One driver James Hunt (Hemsworth) and his rivalry with fellow driver Niki Lauda (Bruhl) during the 1970s. Howard, Brian Grazer, Eric Fellner, Brian Oliver and Tim Bevan will produce, with Howard directing from a screenplay by ‘Frost/Nixon’ scribe Peter Morgan.