How Jonathan La Paglia Scored A Cameo In This Oscar-Nominated Film

Jonathan La Paglia regularly performs Oscar-worthy monologues on ‘Australian Survivor’ but you can also catch him in one of the films nominated in this year’s Best Picture category.

The host and actor plays a brief role in ‘Ford v Ferrari’, the real-life story of car designer Carroll Shelby (played by Matt Damon) and British race car driver Ken Miles (Christian Bale) and their quest to defeat Ferrari at the 1966 Le Mans race in France. 

Speaking to 10 daily over the phone from Los Angeles, JLP laughed when we asked about his involvement in the sports drama. 

“It’s so tiny, it’s at the start of the movie,” La Paglia said of the blink and you’ll miss it bit-part. 



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“James Mangold, the director, he’s a friend of mine and he was actually shooting it while I was shooting a season of ‘Survivor’ but I loved the story of ‘Ford v Ferrari’,” he explained. 

“When he told me he was shooting that movie, I was like, ‘I want to do anything in it, I don’t care!’ I said, ‘I’ll peel oranges for the crew, I don’t care!’

La Paglia wrapped a season of ‘Australian Survivor’ and arrived to the set of ‘Ford v Ferrari’ just in time to scoop up one of the last roles available. 

“I play Matt Damon’s mechanic at the start of the movie,” he laughed, describing the part that’s listed as 'Pit Engineer Eddie' on the film’s IMDB page. 

“It was fun, it was small,” said La Paglia. “He [James Mangold] threw me a bone, which was cool.”

We'd like to think that it was JLP's presence that helped 'Ford v Ferrari' get nominated for Best Picture at the Academy Awards, up against 'The Irishman', 'Jojo Rabbit', 'Joker', 'Little Women', 'Marriage Story', '1917', 'One Upon A Time...In Hollywood', and 'Parasite'.

You can catch more of JLP's superb acting skills at tribal council, with 'Australian Survivor: All Stars' kicking off on February 3.

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Main Image: 20th Century Fox/Network 10.