Jordana Brewster’s Mia and Michelle Rodriguez’s Letty are the “Fast and the Furious” franchise’s original female characters, but only in the upcoming “F9” are the two actresses getting the opportunity to share a scene of value together. While the characters have appeared in group scenes, they’ve never interacted in a meaningful way until the soon-to-be-released ninth installment of the franchise. Brewster recently revealed (via Insider) it took the women speaking up to ensure “F9” did justice to its female characters.
“Michelle [Rodriguez] was like, ‘Dude, we’ve never had a scene together. We’re always secondary with the guys. We don’t interact. We have a sisterhood. We need to explore this,'” Brewster said, adding that Rodriguez and “F9” director Justin Lin then became “very conscious” of shining a spotlight on Letty and Mia’s relationship.
“Michelle’s always been very outspoken about not doing anything that isn’t true to character, and that means not placating the guys, that means not playing second fiddle to the guys,” Brewster said. “I’m really grateful that we got a chance to [share the screen together]. Hopefully, we’ll continue to explore it because there’s so much to unearth there.”
Letty is Mia’s sister-in-law in the “Fast” franchise, which makes it long overdue for the two characters to interact. While the franchise spans nine films, Rodriguez and Brewster have not appeared in every entry in the franchise. Both actresses sat out the first two sequels, “2 Fast 2 Furious” and “Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift,” while Letty was not a major part of “Fast & Furious.” A third prominent female character, Nathalie Emmanuel’s Megan, also features in “F9.”
“The franchise has always represented diversity or it’s always represented the world as it is and not as Hollywood sees it,” Brewster said. “I think we’ve always reflected really strong female characters and we have ramped it up.”
Rodriguez has long been outspoken about the “Fast” franchise’s treatment of its female characters. The actress threatened to leave the franchise in 2017 if the women did not get more prominent storylines, and it was recently revealed that she forced rewrites on the original movie to prevent a sexist bent to her character.
Universal Pictures is releasing “F9” in theaters nationwide June 25.