Throwing acclaimed actor Helen Mirren into a Fast and Furious movie always felt like a big power play on the part of the film’s creators.
“Look at us,” it seemed to say, “we make so much money by pretending to parachute cars out of a plane that we can even afford to hire really respected stars to show up and pretend that any of this stuff actually makes sense”.
It’s a mark of triumph; a big, grinning middle finger to anyone who might dismess the Fast and Furious franchise as silly nonsense for dumb people.
Turns out Helen Mirren’s completely on board with this whole principle – in fact, she’d love to do it again, on one condition.
Mirren wants to drive a car.
In a recent interview with Entertainment Weekly, she said:
“I almost went down on my knees. Not quite. But I went down on my metaphorical knees to Vin [Diesel] and to everyone…
“The whole reason for me wanting to be in Fast and Furious was because I wanted to drive. They very kindly wrote me in, and that was really sweet of them, and I love those guys, they’re fantastic. I’d love to come back. But, guys, I want to drive next time, okay?”
Mirren is nothing if not classy, and while we can’t imagine her role in the movie came about literally because she begged Vin Diesel to get her a role (we assume she’s exaggerating a bit there), it’s nice to see her enthusiasm for the project.
What’s really fun, though, is the idea of Mirren getting behind the wheel for one of the ball-out, ridiculous driving setpieces that the franchise has been known for.
Yes, please. Let’s have a car chase in which Mirren runs circles around Dom Toretto and his crew! That sounds absolutely amazing!
Just knowing that Mirren was not only willing, but also very interested in having her own driving action scene makes it feel like a huge opportunity was wasted on The Fate of the Furious.
It’s hard not to think of Michelle Rodriguez’ comments about how these movies really overlook their female characters, not allowing them to interact with each other, or display coherent character arcs.
What better way to address these concerns than by pitting Letty and Magdalene Shaw against each other in an exciting, fast-paced car chase, involving all the flips and tricks that you’d expect from one of these movies, but without a single male character showing up to steal the limelight?
Heck, if we’re going to get a Fast and Furious spin-off series, that sounds amazing! Sorry, Jason Statham and Dwayne Johnson, but we already have a branch of the Fast and Furious franchise that’s all about grumpy bald men.
Mirren is an absolute gem, and it’s not fair to make her a part of a ridiculous car-based action movie franchise, and then not let her do some driving – especially if she’s not only willing, but also incredibly eager to get behind the wheel and flip a car over or drive off a building, or get shot into space, or whatever nonsense we’re going to get from the series next.
After all, it’s not like she hasn’t done this kind of thing before. If she made Red 2 look decent, she can definitely pull off a Fast and Furious movie.
Come on, guys. Let Helen Mirren be an action star in a car. That’s all any of us want.
No, she didn’t give me $20 to write this article. Why would you think that?
This is my lunch money. No more questions!