The Fast & Furious franchise is truly a cultural juggernaut, with F9 set to hit theaters (after many, many pandemic delays) on June 25. After nine films and a spinoff, fans have seen a wide and diverse cast of characters engage in some increasingly insane shenanigans. However, the franchise is definitely a bit of a sausage fest. However, F9 is going to rectify one major oversight regarding its main female characters.
In a new interview with Insider, Jordana Brewster, who has been a part of the franchise since the very first film as Mia, pointed out that she and Michelle Rodriguez, who plays her sister-in-law Letty, have never interacted directly onscreen. "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. She explained that they brought their frustrations to director Justin Lin and that he was “very conscious” of highlighting Letty and Mia’s relationship in F9.
"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 continued. "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." Brewster and Rodriguez have played the main female characters in the franchise from the beginning, and they were joined by Nathalie Emmanuel's Ramsey in Furious 7.
"The franchise has always represented diversity or it’s always represented the world as it is and not as Hollywood sees it," Brewster concluded. "I think we’ve always reflected really strong female characters and we have ramped it up." Rodriguez has always been outspoken about the lack of female representation in the franchise, even threatening to leave in 2017 if they didn't beef up the female characters' arcs.
However, Rodriguez stopped by SiriusXM's The Jess Cagle Show in September and said that "we did get a female writer and showed a lot of love, I think, on this one." Rodriguez credited Lin with a lot of the expansion of female roles in F9. "We were able... to find a little bit more attention and love for the girls in the movie," she explained. "And so I’m really hopeful that that shows through in the final product." With the series set to end with Fast 11, hopefully, Mia and Letty will get the chance to bond over the course of the final films.