Fate of the Furious: Helen Mirren

The filmmakers are always seeking to intertwine the sequences with interesting new characters, storylines and inevitable plot twists that fit into Morgan’s established chronology.

The Fate of the Furious continues the tradition of unexpected casting by introducing its audiences to Scott Eastwood (Suicide Squad, The Longest Ride), alongside Oscar-winners Charlize Theron (Mad Max: Fury Road) and Helen Mirren (The Queen), who join the franchise for a ride of a lifetime.

Helen Mirren

For the new chapter, Theron’s fellow Academy Award winner, Dame Helen Mirren, was recruited to portray a pivotal role, one in which her character enters unto an uneasy alliance with Dom.  Although she steps in to run interference, any agreements in the underworld are precarious and shift easily; the refined Brit who meets with Dom seems a little too comfortable amidst all the intrigue.

Mirren’s casting in The Fate of the Furious came about after the famed actress met Diesel at an Oscars® party in 2106.  Admittedly a touch smitten by her co-star, Mirren discussed her love of driving fast cars and her nephew’s fondness for the Fast franchise.  She gained familiarity with the series after their introduction and thought: “Work with Vin, drive a car?  That sounds like the perfect job for me.”

Diesel played it cool but was beyond thrilled about his encounter with English royalty and got the ball rolling.  He laughs that what Dame Mirren wants, Dame Mirren gets.  In the aftermath, Diesel rallied the equally excited troops and got to work.  He explains: “In one week’s time, Gary, Chris and I had written her character in.  Ironically, her new role was a gift for us.  She provided the connective tissue we belatedly realized was needed for our plot.  To this day, one of my favorite moments of filming was sharing a scene with Helen Mirren.”

The result is a cocksure player whose steely reserve and intellect belie a deep well of familial protection.  For her part, Mirren had no idea what to expect of the role, she was just happy to join the party.  “I put my little yearnings out there in the universe, and I was offered a role,” she says with a smile.  “I had no idea what to expect, but I would have just done anything.  I was so pleased that they pried the script apart and found a little slot for me.  It turned out to be a great role.  My character is smart, strong and aware of her place in the world.  To be my age in a huge action film movie with these guys, you’ve got to up your game if you want to go toe to toe with them; that’s what I wanted to communicate.”

Unfortunately, Mirren’s plum role in the action-thriller didn’t allow for her to get behind the wheel of fast car and drive, but as every Fast fan can attest to: opportunities always present themselves down the road ahead…

No longer the new kid on the block, Mirren’s fellow Brit, Nathalie Emmanuel, handed that mantle over to Scott Eastwood.  The performer joins the ensemble as Eric Reisner, aka Little Nobody, protégé to Russell’s Mr. Nobody.  Russell returns to the role of the mysterious but easygoing, Belgian beer-lovin’ CIA spook he began with in Furious 7.