The Fast & the Furious film franchise may have been dominated by male actors in the past, but bringing Charlize Theron on board as the Fast 8 villain may change all that. As far as Michelle Rodriguez is concerned, that’s something she’s very much looking forward to for future installments. Although Rodriguez, who has been with the franchise since 2001’s original The Fast and the Furious, has always described herself as a tomboy and has always been more comfortable acting with men, she says she’s now starting to change her outlook. Ms. Rodriguez wants more women coming to the Fast & Furious franchise and she wants greater opportunities for those women already involved with the project.
Fast 8 Star Michelle Rodriguez Boasts About Charlize Theron’s Villain
Bringing Charlize Theron in on the Fast & Furious franchise may have initially been a financial decision, trying to generate greater interest by adding Theron’s immense star power, but as CBS 8 learned from Michelle Rodriguez, Theron’s performance is what will really awe moviegoers. Rodriguez describes Charlize’s Fast 8 villain as the baddest villain to ever have been introduced, while also suggesting that no one could have played the role as well as Charlize has done.
“We’re gonna go hard on this one,” Rodriguez says about Fast 8. “Charlize Theron is, I think, the most powerful villain this franchise has ever seen.”
Although Michelle only shares a few scenes with Ms. Theron, who plays the enigmatic Cipher in Fast 8, she says the experience has led her to feel that the action franchise needs more women in powerful roles.
“In order for me to be a part of the franchise in the future, they need to up the ante on the females,” Rodriguez says. “I mean, it’s like a sausage factory in this thing.”
Ms. Rodriguez expressed the opinion that working with Theron gave her a great feeling, and she says she enjoyed the positive feminine energy created by working well with another actress on Fast 8. Michelle hopes for more women in the future installments, suggesting the “good guys” could use a greater female presence.
Fast 8 Is Still Paul Walker’s Baby, Says Michelle Rodriguez
While Ms. Rodriguez is hopeful that future films will introduce many more female characters, forever changing the Fast & Furious dynamic, Cinema Blend reveals that the entire Fast 8 cast, including Michelle, still feels Paul Walker’s energy associated with the latest film. Furious 7, the film on which Walker’s life was tragically claimed, gave the cast and crew an opportunity to memorialize Paul, but Rodriguez says that doesn’t mean his influence on Fast 8 has diminished.
Michelle adds that, even though Walker still remains present in the hearts of his Fast 8 family, the franchise lost a vital component when Walker was killed.
“Paul’s the heart of it, he’s the guy who really loved the genre, he loved that lifestyle,” says Ms. Rodriguez. “And not having that love affair with cars and that lifestyle, it removed a certain aspect of the soul of the franchise and it hurts all of us and we all know it.”
Even after suffering the loss of Paul Walker, Rodriguez told Entertainment Weekly that she still holds high hopes for the Fast & Furious franchise, feeling that it represents a unique opportunity for bringing more diversity to the big screen. For Michelle, that doesn’t just mean bringing in actors from different ethnic and cultural backgrounds, but also telling a story that shows a multicultural community working together toward a common goal.
“We’re living in a realm where there aren’t any franchises outside of hero movies and sci-fi that actually address the lack of multiculturalism,” Michelle Rodriguez said. “At that scale you don’t see a $150-million-budgeted film with a Latin person, a black person, an Asian person.”
Fast 8, starring Michelle Rodriguez, Charlize Theron, and Vin Diesel, is set to premiere on April 14, 2017, in theaters.
[Featured Image by Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images]