In a 2015 interview with Yahoo Movies, Helen Mirren described her desire to star alongside Vin Diesel in a Fast and Furious movie. Fast forward two years later, and the iconic actress will appear in this week’s sequel, The Fate of the Furious. (Lesson learned: What a Dame wants, a Dame gets.)
The filmmakers have attempted to keep Mirren’s role a secret though franchise player Luke Evans did reveal it to us, if you’re eager for the spoil. Fast 8 director F. Gary Gray was willing to describe the sheer pleasure of working with the 71-year-old actress when he came by Yahoo Studios for a Facebook Live interview (watch above).
“What can I say? She is the Queen,” Gray said of Mirren, who won an Oscar in 2007 for her portrayal of Elizabeth II in The Queen. “She was amazing, man.”
Gray (Straight Outta Compton) recalled being in the Dominican Republic with Diesel when they found out Mirren was interested in joining the franchise’s eighth installment, and she made an impression from the get-go. “I gave her a call, and the first thing she said was, ‘Felix!’” says Gray, who’s first name is indeed Felix. “She said, ‘One of my best friends, his name is Felix, and I love that name, and that’s what I’m going to call you from now on.’”
The director said Mirren was drawn to the role because the character is so different from her elegant roles of years past, though he’s still not saying much: “She [was] going to wear this leopard print and get in here,” he starts. “I’m not going to describe the character — I’m going to let you guys go out there and figure out what it is. But she’s a lot of fun…. She’s dope.”
The Fate of the Furious opens Friday. Watch Gray tease the top 4 stunts:
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