About a year ago, Helen Mirren gave an interview in which she expressed a long-held desire, a “great ambition,” even, to play a villain in the Fast & Furious franchise.
My great ambition is to be in a Fast and Furious movie. I so want to be a mad driver in a Fast and Furious movie. My claim to fame is I always do my own driving — I was on Top Gear, and I did [my lap] in a very good time. I keep putting it out there, and they never ask me. I’ll be in Fast and Furious 8. I have to say Vin Diesel is brilliant. I love Vin Diesel. He’s a great guy, smart — I love him. It’s partly because of him I’d like to be in one, but also the driving. I’d also love to do another Red-type movie, because those are such fun to do.
Does this sound facetious? Or at least like an exaggerated fantasy? Helen Mirren has taken on a lot of fun roles, and some actiony ones as well, but also admits that until recently, the closest she’d come to playing an action hero was when she did Queen Margaret in Henry VI. Reading this, I imagined that while this kind of statement may be totally genuine, I would never have expected her to actually accept a role in the eighth installment in a car-go-fast franchise. But, luckily for all of us, I was wrong. Super wrong. In an interview with Elle,
I want to be making film and theater, but film is particularly relevant. I like it to be serious. Of course, having said that I’m about to do Fast and Furious 8. But that’s for the fun of it. So maybe that’s what I want as well, some fun and some relevant, serious, important movies.
So you are confirmed to be in ‘Fast 8’?
Yes, I am.
I have missed the last six movies in this chain, but I’ll be damned if I miss Helen Mirren driving around with Vin Diesel. And she does make it clear that she had one condition for joining the movie.
I’ve always rather loved driving. I said, ‘I’ll be in it, but only if I’m allowed to drive if I do drive in it.’ But we’ll see. We’ll see how it transpires.
“We’ll see” is never a super encouraging way to end news like this, but honestly, why wouldn’t they let her drive? She should be the only one driving. She should be the only one doing anything, ever. She’s Helen Goddamn Mirren, and if she wants to drive in your movie, YOU LET HER AND YOU SAY THANK YOU AFTER.