May 23, 2022

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Helen Mirren on the thrill of finally getting behind the wheel

3 min read

F9, Helen Mirren, Vin Diesel

Over six years ago, Helen Mirren revealed that her great ambition was to be in a Fast & Furious movie and do some driving. The iconic actress got her chance when she appeared in The Fate of the Furious as Magdalene “Queenie” Shaw, and she went on to reprise the role in Hobbs & Shaw. Although Mirren had fulfilled her goal of appearing in the franchise, she wasn’t able to get behind the wheel, but that’s all set to change with F9.

Helen Mirren will be showing off her slick driving skills in the upcoming Fast & Furious sequel, but she had to do so alongside Vin Diesel, which she told Entertainment Weekly was a slightly intimidating experience.

I have to say, it was slightly intimidating. Although Vin is so generous and kind, but it was a little bit intimidating because those guys are so experienced at what they do. They know it, and it’s all a bit new to me, the technicality of it. Not the driving part, but the filming of the driving. But you’re in very safe and loving hands when you’re in a Fast & Furious. It was just great to be in a very small space with Vin Diesel for quite a long time. I just loved every minute. It was great, hearing that beautiful, soft brown velvet voice really, really close, because we were squished together. Oh, I just so love his voice. He’s got the best voice ever.

Mirren told EW that she “whined, moaned, cried, sniffled” and was generally annoying in her campaign for the chance to put the pedal to the metal for the film. “And so the creators of the series very, very kindly finally put me behind the wheel, where I’ve been longing to be,” Mirren said. The actress also seems keen to return for more installments of the series, and now that she has a little driving under her belt, she’s ready to do some stunt work. “I love stunts,” Mirren said. “And I do as many as my stunts that I physically can. I love flying, for example, when they haul you up on a rope and you’re flying. It’s fantastic. So yeah, something to do with flying would be great, where I sort of come out of a window or something and fly through the air.

Helen Mirren also commented on something Vin Diesel teased earlier this year when he said he that he had an idea for how Michael Caine could join the franchise and share some scenes with Mirren. Although the actress wasn’t aware of the idea, she thought it was great. “That would be absolutely genius,” Mirren said. “My mum was a very East End working-class woman, and Michael absolutely comes from that world as well. And I have worked with Michael before, actually quite a long time ago. We were in the same film together and he played my husband who passed away during the film.” As for who Michael Caine could play, Mirren said that the film’s haven’t introduced “Papa Shaw” yet, but when they do, he’s “going to be terrifying.

The official synopsis for F9:

Vin Diesel’s Dom Toretto is leading a quiet life off the grid with Letty and his son, little Brian, but they know that danger always lurks just over their peaceful horizon. This time, that threat will force Dom to confront the sins of his past if he’s going to save those he loves most. His crew joins together to stop a world-shattering plot led by the most skilled assassin and high-performance driver they’ve ever encountered: a man who also happens to be Dom’s forsaken brother, Jakob (John Cena).

F9 will hit theaters on June 25, 2021, and you can check out a review of F9 from our own JimmyO right here and Chris Bumbray right here.

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