Vin Diesel and Helen Mirren in The Fate of the Furious. (Photo: Universal)
It was a beautiful marriage, Helen Mirren and the Fast and Furious franchise — and one that we don’t mind taking a tiny crumb of credit for (In a March 2015 interview with Yahoo, she made a public plea to play a villain in one of the Fast movies; in June 2016, she was cast as one.).
The Oscar-winning Brit played Magdalene Shaw, mum to longtime series rogues Deckard (Jason Statham) and Owen Shaw (Luke Evans) in 2017’s The Fate of the Furious. Though it was a relatively small role, as the events of that film made clear (with Mrs. Shaw helping Vin Diesel’s Dom recover his kidnapped son), it was Magdalene who was the real power broker in the Shaw family. Still, we know next to nothing about her background, leaving open the distinct possibility that we could see more of Mirren in the series.
The actress is all about it. “I hope so,” she told us at the press day for her upcoming film The Leisure Seeker when asked if she’d return to the Fast franchise. “I’m sort of quietly maneuvering. But I love it, it would be brilliant. I love that character.”
Mirren, 72, would insist upon doing one thing that she sadly did not get to in Fate of the Furious: drive a really fast car. “This time, definitely,” she said. “Absolutely. Essential, instead of being stuck in [the back seat].”
Fate of the Furious director F. Gary Gray (who Mirren calls by his proper first name, Felix) is certainly a fan. “What can I say? She is the queen,” Gray told us during a Facebook Live interview in the lead-up to the film’s release. “She’s a lot of fun. … She’s dope.”
There are actually two separate Fast films that could enlist Mirren: The currently untitled ninth chapter in the series, which is slated for release in April 2020, or a separate spinoff centering around Dwayne Johnson’s Hobbs and Statham’s Deckard Shaw, which will release a year earlier and thus has caused some internal strife among the Fast family.
And while Mirren admits she’s generally drawn to “wonderful small independent films,” she also professed her love to us for another big budget blockbuster: Guardians of the Galaxy. “That was really, really enjoyable,” she said. (While Mirren raved about 2014’s GOTG Vol. 1, she admitted she still has yet to see last year’s Vol. 2.)
But, hey, if the Fast folks are too slow to call, maybe we can see the dame go to space for Vol. 3?