The “Fast & Furious” franchise will be releasing yet another installment in 2021 – “F9.” The difference from the previous eight installments: a female screenwriter was brought on board at the request of actress Michelle Rodriguez.
Speaking on SiriusXM’s “The Jess Cagle Show” last week, Rodriguez said that she was willing to walk away from her role as Letty Ortiz if filmmakers did not bring on a female screenwriter to give the franchise’s female characters the depth that their male counterparts have enjoyed.
“A lot of my necessity to have a female writer was just really more about candor,” she said, as reported by The Hollywood Reporter (THR), adding that male writers prefer “a one dimensionalized” female character.
Rodriguez further explained her position on the matter during an interview with Jessica Shaw on SiriusXM’s “EW Live,” saying that men often forget female characters after getting excited about their own stories.
“Guys get excited about their own stories. So it’s almost like a forgetfulness,” she said. “And so it’s just kind of like having to remind them gently from the sidelines for years that you exist, you know? And that you’re loud and that you’re hardcore and that you won’t take shit from anybody.”
“All the (male writers) are focused on the guys, period. It’s just an egoist natural thing,” she said. “People just care about themselves usually, or people who look like them or act like them or have the same genitalia, I don’t know. It’s just how it works.”
Though screenwriter Daniel Casey is credited for having penned the script for “F9,” multiple (usually uncredited) writers help hammer out the final draft for big-budget studio franchise productions. Rodriguez hinted that the female writer is an “African-American woman” who worked on HBO’s “Westworld.”
“She’s a freaking awesome African American woman who just gets it, she’s down to earth, she’s urban,” Rodriguez told Jess Cagle. “You got to also understand the multicultural aspect of it. It’s hard to have a guy from Beverly Hills who maybe sometimes hangs out or listens to hip hop and thinks that he may know what that kind of, you know, rapport is between street kids.”
Actress Charlize Theron, who plays Cipher in the “Fast & Furious” franchise, recently lamented about the alleged sexism she has experienced as a heroine in the action genre since starring in “The Italian Job.”
“I was the only woman with a bunch of guys, and I remember vividly getting the schedule in our preproduction and they had scheduled me for six weeks more car training than any of the guys,” she said on the “Evolution of a Bada**s” panel during Comic-Con@Home. “It was just so insulting, but it was also the thing that put a real fire under my a** and I was like, ‘All right, you guys want to play this game? Let’s go,’” she continued. “I made it a point to out-drive all of those guys. I vividly remember Mark Wahlberg, halfway through one of our training sessions, pulling over and throwing up because he was so nauseous from doing 360s.”
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