Welcome at the second day of the Fast & Furious week! Today I will discuss the actors who made this franchise a success. I will describe the eleven most important characters from all the seven films. But of course there are a lot more characters who gave an impressive performance. In the franchise where cars are almost as important as their drivers, it is truly amazing to see how the actors – who are part of the franchise from the start – not only grow into their character but also grow as a group. We start this post with the actor who starred in the most films: Paul Walker.
Paul Walker – Brian O’Conner
Walker is part of the Fast & Furious franchise since te first film and he only missed the third film, Tokyo Drift. In 2001 we meet the very young Paul Walker where he is a starting police agent in Los Angeles. With his love for cars, it doesn’t take long before Brian goes on an undercover mission. Brian needs to infiltrate in the world of street races to find out which racers are responsible for a couple of hijack on oil tankers. During his mission he makes some new friends and realises the criminal life isn’t so bad after all. In the sequels we see how Brian struggles with his feelings to obey the law, the loyalty he feels towards his newfound friends and the thrill he gets from the criminal life.
Vin Diesel – Dominic Toretto
Dom is a real family man and a great leader who loves cars, the races, but also the big money which comes from illegal activities. He’s in fact already into criminal things when he and Brian first meet. But because Brian is still a police agent, Dom needs to run from the cops and we have to miss this character for almost two films! It is said that Vin Diesel’s appearance in Tokyo Drift, have saved the film from being a total flop. In the sequel we see how Dom and his crew run from the police and FBI, but eventually he does wants his freedom and stop running. Actually, Dom isn’t really a bad guy, but if you hurt his family he strikes back!
Michelle Rodriguez – Letty
Rodriguez was in 2001 a very young girl who even didn’t have a drivers license. This didn’t mean she was a bad driver, she probably drove cars already because there was nothing wrong with her driving skills. Letty is tough girl and also the girlfriend of Dom. Together they are into some illegal stuff and make the life of oil take drivers very hard. Letty and Dom are a good match, but unfortunately it takes some time for us to see them return together. Letty has been through a lot in the fourth film, but only in Furious 6 we see how it affects Dom’s life.
Jordana Brewster – Mia Toretto
Good girl Mia is the younger sister of Dom. It takes a few films before also she joins the criminal life. However, she does know her brother is into some illegal stuff but on what level is something she learns from her boyfriend Brian, at the end of the first film. Brewster’s character returns for the fourth film and that’s when she says the good life farewell. In the following films she’s back with Brian and at the end of the he sixth film they are this cute little family. Brian and Mia are the ones who give us girls a bit of romance between all the action and cars.
Tyrese Gibson – Roman Pearce
Gibson’s character makes his first appearance in the second film. Just like the the characters above, Roman is just as crazy about cars as them and also old friends with Brian. After Roman’s name got cleared, he joins the crew in Rio in Fast Five. This film shows even better what a hilarious character Roman is! He’s the one with the jokes and is absolutely a charismatic man. This is really a delight between all the serious and driven characters.
Ludacris – Tej
Roman’s best friend is Tej and together they form an amazing funny couple! Where Roman is a terrible braggart, Tej is extremely dry, which often makes the situation even funnier. Tej makes his first appearance in 2 Fast 2 Furious and since the fifth film he’s really part of the crew as their technical expert. Of all of them, Tej is the least passionate racer and is more busy with the organization around the street races – as we see in the second film – and selling auto parts in his own garage.
Gal Gadot – Gisele
With the absence of Letty, it is very nice to see another woman in action. And a girl on a motorcycle really works for me! For where Mia is still a bit of a good-girl, Gisele is ready for the criminal life. We see her for the first time in the fourth film, where she still works for a bunch of gangsters who are transporting drugs. Dom wants to get in contact with these guys, since he has an axe to grind with them. That’s when he meets Gisele. In Fast Five Gisele has chosen to be part of Dom’s crew and is still one of the team in the sixth film.
Sung Kang – Han
The character Han is a special one. We meet his character in the third film, where he is roaming the streets of Tokyo and is also a mentor for Sean Boswell (Lucas Black). But because you actually should watch the third film after part sixth, Han is part of Dom’s crew since the fourth film. Along with Gisele he forms a cute couple, with Gisele as the better driver.
Dwayne Johnson – Agent Hobbs
With the start of Fast Five, the car-loving group finally gets some more resistance from the FBI, in the form of Dwayne Johnson’s character. Johnson plays the muscular FBI agent Hobbs, who is really fed up with the team’s the illegal activities and follows them to Rio de Janeiro. Trained to do his work, his mission is slightly changes when Hobbs’ team got under attack of Brazilian criminals. And if someone hurts Hobbs’ friends, he comes back and takes his revenge, just like Dom actually. Also in the next films, Agent Hobbs plays an important role in the life of Dom, and soon they meet again.
Luke Evans – Owen Shaw
The character Owen Shaw may only appear in Furious 6, he has a lot of influence on the story and takes the crew further than they have ever been in the franchise: London. Shaw is actually a British version of Dom, except that he has never heard of loyalty and family and take things even further. Moreover, there is no true sympathy for the character which makes him a badass villain. However, Owen Shaw has a brother who is fighting for family and we meet him during the so-called after-end credit scene of the sixth film.
Jason Statham – Deckard Shaw
As mentioned above, we meet Deckard Shaw in the sixth installment of the franchise. The only thing we know at that point is that the man we see is the big bad brother of Owen Shaw, and he is out for revenge on Dom and his team. Many people – at least I – went crazy at the sight of Jason Statham, but unfortunately we had to wait another year for more of his character. In Furious 7, which is in stores this week, there will be a conflict between Deckard Shaw and Dom. The latter will obviously get help from his crew and his many cars.
These eleven characters – all of them written by Gary Scott Thompson – have all contributed to the success of this action-packed film series. They have been through a lot and form a true family who support each other through thick and thin. probably also offscreen. The villains Owen and Deckard Shaw let the team work together in ways they never envisioned. But because of them, this team is growing closer together with every thing they do. Besides these characters there are of course more actors who helped making the films succesful. Tomorrow we go more than ten years back in time and we will discuss the first two films: The Fast and the Furious 2001, and 2 Fast 2 Furious from 2003!