It’s a storybook courtship that has played out in public. In March, Helen Mirren professed her love and professional admiration for Vin Diesel while lobbying for a role in the Fast and Furious franchise. On Tuesday, Diesel echoed that respect, saying he loved her, and answering a question about whether he’d bring her on board by saying, “Of course I would! Who wouldn’t. It’s Helen. Amazing. Tell her I said so.”
Mirren wants in. Diesel wants her in. Obviously this needs to happen. Someone at CAA needs to call…someone else at CAA. How about that? Diesel and Mirren are repped by the same agency. They won’t even need to leave the building.
Normally we’ve shied away from Actor-Wants-to-Do-Role-X stories because they’re thinner than whispers and never amount to anything, but this one feels different in all the best ways. For one, Mirren wasn’t prompted in her interview with an asinine question about what Marvel movie she’d want to do or whether she’d play an alien in Star Wars. She was asked about finding good roles, commented on the positive momentum of interesting parts for young actresses, and then expanded by making her unsolicited sales pitch as a car-loving Top Gear and RED alum.
Granted, Diesel being asked about it while opening a theme park ride puts him on the spot to be nothing but positive, but would any sane human being need to fake enthusiasm for Mirren joining a project?
All we know about Furious 8 is that Jason Statham is returning in his role as Deckard Shaw (and Diesel and Johnson will be back, of course), so maybe Mirren doesn’t fit into the vision of the the next film (since they have both 8 and 9 seemingly mapped), and that’s a fair road block. If the die has already been cast, it’s understandable that she wouldn’t be.
On the other hand, Diesel and fellow producer Neil Moritz now have an Oscar-winning powerhouse loudly proclaiming that she’s ready to be handed an Uzi and a gear shift for the cause. They’d be fools not to have a dozen meetings about it as soon as Diesel finishes cutting ribbons. If the current script doesn’t quite work right for her, they should consider making it work.
Plus, on the sidelines, as Mad Max: Fury Road has proven how awesome boomin’ grannies can be, this is the perfect timing for a sexagenarian woman to threaten the Toretto Family’s world.
The Shaw brothers have a mother, right?