Film

Michelle Rodriguez Has Threatened To Quit ‘The Fast And Furious’

"They think that girls just sit around talking about guys and it’s a sad truth of men being the dominant writers in Hollywood."

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The Fast and the Furious franchise is undeniably one of the greatest works of art in modern cultural history. Over the course of eight films the series has evolved from sheer dumb fun to sheer dumb fun with a heartfelt message about family, love and loss.

But, unfortunately, the films still reflect many of the structural problems plaguing Hollywood, including around the representation of women. The most recent film, The Fate of the Furious featured a stack of A-list women actors, including Michelle Rodriguez, Charlize Theron, Jordana Brewster, Helen Mirren and Nathalie Emmanuel, but was criticised for how they were portrayed on screen.

Rodriguez, who has been part of the series since the first film was released in 2001, recently disparaged the way the franchise treated women, saying “Now, having girls run around and do a bunch of really cool stuff, that’s great, it’s wonderful, but we never talk to each other. It’s very rare that they even look at each other.

“I’ve been making movies with Jordana, who plays the sister of Dom Toretto, for 16 years and I can count on one hand how many lines I’ve had to her. I think that’s pathetic and it’s lack of creativity. Guys don’t know what girls talk about. They think that girls just sit around talking about guys and it’s a sad truth of men being the dominant writers in Hollywood.”

Mirren echoed those comments: “More [women], with bigger, longer scenes, with a more direct, intrinsic story. It’s something that I’ve been battling with my whole life… That is what I would ask of feature films in general, let alone Fast and the Furious.”

Yesterday, to mark the digital release of The Fate of the Furious, Rodriguez posted a message on Instagram suggested that she would leave the franchise unless it started taking women’s roles more seriously.

“I hope they decide to show some love to the women of the franchise on the next one,” she wrote. “Or I just might have to say goodbye to a loved franchise. It’s been a good ride and I’m grateful for the opportunity the fans and [the] studio have provided over the years… One Love.”

Rodriguez is absolutely one of the best parts of the franchise, and it was pretty disappointing that her character was relegated to a relatively minor role. Sure, watching Dwayne Johnson and Jason Statham beat the shit out of each other is fun, but the series needs to keep things fresh.

And now that they’ve built up a stable of great women actors, it seems like an obvious way to help the series stand apart from other action blockbusters.