Helen Mirren plays Shaw matriarch Magdelene in the Fast & Furious franchise
Helen Mirren is finally living out her dream. The Oscar winner, 75, fulfilled her goal of starring in two previous Fast & Furious movies as the Shaw matriarch Magdalene, but the role didn’t have her sitting behind the wheel. That changes in F9, when Mirren finally gets to drive one of the cars. “I finally did it, yes!” she said to Entertainment Tonight. “And what a car! And what a drive, down The Mall in London! It was the coolest thing ever. But with Vin [Diesel[ next to [me]! Driving him, I mean, that was fantastic! And I do actually know how to do a double declutch. And an amazing car. It was a dream. It was fantastic.”
Back in 2017, Mirren made her goal of getting behind the wheel clear. “I’d love to come back. But, guys, I want to drive next time,” Mirren told Entertainment Weekly, PEOPLE, and InStyle at the Toronto International Film Festival. As Mirren previously explained in an interview with BuzzFeed, she practically begged to be included in the film because she was such a fan of the series. “I almost went down on my knees. Not quite. But I went down on my metaphorical knees to Vin [Diesel] and to everyone,” Mirren said at the time. “I always… I just wanted to be in one of those movies.” Speaking to EW about the women of the Fast & Furious franchise, Mirren said one of the things she always loved about the film series is the sense of familial bond.
“I think that’s one of the reasons they’re popular films, because that is the one element that everybody all over the world can identify with simply, easily, and directly, so it’s great to see this other level being brought in with the different generations of the family, the fact that family actually goes on through many generations over long periods of time,” she said. “I thought that that was a nice thing to introduce into the storyline.”