She was initially excited to learn about the storyline until disappointment faced her.
Michelle Rodriguez, who is best known for playing Letty Ortiz in the “The Fast and the Furious” film series, came dangerously close to quitting the popular show over a difference of opinion on the plot of her character.
The actress, whose career took off as a result of the franchise’s popularity, admitted that she had strong feelings against a storyline twist in which Letty cheated on Dominic Toretto (played by Vin Diesel) by sleeping with Brian O’Conner (played by the late Paul Walker), creating a love triangle.
Rodriguez’s emotional response put her involvement in the movie series in jeopardy. In a 2017 interview with the Daily Beast, she said, “I basically cried and said, I’m going to quit and, ‘Don’t sue me, please — I’m sorry, but I can’t do this in front of millions of people.’ My whole point in being an actress is that I thought I got to live a dream. And I don’t dream about being a slut! Do you?!”
Thankfully, Rodriguez had Diesel’s support, and he immediately helped her. “Vin was the first one to pull me to the side while I was crying, and he just looked at me and said, ‘I got your back. Chill out and let me handle this, and you’re right — it makes me look bad anyway.’ And there you go. That was the beginning of the Letty fairytale,” she recalled.
The “Fast and the Furious” franchise faced another significant challenge when Paul Walker tragically passed away in 2013. Universal Studios, the cast, and the crew briefly suspended filming on “Furious 7,” the seventh installment in the franchise, to allow for mourning and reorganization.
After a period of four months, the decision was taken to restart production in Walker’s honor. With the help of Walker’s brothers, Caleb and Cody, the movie’s conclusion was revised in memory of the late actor.
The franchise’s screenplay has also undergone changes over the years to solve issues and preserve realism. In the first movie, there was an opening sequence when criminals attacked a truck carrying electronics with the intention of taking the driver down with a shotgun.
However, the weapon was altered to a tranquilizer rifle because the cast and crew were concerned about reinforcing unfavorable preconceptions about the racing community.
With multiple sequels, a TV series, computer games, live performances, and even theme park attractions, “The Fast & Furious” franchise has had immense success. This success may be attributed to the actors and crew’s willingness to speak out when it was required and to the attentive writers and directors who considered their suggestions.