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F9's Helen Mirren Recalls When She ‘Begged’ Vin Diesel To Bring Her Into The Fast And Furious Movies

Helen Mirren driving with Vin Diesel in F9
(Image credit: Universal Pictures)

After getting some action movie experience under her belt with the RED movies, Helen Mirren expanded this corner of her acting career by joining the Fast & Furious franchise. She debuted as Magdalene “Queenie” Shaw in The Fate of the Furious, and reprised the role in Hobbs & Shaw and last year’s F9. While Vin Diesel said back in 2017 that Mirren asked him if she could appear in the Fast & Furious movies, the actress has admitted that it was actually a matter of her begging to get in on this brand of blockbuster entertainment.

Back in early 2015, Helen Mirren said that it was her “great ambition” to be in a Fast & Furious movie, and a few months later, Vin Diesel said he’d be game to bring her aboard. Eventually the two actors met at a party, and here’s how the encounter unfolded, per Mirren’s words to THR:

I didn’t ask, I begged! I think I was at some function, and he was there, and I got introduced to him. And I was shameless: ‘Oh God, I’d just love to be in one of your movies! Please let me be in it.’ And then Vin, with that beautiful, deep voice of his, said: ‘I’ll see what I can do.’ And he did it for me. He found this great little role for me, which was perfect. I’d just never done anything like that before — one of those big, big movies. And, in my vanity, I just loved driving and really wanted to do my own driving in a fast car.

Helen Mirren took her shot when she ran into Vin Diesel out in the world, and it paid off for her. Granted, Mirren had initially expressed interest in playing a villain in the Fast & Furious franchise, and while Queenie Goldstein is usually on the wrong side of the law, she’s chiefly been an ally to Dominic Toretto so far and, of course, is concerned about the well-being of her children: Jason Statham’s Deckard, Vanessa Kirby’s Hattie and Luke Evans’ Owen. That shift in characterization aside, Mirren is clearly having a blast appearing in the Fast & Furious movies, especially since F9 finally gave her the opportunity to do some sleek driving.

Queenie Goldstein entered the Fate of the Furious picture when Vin Diesel requested her help with rescuing his son from Charlize Theron’s Cipher in exchange for getting her sons being freed from government custody. We reunited with Queenie in Hobbs & Shaw, where she was incarcerated for an undisclosed crime, and after a few failed escape attempts, the spinoff ended with the tease that Deckard and Hattie would help break her out of prison. Sure enough, F9 saw Queenie back to her old tricks in London, and Dominic sought her out for the location of his brother, John Cena’s Jakob Toretto.

With two more main Fast & Furious movies left and Hobbs & Shaw 2 in development, it’s likely we’ll see Helen Mirren in this franchise again. The latter spinoff is the best bet for her next appearance given that Deckard Shaw is front and center there alongside Dwayne Johnson’s Luke Hobbs. Still, as we saw in F9, it’s easy enough to throw Queenie into the mix even when her children aren’t involved in the story (though that movie’s end-credits scene did tease that Deckard might be back for Fast & Furious 10). If/when it’s officially announced when Mirren will be back for another round of car-centric action, we’ll pass along that news.

Fast & Furious 10 is slated for May 19, 2023, and whether she shows up there or not, Helen Mirren will enter the superhero movie genre a few weeks later by playing Hespera in Shazam! Fury of the Gods. Those who have their eyes on 2022’s cinematic entertainment should look through the lineup of upcoming movies to figure out what sounds appealing.

Adam Holmes
Adam Holmes

Connoisseur of Marvel, DC, Star Wars, John Wick, MonsterVerse and Doctor Who lore. He's aware he looks like Harry Potter and Clark Kent.