Fast And Furious’ Michelle Rodriguez Recalls The Wild Way She Found Out Letty Had Come Back From The Dead

Michelle Rodriguez as Letty Ortiz in Fast & Furious 6
(Image credit: Universal Pictures)

Long before Sung Kang’s Han Lue was revealed to be alive after his presumed death was witnessed in The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift, Fast & Furious 6 and Furious 7, it was Michelle Rodriguez’s Letty Ortiz who got the Fast & Furious franchise’s first taste of coming back from the dead. While the opening of 2009’s Fast & Furious saw the character seemingly meeting her demise offscreen, it was teased at the end of Fast Five that wasn’t the case, and she was was fully brought back into play in Fast & Furious 6. Now Rodriguez has shared the wild way she learned that Letty was still among the living.

Ahead of the Fast X trailer’s online debut, Michelle Rodriguez attended a special event for the first batch of footage from the penultimate entry in the main Fast & Furious film series. While there (via Insider), the actress shared that she learned she would be returning to the car-centric franchise more than a decade ago while watching Fast Five, as opposed to being given a heads up. As Rodriguez recalled:

I swear to you, I was in Paris, and I roll in to see 'Fast Five,' and that's when I find out on my own. Nobody told me. Nobody gave me a call. Nobody said anything. I watch a tag ending that says, 'Do you believe in ghosts?' I immediately grabbed my phone. I'm in Paris. I'm like, 'Oh, hell no.' I find out by going to the movies, Vin?

So rather than Vin Diesel cluing Michelle Rodriguez in that Letty Ortiz’s time in the Fast & Furious world wasn’t done, she learned this news in a regular screening with the rest of the general public. For those in need of a refresher, while Fast & Furious, the 2009 movie that brought Vin Diesel’s Dominic Toretto and Paul Walker’s Brian O’Conner back together for the first time since The Fast and the Furious in 2001, originally had Letty Ortiz dying at the hands of Fenix Calderon, the righthand man of lead antagonist Arturo Braga (a.k.a. Ramon Campos), Fast Five’s post-credits scenes had Eva Mendes’ Monic Campos, who was first seen in 2 Fast 2 Furious, visiting Dwayne Johnson’s Luke Hobbs to share that Letty had been photographed at a recent military convoy attack in Berlin, thus teasing her involvement in Fast & Furious 6.

While this makes for an amusing story for Michelle Rodriguez to tell, I can’t help but wonder what would have happened if she’d decided that despite that tease, she wasn’t interested in returning to the Fast & Furious franchise (she has had complaints, after all). Would Letty Ortiz simply have been killed offscreen again, or would Vin Diesel and the franchise’s other producers have simply come up with a reason for Letty’s continued absence until they could convince Rodriguez to come back aboard for Furious 7? Fortunately for fans, this didn’t happen, and Letty’s been a mainstay in the Fast & Furious world ever since her grand return in Fast & Furious 6.

However, it took a little longer for Letty Ortiz to go back to being a good guy, as her near-death experience resulted in her being an amnesiac for years and joining up with Owen Shaw’s crew. Dominic Toretto was able to persuade Letty to come back to his side, but it wasn’t until the end of Furious 7 that all of her memories returned, as she finally recalled that she and Dom and married prior to the events of Fast & Furious. Since then, she and Dom have been through thick and thin together, and they’ll be called back into action once more for Fast X. This movie sees Jason Momoa’s Dante Reyes, who also has a special connection to Fast Five, causing all kinds of trouble, including kidnapping Dom and Letty’s son Brian Marcos, who’s now being played by Leo Abelo Perry.

Fast X arrives in theaters on May 19, but make sure you’ve streamed F9 with an HBO Max subscription beforehand so you’re properly caught up. You’re also welcome to look through the lineup of other 2023 new movie releases to see what else catches your eye.

Adam Holmes
Senior Content Producer

Connoisseur of Marvel, DC, Star Wars, John Wick, MonsterVerse and Doctor Who lore, Adam is a Senior Content Producer at CinemaBlend. He started working for the site back in late 2014 writing exclusively comic book movie and TV-related articles, and along with branching out into other genres, he also made the jump to editing. Along with his writing and editing duties, as well as interviewing creative talent from time to time, he also oversees the assignment of movie-related features. He graduated from the University of Oregon with a degree in Journalism, and he’s been sourced numerous times on Wikipedia. He's aware he looks like Harry Potter and Clark Kent.