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Dame Helen Mirren has received numerous accolades in her fifty years in front of the camera. However, what may prove to be the most exceptional aspect of her long and storied career is the fact that, as she prepares for her 70th birthday this July, the venerable actress has aims at becoming a legitimate action star. How do we know this? Because it is evidently her dream to play a villainess in the Fast & Furious film series. Yes, you read that correctly.
In an interview that Mirren did with Yahoo News, the topic shifted to the film industry’s current trend of genre tentpole films, and it was then that the acclaimed actress interjected that she had one franchise in mind that she’d like to join (specifically to "come along and play the baddie.") As Mirren said,
My great ambition is to be in a Fast and Furious movie. I so want to be a mad driver in a Fast and Furious movie. My claim to fame is I always do my own driving — I was on Top Gear, and I did [my lap] in a very good time. I keep putting it out there, and they never ask me. I’ll be in Fast and Furious 8. I have to say Vin Diesel is brilliant. I love Vin Diesel. He’s a great guy, smart — I love him. It’s partly because of him I’d like to be in one, but also the driving. I’d also love to do another Red-type movie, because those are such fun to do.
Despite the fact that only a small percentage of the films in Mirren’s vast career could be considered proper action movies, her turn as the retired former-sultry assassin Victoria in 2010’s RED - along with its 2013 sequel - served to redefine her genre range. Not only did she look amazing, but she carried herself with a believable gravitas as a legitimate lethal badass. Based on her aspirations to jump into the high-speed, balls-to-walls world of the Fast and Furious films, the action bug seems to be a late career turn that she’s not yet looking past. In fact, such a role in what would prospectively be a the EIGHTH film in the series could ramp up the intensity while blowing everyone’s minds.
As she mentioned in the interview, Mirren’s aspirations for being in the Fast and Furious film franchise may seem like a lark, but it turns out that she has some familiarity with car culture. Plus, as she mentions in the interview, she even took what she revealed to host, Jeremy Clarkson as a "terrifying, nerve-wracking, adrenaline-pumping, sweat-making" high speed lap on a 2008 episode of the BBC’s Top Gear; an experience she would encapsulate with the deceptively dainty word, "fabulous."
So, could Mirren pull off an over-the-top, action-packed role in the prospective Fast and Furious 8? I certainly don’t see why not. Utilizing the bodacious badassery she exhibited in the RED films, along with her apparent skills as a high-speed driver, she could certainly carry herself in any role, whether it be hero or villain. In fact, seeing as the eight film would be going into things without its main star in the late Paul Walker, it would help to bring something as radically different to the table as a role for Helen Mirren certainly would be perceived.
In the meantime, you can get your next fix of the car-driven franchise when Furious 7 gets set to blow stuff up and practically break the sound barrier with muscle-car-mayhem and other assorted things on April 3rd.