Why Michelle Rodriguez Almost Quit The Fast And The Furious

Michelle Rodriguez

Michelle Rodriguez has been part of the Fast & Furious franchise since its inception. Playing Leticia "Letty" Ortiz (later Ortiz-Toretto), she started off as a minor player in 2001's The Fast and the Furious, but since 2009's Fast & Furious, she's been an integral player in nearly all the other movies. However, had things gone differently, Rodriguez wouldn't have had any future with the series, as she nearly walked out of the first movie due to her problems with Letty's arc. The actress said:

It was more of a Point Break idea. They just followed the format without thinking about the reality of it. Is it realistic for a Latin girl who's with the alpha-est of the alpha males to cheat on him with the cute boy? I had to put my foot down. 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?!

During an interview with The Daily Beast, Michelle Rodriguez explained how she original didn't pay much attention to The Fast and the Furious' script, as she figured if there was a problem, she could talk to the director, like she did with her earlier movie, Girlfight. However, she sound learned it didn't work that way in major Hollywood productions, and when she grew concerned about Lety Ortiz looking like a "slut" in that initial story. She threatened to walk away, but Vin Diesel, who played her boyfriend/future husband Dominic Toretto, pulled her aside and assured her that he'd have her back, saying he would handle this issue, admitting that this plot point also made his character look back. Whatever he ended up doing, it put Rodriguez's fears to rest, and she's stuck with the franchise ever since following its informal relaunch with Fast & Furious, which saw her, Vin Diesel and the rest of the "old gang" reunite.

Leticia Ortiz was part of the main crew in The Fast and the Furious, her talents including racing and being a skilled mechanic. Despite returning with the rest of her cohorts in Fast & Furious, she was shockingly killed off by the end of that story...well, that's how it looked at first. At the end of Fast Five, it was revealed that her death had been faked, and she became a double agent for the government so she could clear Dominic Toretto's name. By Fast & Furious 6, she had been struck with amnesia and was now part of a mercenary gang, but she has since reunited with Dom and regained her memories during Furious 7. Things may not have gone entirely as Michelle Rodriguez wanted initially during the first movie, but now she's one of the franchises's most integral characters, so thankfully it all worked out in the end.

Michelle Rodriguez will reprise Leticia Ortiz next in Fast 8, which hits theaters on April 14, 2017.

Adam Holmes
Senior Content Producer

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