Way back in March of 2015, actress Helen Mirren expressed a desire to be in a Fast & Furious movie. That comment eventually made it to the ears of Vin Diesel, and Mirren's wish came true when she was introduced as Magdalene Shaw, the mother of Owen and Deckard Shaw, a pair of villains from previous entries in the series. However, there was one significant problem. The reason that Mirren wanted to be in a Fast & Furious movie was so she could drive fast cars and her role in The Fate of the Furious did not give her that option.
Luckily that little issue is being rectified in F9, and nobody is more thrilled than Helen Mirren herself. We've already seen in the F9 trailers that Queenie will get her turn behind the wheel. Mirren recently spoke to ET about her chance to finally drive in the Fast & Furious franchise, and it really sounds like doing it was everything Mirren had been hoping for. She says...
I finally did it, yes! And what a car! And what a drive, down The Mall in London! It was the coolest thing ever. But with Vin next to [me]! Driving him, I mean, that was fantastic! And I do actually know how to do a double declutch. And an amazing car. It was a dream. It was fantastic.
Helen Mirren has practically become an old hand at the Fast & Furious franchise at this point. After appearing in The Fate of the Furious she also appeared in spinoff Hobbs & Shaw. She is, as far as we know, the biggest name from that movie to move back to the main franchise. But in neither of her previous movies was she actually able to do the thing that the franchise is best known for: driving cars really fast. And it's clear just how much Helen Mirren loves driving, and was apparently quite good at it. She says she already knew how to double declutch. I don't even know what that means, much less how to do it.
At the end of the spinoff Mirren's character was broken out of prison, and so it would seem that's where we find her in F9. In the last two films her role was little more than a cameo and while her fast driving here certainly makes her role look more significant, it's hard to tell if that will actually translate into a great deal more screen time.
Not that such things necessarily matter. Helen Mirren clearly had a great time here and is very happy to have had the chance to be part of a real action scene in the new Fast & Furious movie. We'll all get a chance to see her in action when F9 hits screens in June.