Fast and Furious 9 has set the box office ablaze, and star Michelle Rodriguez has even responded to the film breaking pandemic era records. The new installment of the Fast Saga brings back beloved a character in the form of Han Lue and gives fans generally what they hoped for from the franchise, dialed up another notch. Vin Diesel, the man who has been behind the wheel on-screen and off, has been playing Dom Toretto for 20 years, and he recently spoke about playing the role for so long, also touching on one big thing his father pointed out to him.
Playing one character for two decades is almost unheard of in movies. Vin Diesel has been present from the Fast franchise’s inception to what it has evolved into today, becoming one in many ways with his character Dominic Toretto. Vin Diesel spoke to Fox 5's Kevin McCarthy about playing Dom for 20 years and the interesting point his father made about his career, saying:
My father was an acting teacher when I was seven years old and we’d always have thespians over for dinner. And he’d said to me when Fate of the Furious came out, he said, ‘You know, something that none of my actor friends ever imagined would be playing a character for 20 years on the big screen.’ What that would be like? How that character would evolve because it would have to because of your own life. This film is very much about fatherhood and it’s no coincidence that when I did the first movie that you saw, I wasn’t a father and now, 20 years later I am a father.
Vin Diesel revealed that his father, who was an acting teacher, remarked on the unique nature of playing the same character for 20 years. Vin Diesel said his father pointed out how the character would evolve and change because Vin’s life has evolved and changed. Vin Diesel went on to say that he wasn’t a father 20 years ago when everything started, and now one of the major themes of the 9th film is fatherhood and the relationship between father and son.
The Fast and Furious has always been about family, but that family has grown and matured in ways you would expect over a 20 year period. The things Vin Diesel values and holds dear now have clearly had an effect on his approach to Dom Toretto and how the message of the Fast films. Vin Diesel adds the connection his on-screen persona has with his children, saying:
Some of those lines… there are exchanges with my kid onscreen that come directly from my real life… they cross over, Dom and my real life.
Vin Diesel explained that the role of Dom Toretto has crossed over into his real life and that the messages and exchanges with his son on-screen come from his real life as well. Outside of the insane action set pieces and intense car chases that get bigger and better every movie, the thought and care Vin Diesel has put into the Fast franchise is apparent, even as the franchise begins the process of wrapping on the original movies.
The upcoming Fast 11 may be Vin Diesel’s last appearance in the franchise, but he has said “nothing is off the table,” so the end of the main Fast Saga may or may not be it for Dom Toretto. For me, F9 delivers everything the franchise is known for and raises the bar yet again, but it raises plenty of questions that need answering in Fast 10. F9’s ending sets up the final two entries of the Fast Saga, and I can't wait to see how everything comes together in the end and how the family beats the odds yet again.