When she isn’t being a “weapon of mass destruction” in a Robert Rodriguez VR series or committing heists for director Steve McQueen, Dominican-Puerto Rican actress Michelle Rodriguez is fighting to get more women in the filmmaking industry.
Rodriguez has been vocal about the need for more women, specifically women of color, to be at the forefront of directing and screenwriting and she’s taken that mentality to her dude-centric Fast and Furious franchise. On Thursday, Rodriguez spoke at the Bloomberg Future of Equality Summit in London about the ninth installment of the popular car-based series. As reported by Bloomberg, Rodriguez’s return as Letty Ortiz was contingent on the inclusion of a female screenwriter.
The actress brought up Fast and Furious’ lack of women in key power positions before, most memorably in a 2017 Instagram post wherein she posted a photo of her with cast and crew hinting that she was quitting. In her post she says, “I hope they [the series] decide to show some love to the women of the franchise…or I just might have to say goodbye.”
Rodriguez has a point. The series has often fallen into the trap of making women sex objects, with Letty being the only one with an arc that’s developed from the franchise’s beginning in 2001. Interestingly, there’s no name for this “female writer” in the original article and the IMDB page for Fast & Furious 9 gives screenwriting credit to Daniel Casey. Odds are if a female writer is being commissioned it’ll be for punching up dialogue or rewrites.
Watch an excerpt of the interview below.
Fast & Furious 9 hits theaters on May 22, 2020.