Today marks the release of The Fate of the Furious on Digital HD and also a serious crossroads for the franchise.
Michelle Rodriguez has starred as Letty Ortiz, the badass and hardcore love interest of Vin Diesel’s Dominic Toretto, in six Fast & Furious films. On Tuesday, however, the actress revealed that she is ready to walk away from her biggest Hollywood role if the franchise does not up its game in its treatment of female characters.
“F8 is out digitally today, I hope they decide to show some love to the women of the franchise on the next one,” she wrote, along with pictures of her with Diesel and costar Nathalie Emmanuel. “Or I just might have to say goodbye to a loved franchise. It’s been a good ride & Im grateful for the opportunity the fans & studio have provided over the years… One Love.”
The Fast & Furious movies have always been dominated by the male characters and as we’ve seen with this summer’s Wonder Woman, audiences are more than willing to support a female ass kicker on screen. With the late Paul Walker being written into retirement after his November 2013 fatal car crash and Jordana Brewster skipping the last movie, Rodriguez and Diesel are the only original cast members left. While Rodriguez isn’t exactly a household name or box office draw, her departure would hurt the series.
Yes, the franchise has added more women like Gal Gadot, Charlize Theron and Helen Mirren. But their presence hasn’t exactly translated into substance.
“I’ve been making movies with Jordana, who plays the sister of Dom Toretto, for 16 years and I can count on one hand how many lines I’ve had to her,” she told EW. “I think that’s pathetic and it’s lack of creativity.”
Rodriguez continued by expressing her frustration with both the female status in Fast & Furious and in Hollywood action films in general.
“It does weigh heavy on my head — especially in the male-dominated environment that I work in,” she said. “At the end of the day, the only leverage I have as an individual is my participation. That’s the only leverage I ever use with anything. It’s like, look, this doesn’t agree with my ethics, morals. My heart doesn’t feel right doing this in front of millions of people, so I can always oblige myself and depart because money, to me, isn’t as important as my lines that you’re not allowed to cross.”
Your move, Universal Pictures.