The Fast & Furious movies are big deals. They make hundreds of millions of dollars. They have scenes and stunts that require hundreds of cast and crew members. They require an army of VFX artists. Everything has to be perfect to pull off a movie as huge as these, down to the smallest details — even the vroom-vrooms.
During Entertainment Weekly’s Binge podcast, Vin Diesel revealed something I never even imagined about the F&F movies, let alone knew: that the cars mean more than just looking good and driving fast.
“Part of the process of Fast is we’ve always auditioned our cars,” the actor said. “The cars have really been such a significant part and representation of our characters, that there is a process of casting, right? Of casting the exact vehicle for the state of mind that the character is in, or the journey that the character is going through.”
This is a very, very cool idea. I had always just assumed that they just grabbed a handful of incredibly fast, incredibly expensive cars — that car makers were presumably very happy to cut marketing deals for their appearances — and let the actors pick them, much like the characters do in The Fate of the Furious when they’re taken to that warehouse full of vehicles called the Toy Shop. And it’s certainly within the realm of human possibility that Diesel is exaggerating here.
But on the other hand, this is just the sort of overthinking that’s done by overserious Hollywood directors, writers, and actors in movies like these. If someone told me there was a specific casting director for the cars, I’d believe them — and that may actually be true.
Maybe none of the “casting” process shows through on the screen, or maybe since I don’t care about cars (sorry, Jalopnik), I’ve just never perceived how the specific cars they drive mean something before. I suspect the truth lies somewhere between Diesel’s assertion that every car is fully representative of their driver’s character at all times, and that they mean nothing — that the specific cars are meaningful, but only to a degree.
Still, this makes me want to go back and watch the franchise from the beginning, and see what I can parse thanks to this revelation. Admittedly, I was probably going to do that before F9 (out June 17) anyway, but it’ll be more fun to see them with a new perspective.