After months of discussion, Helen Mirren has finally confirmed her casting in the upcoming eighth film in the Fast and the Furious franchise.
“I want to be making film and theater, but film is particularly relevant. I like it to be serious. Of course, having said that I’m about to do Fast and Furious 8,” the 70-year old said during a recent interview with Elle. “But that’s for the fun of it. So maybe that’s what I want as well, some fun and some relevant, serious, important movies.”
When asked if she was definitely on-board the upcoming action sequel, currently in production with director F. Gary Gray (Straight Outta Compton), and returning actors Dwayne Johnson, Vin Diesel, and Michelle Rodriguez, plus new Charlize Theron, Mirren responded with certainty. “Yes, I am,” she said. Indeed, sources close to the production confirmed to EW that Mirren will costar.
Mirren further elaborated on her decision to join the project: “I’ve always rather loved driving. I said, ‘I’ll be in it, but only if I’m allowed to drive if I do drive in it.’ But we’ll see. We’ll see how it transpires,” the Oscar-winning London native said. “I love big, fun movies–as long as they’re well made and they’ve got good scripts. That’s the most important thing.”
The U.K. actress hinted at appearing in the film as far back as a March 2015 conversation with Yahoo! Movies. “My great ambition is to be in a Fast and Furious movie. I so want to be a mad driver in a Fast and Furious movie. My claim to fame is I always do my own driving — I was on Top Gear, and I did [my lap] in a very good time. I keep putting it out there, and they never ask me. I’ll be in Fast and Furious 8,” she teased. “I have to say Vin Diesel is brilliant. I love Vin Diesel. He’s a great guy, smart — I love him. It’s partly because of him I’d like to be in one, but also the driving.”
Diesel also previously baited Mirren’s involvement on Fast 8 in an interview with MTV News. “I think everyone should do the franchise,” he said. “They’ve gotta get in line behind Helen Mirren. She is on the list. Be careful what you wish for, Helen.”
Fast 8 drives into theaters April 14, 2017.
This post has been updated.