By Derek Lawrence
June 11, 2021 at 09:00 AM EDT
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"Furious 7 was beautiful, inspirational, and painful."

That is how Tyrese Gibson describes the seventh entry in the Fast & Furious franchise, which grossed more than $1.5 billion at the worldwide box office upon its release in 2015. But the film will always be most remembered by the tragic circumstances surrounding it.

"I have more bad memories than good, because all of the fun and all of the magic that we had going before Paul Walker's untimely death, the trauma of losing him superseded all of that," Gibson tells hosts Derek Lawrence and Chanelle Berlin Johnson on the latest episode of EW's BINGE: The Fast Saga. "Once Furious 7 came out, it was hard to watch. So I definitely don't have that one on repeat."

2 FAST 2 FURIOUS, Tyrese Gibson, Paul Walker, 2003, (c) Universal/courtesy Everett Collection
Tyrese Gibson and Paul Walker in '2 Fast, 2 Furious'
| Credit: Everett Collection

Gibson and Walker's relationship began over a decade earlier, when The Fast and the Furious star Vin Diesel and director Rob Cohen decided not to return for 2003's 2 Fast 2 Furious; so the Baby Boy team of Gibson and Oscar-nominated filmmaker John Singleton stepped in. "I got blessed by default," the actor admits. "I said, 'Man, I'll do this s--- for per diem!"

Once Gibson signed on as Brian's (Walker) wise-cracking (and always-hungry) childhood best friend Roman Pearce, he says the duo were fast friends and confidantes. "Paul really felt vulnerable after making the decision to proceed without Vin," shares Gibson. "I remember John kept saying to me, 'I'm going to do whatever it takes to make Paul feel safe. It's really going to feel like a two-hander; it's never going to feel like it's about you or it's just about him.' Everything about us and our banter and our true collaboration with 2 Fast, it was a plan that we came up with, like, I don't want to upstage you, you're not on a mission to upstage me. This s--- is really about us saying, some way, somehow, there's a sequel to this thing, and how about we just do the best we can to make it great? Now, the movie might come out and bomb because they wanted to see Vin and Paul and not my Black ass, but, ultimately, we came into it and said, 'Bro, I got you.'"

Unlike someone joining the franchise now, where they'd have eight films of homework to catch up on, Gibson only had one - and yet, he says he purposefully didn't watch The Fast and the Furious. Starring in 2 Fast was set to only be the second major role for the singer-turned-actor, and he wanted to make sure he wasn't "trying to tap into whatever [Diesel] had done," which is why they veered into humor with Roman. And still, Gibson believes it was a "fight" to find his place once the original stars began reuniting.

"If Vin ever does it again, if you become this carbon copy of Vin, then Vin is going to be like, 'Well, why would I ever want to do a movie with a dude who basically came in with deep voices and just all of the things that kind of represent the blueprint of Diesel?'" explains Gibson of the original thinking behind the character. "Paul knew that there was a bit of an obstacle that we had to get through in order for us to all band together for Fast Five. I mean, I get emotional when I think about this guy; for damn near three movies, he kept begging and pleading and trying to talk to the studio and directors and Vin, 'Yo, we got to get Tyrese back.' I finally came back for Five, and it was a fight, man. I think there was some type of spoken but yet unspoken tension in and around Roman Pearce and where do I fit in? And I think after hanging out with a Vin a few times before we did Five, he realized quickly that I'm more of an asset and there's way more upside to what I'm bringing to the franchise over it ever even remotely being considered competition or anything that anybody should be worried about."

Fast Five
Paul Walker, Tyrese Gibson, Vin Diesel, and Sung Kang in 'Fast Five'
| Credit: Jaimie Trueblood/Universal

Fast Five was the Avengers before the Avengers, uniting stars from every Fast movie, including Diesel, Walker, Gibson, Michelle Rodriguez, Jordan Brewster, Chris "Ludacris" Bridges, Sung Kang, and Gal Gadot. The extended family would become a well-oiled machine, every two years churning out a new blockbuster that somehow topped the previous. That is until tragedy struck on Nov. 30, 2013. During a break from filming Furious 7, Walker was leaving an event for his charity when the car he was a passenger in crashed, killing him and the driver. Production was immediately put on an indefinite hold as the cast mourned their brother - and wondered if they even wanted to finish.

"The first thing all of us were struggling with was, 'What the hell are we doing here? What's Fast & Furious without Paul?'" recalls Gibson. "And are we going to come off as just a bunch of narcissists that's moving and proceeding and deciding what Paul meant to the franchise, and going to say, 'We're moving forward anyway.' So we had to become each other's therapists. Because if you lose someone and you put it up on social media or the word gets out that you lost someone, you don't want to hear from everybody - you want to hear from the people that knew him the most. So we made sure that we were there for each other in a real way. "

Furious 7 was eventually completed, ending with an emotional goodbye tribute to both Walker and his character, Brian. Director James Wan's film is still the highest-grossing and best-reviewed Fast installment.

"Seven is special because we were saying goodbye to somebody we love who was there from the jump," says Michelle Rodriguez on the second Furious 7 episode of EW's BINGE: The Fast Saga. "And if anybody can express the enthusiasm of what Fast & Furious means to the world, it was Paul. It was his homage, and I think that it was just a really, really beautiful film. For me, it's special and it hits home just because of that. That supersedes anything about the movie itself, the action or the plot or any of that. None of that really matters - it's a goodbye to Paul. And I couldn't have imagined a better goodbye."

While Walker has been gone for almost eight years, the most recent F9 trailer hints at him still being a presence in the Fast universe. In addition to a possible Brian inclusion, returning director Justin Lin is bringing out all the stops for what he's deemed the best Fast film yet, from outer space to Dom's long-lost brother (John Cena). But Gibson also promises something maybe more unexpected.

"There's going to be a level of maturity for F9 that people have never experienced," he teases. "Justin Lin is a monster with doing what it is that he do, but there's just going to be a lot of stuff from our characters and our maturity and our vulnerabilities that people have never seen before."

F9, Fast 9
Chris 'Ludacris' Bridges and Tyrese Gibson in 'F9'
| Credit: Giles Keyte/Universal

For more Furious 7, head over to the other half of BINGE's special two-part episode with Michelle Rodriguez.

To listen, subscribe to EW's BINGE: The Fast Saga feed via Apple PodcastsSpotify, or wherever you get your podcasts. You can also subscribe to EW's YouTube page to catch all the video interviews, and stay tuned to EW.com for even more Fast coverage, including next week's episode with Nathalie Emmanuel talking The Fate of the Furious.

FULL EPISODE TRANSCRIPT

Tyrese Gibson:

Here's the thing, the intention was always to say that if Vin ever does it again, if you become this carbon copy of Vin, then Vin is going to be like, "Well, why would I ever want to do a movie with a dude who basically came in with deep voices and just all of the things that kind of represent the blueprint of Diesel." And so when we ended up doing Fast Five and we all came back together for the first time, Vin quickly, on the first day of filming, realized that the Roman Pearce energy is a contributor to the franchise versus you stepped in to replace me, and now I don't know how to exist with you.

Roman:

Can somebody just walked me through what we supposed to be doing tomorrow.

Brian:

Come on Rome, this was your plan and you got to embrace it.

Roman:

No, this was not my plan.

Tej:

Roman, you need some fresh air? Because you about to get a whole of it.

Derek Lawrence:

Ask any podcaster, any real podcaster, it doesn't matter if you record in-person or over video chat, podcasting is podcasting. Welcome back to EW's BINGE of The Fast Saga, full transcripts of which are available on ew.com. I'm Derek Lawrence, aka the guy who went is Dominic Toretto for two straight Halloweens. As that icon once said, "The most important thing in life will always be the people in this zoo right here right now.' And for me, that's the Dom to my Brian, the Letty to my Mia, the Roman to my Tej, the Giselle to my Han, Chanelle Berlin Johnson. Chanelle Furious 7, part two. Are you ready?

Chanelle Berlin Johnson:

I'm so already. We've already had a lot of emotions getting to talk through it with Michelle, but we got even more on deck y'all. So take a breath, we got to dive back in.

Derek Lawrence:

Yes. As Chanelle mentioned, so on part one of our Furious 7, I guess, duo episodes, we had Michelle Rodriguez, Letty herself. Oh she was so incredible. If there's one interview of these that I would recommend going and watching the actual video of it would be of the Michelle chat. She was just moving all around, getting so excited. She did a Thor pose, kind of, at one point. She was just such incredible, as good as you could hope for and as you would imagine, Michelle Rodriguez would be. So definitely go check that one out.

But here, you are about to listen to Tyrese Gibson, Roman Pierce himself. Obviously, someone who's been with this franchise since 2 Fast, and has been through it all. And obviously, we're going to talk a lot about his relationship with Paul Walker, going back to 2 Fast, since Furious 7 there's so many things about this movie, we love it for so many reasons, but it's really because of its significance in saying goodbye to Paul and to the character of Brian O'Conner. So that came up on the Michel episode, it's going to come up a lot here in this Tyrese episode. But was there anything else Chanelle that you were kind of really excited to talk to Tyrese about?

Chanelle Berlin Johnson:

Just in general. I mean, honestly with both of them, Michelle, huge fan pretty much my entire life almost. She's so badass. It was just a joy to talk to her. And then Tyrese, 2 Fast & Furious was my favorite in the franchise, until Fast Five happened, so to get to talk to the person who was, obviously, a huge part of that, and stepped into this character that's become so important to the energy and the humor of the franchise, was really great. And, yeah, both of them too, just so heartfelt in the way that they talk about Paul Walker. And so that was amazing to be able to share. They don't know us, we're just two people who feel like all these emotions from afar, and for them to share their time and, and their just heartfelt words, it was really nice.

Derek Lawrence:

With both of them, you could feel that emotion, anytime the conversation ended up around Paul and around what happened to him and Furious 7, it was tough. It's tough for us talking about it just as fans, so I can only imagine for them. So we really appreciate them doing so and going to those places that I'm sure aren't easy. So there's a lot of that with Tyrese. But also I was just fascinated, we kind of got the history of Roman really throughout this episode. We talked about his introduction to the world, kind of the struggle, maybe, for him to get back in the series and after 2 Fast, that was fascinating. And then, just the continued evolution of that character. So there's a lot to get into on this Tyrese episode.

So let's do that now, but, again, reminder, go back, check out part one with Michelle. I mean, go back and check out all seven parts before this, we're now on Furious 7, so we've done six movies before this. So there's a lot of content for you to go listen to over on the BINGE: Fast Saga feed. So do that, but now we'll hop into our conversation with Tyrese. Stay tuned at the end, as usual, we'll hand out some awards and Furious 7, definitely, deserves some awards.

Letty:

Now, why would you trust us? You barely know us.

Ramsey:

I know enough. Ex-cop, military, something like that. How you took out them guys, shows training. Tech guy, offended by the hacker remark, naturally. Alpha. Mrs. Alpha. Joker.

Roman:

Wrong. Double alpha. Man-candy. You know what I'm saying?

Tej:

Man, sit your candy ass down.

Derek Lawrence:

We're hungry to talk Furious 7 and thankfully Tyrese Gibson's here to fill us up. Tyrese welcome to our BINGE of Fast & Furious.

Tyrese Gibson:

My man, thank you for having me. How are you?

Derek Lawrence:

Doing great. I mean, doing great anytime we can talk Fast & Furious, especially Furious 7, such an incredible movie. So we're excited to talk to you about it. We've been starting all of these off, Dominic Toretto once said, he lives his life a quarter mile at a time. For those 10 seconds or less he's free. So for you, how would you summarize Furious 7 in 10 seconds.

Tyrese Gibson:

Beautiful, inspirational, and painful.

Derek Lawrence:

Yeah-

Chanelle Berlin Johnson:

That's it right there.

Derek Lawrence:

I feel like as you know, obviously, for you guys that was it, and for us fans, it feels like the same thing. Obviously there was a lot going on with Furious 7, but when you think Furious 7, what's the first thing that comes to mind for you when thinking back on that film?

Tyrese Gibson:

Well, I mean, I have more bad memories than good man, because all of the fun and all of the magic that we had going before, Paul Walker's untimely death was... the trauma of losing him, superseded all of the fun and magic that we were experiencing before.

Derek Lawrence:

Going back a few, obviously, years before Furious 7, what was it that initially drew you to Roman Pearce and the Fast & Furious world.

Tyrese Gibson:

People don't know this, or maybe they do, I think it's public knowledge. They couldn't make a deal with Vin, for him to do the sequel, and then once they couldn't make a deal with Vin, that's one of the director, Rob Cohen, kind of fell off because they did part one as a duo. And so I got blessed by default. I said, "Man, I'll do this shit for per diem." It was my second movie. I did Baby Boy and I did 2 Fast 2 Furious. And so, even back when we did part two, I never watched part one-

Derek Lawrence:

Wow.

Tyrese Gibson:

... because I was like, "I'm 'stepping' in to this opportunity that was supposed to be for Vin," and if I had watched part one, then I would have probably found myself trying to tap into whatever he had did in part one. And I wanted to bring my own thing to part two, and so we came up with, you're going to be funny, because Vin, wasn't funny. And we said, "We're going to have Roman Pearce eating everything, at all times." And then we came up with the humor and the comedy and the funny and the punchlines, and we really wanted to... And here's the thing, the intention was always to say that if Vin ever does it again, if you become this carbon copy of Vin, then Vin it's going to be like, "Well, why would I ever want to do a movie with a dude who basically came in with deep voices, and just all of the things that kind of represent the blueprint of Diesel."

And so when we ended up doing Fast Five, and we all came back together for the first time, Vin quickly, on the first day of filming, realized that the Roman Pearce energy is a contributor to the franchise versus you stepped in to replace me, and now I don't know how to exist with you.

And Paul Walker, man, I mean, I get emotional when I think about this guy for damn near three movies, he kept begging and pleading and trying to talk to the studio and directors and Vin, "Well, we got to get Tyrese. We got to get Tyrese back." Because I did part two and I wasn't in three, I wasn't in four, and then I finally came back for five. I think ultimately, what we all know is that this franchise is really about the fans.

Derek Lawrence:

I mean, you've now played Roman for five, six movies, what what's that kind of evolution process been like? I'm sure, obviously, you don't want to just run back the same things each time with the character. So what's it been like for you for almost 20 years playing this character, and keep adding new little things for him?

Tyrese Gibson:

To be honest with you, man, for one, I don't watch the movies. So it's really hard for me to do another one and then find myself trying to kind of duplicate what I did in the last three. Like, "Oh, I'm about to do Roman Pearce again, so let me go study what I've done, and make sure that I'm staying..." So everything feels fresh to me. I obviously, have watched the movies, but when it's time for the movies to come out with doing seven, eight premiers and seven, eight different countries, we'll sit there, you'll watch 20, 30% of each movie get bits and pieces. And then once the movie is released and the world is going crazy, we might pop up at a couple of theaters to surprise the fans. And then I don't really watch them after that. It's for public consumption at that point, it belongs to you. So I don't really study what I've done, so every time I do another one, it feels fresh.

Derek Lawrence:

That makes a lot of sense. I mean, getting into Furious 7, what do you remember being most excited about? Obviously you guys were on a roll, and then it's time for Furious 7. You get that script or you talk with James Wan or Vin or whoever, do you remember like what you were most excited about going into Furious 7?

Tyrese Gibson:

Well, I just remember always, while we're on the set, and making another one or are kind of ramping up wardrobe fittings, and just kind of running into all of these people that you've been working with, what seemed like forever, same head of wardrobe, same assistant, same studio executives. And so you just kind of doing these lunches and dinners, and it's just like, "Holy shit, man, we're still doing this."

So I remember that feeling when we did Furious 7. I remember I went and had a meeting with James Wan, and I really wanted to sit him down in a real way and just say to him, "Look, man, don't ever repeat this, but these are all of the people, here all of the characters, here's all of the politics and backstories, when somebody does this, this is what it means when somebody says this, look out for that." And I had a Phil Jackson moment with him, and I'm sure James Wan will confirm it, where I had to pull him into the huddle and really break some shit down and say, "This is what this world is, and this is what you're doing. And this is what's happening." That's kind of what I remember about the beginning of Furious 7, pertaining to my process.

Derek Lawrence:

I'm sure James appreciate that. A lot of pressure coming in after what Justin did on those first four films. So I'm sure he was already feeling the pressure. So I'm sure he appreciated that talk.

Tyrese Gibson:

Yeah, absolutely. Absolutely.

Chanelle Berlin Johnson:

Do you remember reading the script? Something, as a fan, were always like excited to see, what's the next level that you guys go to and the stunts? Do you remember reading... That plane scene blew my mind, just seeing it the first time. When you look at that on paper, are you guys like, "Oh, how are y'all going to pull this off?"

Tyrese Gibson:

Well, the crazy thing is, those scripts are just so difficult to read. I have people that read scripts for me and give me a full breakdown of the script. And then I'm able to get in there and fully focused on the things that I'm supposed to do, and the things that I think are corny and goofy and don't make sense, "Nah, I would never say that I would never do that." And so what happens is when they send me the script, I have this thing called a PDF Ripper, because it's always sent to me as a PDF. So I'm able to rip all the words from the whole script off of the PDF, and I'm able to drag all the words from the script into final draft, and I make all of my changes, for what I would actually say, and what I would actually do. And I also could give other characters that I have scenes within the movie, responses-

Chanelle Berlin Johnson:

Oh, that's great.

Tyrese Gibson:

... to certain things that I do and say. And then I send it to them, and I say, "Instead of me trying to make all of these changes on the set, while hundreds of millions of dollars is being spent, I'm making all my requests now." Then when I get the new script, I see all of the changes that I've made added, and then everything else happens on the fly as improv on the set. Because another thing that happens with me is I get to the set, I'm like, "Okay, so this is the car." And it's very impulsive, like, "Okay, so you come in and go where you get in the car with me." And I'm able to listen to everything that we supposed to do, even though I read it, and that's where I find the funny, that's where I discover the humor. That's where like that line, "When you going to give Martin Luther King his car back or his jacket back," that happened from me seeing how old the car was, and that could have never been written. It all happens impulsively and instinctively in the movie.

Roman:

No, no, no, listen, man, they tell him that he party like this every day. On this level, they party every day. This is crazy. I might have to move out here. I think I'm going to start a new culture. It's called Blarab. You know, like black Arab.

Derek Lawrence:

Perhaps, no franchise or set of films adds new pieces like you guys do. I mean, you were probably the first one, you know what I mean? 2 Fast, you come in, Luda comes in, and then, on down the line, whether it's Gal or Sung or Dwayne, on this one, it was Statham, who you'd worked with on Death Race, and obviously, he adds some real gravitas, too, to the film here. What'd you love about kind of throwing Statham in the mix, starting with this one.

Tyrese Gibson:

Yeah. I love Jason, and I think me and Jason really got to know each other while promoting Death Race. And we also had a lot of fun on the set of Transformers three, because he was popping up all the time to be with his girl Rosie, so that's when I really caught a great vibe with him. So everything about him coming in was exciting for me, because I know him. I think he's a good man. He's funny as hell. And we always have fun whenever we're around each other.

Chanelle Berlin Johnson:

Talking to everybody, it seems like with you working with Jason in Death Race, and then seeing him on Transformers three, but also like you had worked with Justin Lin on Annapolis and Jordana was in that movie, and Sung told us the other day that when he booked Tokyo Drift, that he, ran into Jason Statham and like mentioned like, "Oh, I'm in this movie." And he was like, "Oh, that's crazy, you're going to be in Tokyo Drift." And then they end up, in this franchise later, Jason joins it. Does it feel, in a way, to you guys ever it's kind of fated, that you guys kind of ended up in each other's world and knowing each other at all? They're all these little connections, and suddenly everybody's coming together in this franchise, that's now become so huge.

Tyrese Gibson:

I think, for me, my appreciation is being able to say that it wasn't, "Hi, nice to meet you," and now we're working on something this big and this expensive. And I had never worked with the Rock before Fast Five, but us meeting each other cold Turkey on the set, he's a good guy and all we do is laugh and crack jokes and have fun. And that's kind of... There's only so many people that I've worked with that I didn't know or didn't meet prior to being on the set, so it's been very interesting

Derek Lawrence:

I feel like here, in Furious 7, it sets up, you and Ludacris as Roman and Tej already had a great dynamic going all the way back to two. But then you throw Nathalie as Ramsey in the mix in the last two films that you guys have had a lot of fun with kind of that "love triangle." What have you liked about playing around with those two and having this really fun dynamic?

Tyrese Gibson:

I love it, man. I mean, Roman, in this world of Fast, man, Roman has been single for eight, 10 years. Man, when are you going to see my family? If I live in Barstow, is anybody ever going to meet my mom? Anybody ever going to see my brothers, sisters family, and when does Roman get a little backstory? So it's been cool to finally have a girl in the mix that we can kind of fight and argue over our little banter. But I think Ludacris got the girl. I think Ludacris, ultimately, pulling off Nathalie, because at this point, he's not really a... We kind of lost the humor between me and Chris, and at his request, I believe, he's kind of made a pivot into being more into the gadget/tech world. And so I've been having to pull whatever humor and funny and energy I can from just all that I'm working with.

I got to look at a random water bottle and find something funny in it. And, yeah, I miss the banter. I miss all the funny, but, yeah, these missions that we're on right now, Chris is kind of... He's in front of the computer and he's saying all these big fancy words, and he's made a pivot, and thank God they gave him that dialogue. I'm telling you man, I be listening to some of that shit he got to say, and I'll be like, "Bro, I can't even remember a half a paragraph, let alone trying to memorize all that stuff that goes with this technical stuff that he has to now say."

Derek Lawrence:

Someone's got to do it, better him than you, for sure. I mean, you mentioned, Paul earlier and him fighting for you to come back through, until it happened in fast five, what was it like, you guys obviously worked so close to it on 2 Fast, beginning, was that connection just incident between you guys? I mean, on screen, it seems like you guys would just immediately had such a great dynamic. Did it feel pretty instant once you guys got together and connected?

Tyrese Gibson:

It did man. I mean, Paul really felt vulnerable after making the decision to proceed without Vin. So it was like whatever the original movie and the original experience was, Paul had never envisioned that he would be doing... None of them imagined that they would be doing a sequel, let alone doing a sequel without the original director and co-star. So when I got to the set, me and John Singleton, rest in peace, had just did Baby Boy, and he gave me my first gig. And then I set up John Singleton to direct 2 Fast & Furious.

And I remember John kept saying to me, "I'm going to do whatever it takes to make Paul feel safe, where it's really going to feel like a two-hander. It's never going to feel like it's about you or it's just about him." And so it was all speaking to Paul vulnerabilities, where he didn't want to be number one on the call sheet, but somehow feel like number five.

And everything about us and our banter and our true collaboration with 2 Fast 2 Furious, it was a plan that we came up with like, yo, I don't want to upstage you, you're not on a mission to upstate me. This shit is really about us saying, "Some way, somehow there's a sequel to this thing, and how about we just do the best we can to make it great." Now the movie might come out and it may bomb, because they wanted to see Vin and Paul and not my black ass, but ultimately, we came into it, and we said, "Bro, I got you. I got your back. And if I feel like there's a scene that we could have did better, or if you got a punchline or you got an action scene, I'm going to look at it. You look at it. If I'm ever in a place where we could have did it better, let's just look out for each other and make sure."

So Paul and my relationship, from that point on, it doesn't matter how many we did together after, he knows that I was the answer to his vulnerabilities.

Chanelle Berlin Johnson:

That's beautiful.

Tyrese Gibson:

That it was.

Chanelle Berlin Johnson:

That reminds me of... I notice in all of the movies going on from 2 Fast, there's always an effort to sort of touch base with the friendship between Brian and Roman, in that way. Is that something that you guys talked about with each movie? How do we keep this connection? Even, if it's small, because, obviously, you said you and the Tej character became sort of one and two, like in how you interacted, but there was still that connection to Brian, and to Paul, is that something that you guys talked about with each movie? Just touching back on that?

Tyrese Gibson:

Here's the thing, each character in the Fast world, we call it real estate. And my real estate and Paul's real estate there's nothing and no one that could ever be what we are to each other. There's nobody that can come in and try and step into the lane and do anything that ties into the symmetry of the real estate between Vin and Paul, between Paul and Jordana. You can't put another man with Jordana and have anybody to step in, and have anything that feels like the real estate and chemistry that they had between each one of these characters. And there's literally been dialogue and lines, where if I'm honest with myself, I would say, "That sounds like some that Dom would say to Brian, Roman wouldn't say that to Dom." And you got to be clear about your message, your dialogue, and your real estate.

I would never do that. That seems like something that's such and such would do to such and such character. You got to be able to watch it and monitor it and be clear about it. And you got to be secure in your skin that even if it's the best action scene and you wish you can get some of that real estate, that doesn't belong to you, that's not for you. That's not your lane, that's not your real estate. And when you find just trying to force yourself into somebody else's real estate, using somebody else's lines or dialogue, or doing scenes that belong to somebody else, the fans that's watching the movie are going to say, "That was an awkward moment," because they've mastered these characters. And if you were in tune with what you supposed to be saying and doing, then you ain't got to worry about ever making a pivot into a lane that's not your lane.

In Furious 7, when we were around that table, and I kept talking about like, "Why you lead, why you always got... I'm tired of blah, blah, blah." He said, "Okay, Roman." "Well, I wasn't thinking about doing that now." You know what I'm saying? I'm not trying to really jump into that, I was just saying, I don't just speaking up. So it's like, that's what happens. I want real estate from Vin Diesel or Dominic Toretto. And if you're going to jump into that real estate, then are you prepared to carry that torch? And here I am asking for that real estate, and then when he said, "Okay, Roman," I got cold feet and pass out.

Roman:

All I'm saying is, I'm tired of everybody around me making all the decisions. This time I lead, seriously. If I don't start making decisions, I'm out.

Dom:

All right, Roman, what do you got?

Roman:

I mean, I wasn't trying to get into the whole leadership thing, like now, you know what I'm saying? I was just kind of talking about like, at some point, like, you know, when we... Whatever, I mean, I think... Let's hit it from here.

Brian:

I don't think that that's-

Roman:

No, no, no. Don't think. That's my job.

Derek Lawrence:

One of my favorite scenes of the movie, by far.

Chanelle Berlin Johnson:

All right. We're taking a quick detour, but we'll be right back with more.

Chanelle Berlin Johnson:

Now that we're all gassed up, we're driving right back into the interview.

Derek Lawrence:

When I asked you to sum up the movie at the top, obviously, painful was one of the things you mentioned. And obviously, that comes from, unfortunately, what happened with Paul. So what was it like once you guys got back into filming, after Paul had passed, and you guys were on this mission to finish this film?

Tyrese Gibson:

I mean, the first thing that got all of us were struggling with was, what the hell are we doing here? What's Fast & the Furious without Paul? Are we going to come off as just a bunch of narcissists? That's like, moving and proceeding and just deciding that whatever Paul is and whatever he meant to the franchise, are we going to appear to be a bunch of people that's going to say like, "We're moving forward anyway"? So we had to become each other's therapists, because if you lose someone and you put it up on social media, or the word gets out that you lost someone, you don't want to hear from everybody. You want to hear from the people that knew him the most, so we were always at each other's houses, we were always on calls.

We'd made sure that we were there for each other in a real way, and it hit us all very, very differently. My trauma was immediate, but my trauma was also delayed, because I'm such a giver. I'm such a nurturer. I went out of my way to make sure that everybody was okay, which created kind of a delayed PTSD situation for me. Because it wasn't that he died, it was the way he died. And if you know him and love him the way we did, then you would understand that there's a lot of really bad people in the world. And if they're going to die, you'd be like, "Man, that must've been karma for someone to die that way." But there was nothing about Paul as a bad person on any level that would allow for you to say, "If someone's going to pass away, then they're going to pass away and they're going to pass away this way."

It took the trauma of the loss to a whole other stratosphere. And I almost had to put my feelings and my thoughts set aside, put a pause button on it, and just go make sure that everybody was okay. His daughter, brothers, father, mom, Vin, and Michelle. I was just like constantly calling and checking on everyone, and always, I mean, I would be, it felt like I was at Vin house for days, days upon days, weeks upon weeks. And until my instinct says that Vin was okay, only then that I arrive at feeling like, at this point, I can now mourn the loss.

Derek Lawrence:

That makes a lot of sense. Hard to make a turn from that, but kind of getting towards the end here, we'll just wrap up with a few, what we call the final lap or a few rapid-fire fast questions. We'll start off, Furious 7, you guys have, obviously, so many incredible people in there, but if you could add in another actor to Furious 7, not taking anybody's place, whether it's an actor you always wanted in a franchise, or maybe it's a character from the other films that wasn't in Furious 7, is there someone that you would have loved to see in Furious 7? Or just in Fast in general?

Tyrese Gibson:

I've been campaigning for years now to bring Matt Damon in.

Derek Lawrence:

Oh, that would be good.

Tyrese Gibson:

He's a part of the Universal family from the Bourne franchise. And I've been talking about Matt Damon forever. I know there was some conversations about Denzel Washington coming, which would have been, obviously, the high of all highs for me, because I wouldn't be here as an actor, if it wasn't for Denzel. I don't know, there are certain people that have the vibrations and the energy and the star power that could contribute to Fast.

I'm grateful to Vin, because in the world of Fast and the Furious, Vin's got all the power, and as we have the Charlize Therons and Jason Stathams and Djimon Hounsous and all of these people, they got to go run all this shit by Vin. He's the one that has to say, "I'm okay with Rock and with them." And in a lot of cases, even Paul will tell you, Vin is behind the scenes making sure that people could actually finalize their deal.

Because he'll make a phone call into the studio, and they'd be like, "Oh, I don't think we're going to be able to make this deal. It's getting too expensive or whatever that might be." And Vin will make some phone calls and kind of nudge people into finalizing their deals. And so, he doesn't get credit for all the work that he does behind the scenes. But yeah, so I hope that we can continue opening up the door to let other folks in, because the franchise belong to the world. And I think we've done a great job, very strategic of pulling in people from Europe, pulling in people from this country, that country, Gal Gadot's from Israel. And we've just done a great job of diversifying and making sure that people can go to this movie and see somebody in the movie that represents them or their region or their country or their religion or their nationality. And I know everybody's on the diversity train, but Fast has been diverse for 20 years.

Chanelle Berlin Johnson:

Yeah. Just naturally built in, which has been amazing. Actually, you talking about the character's backstory, Roman's backstory made me wonder, something we've asked people is like, if you could do a spin off, what would it be? What would be your spinoff for Roman Pearce? Would it be going to see the family or would it be something else?

Derek Lawrence:

Roman and Tej has always been the rumor, right? That's always been sitting out there for maybe one day.

Tyrese Gibson:

Yeah. Well, there was multiple conversations about a Roman and Tej spin-off, but I kept turning it down, because truth is, I didn't want to make the franchise about me. Everybody kind of brings their elements and their real estate to the table. And so, doing a spin-off of Roman and Tej, we won't have Dominic's character to bounce off of. We won't have these other things to bounce off of.

Derek Lawrence:

Wrapping up, obviously, we're all super excited for Fast 9. I mean, that first trailer, I know it blew my mind and all the fans were losing it over so many of the reveals, but what would be your tease of Fast 9? When we finally get this movie, what should fans expect?

Tyrese Gibson:

The first and only word that comes to the mind, there's going to be a level of maturity for Fast 9 that people have never experienced. There is going to be some vulnerabilities that the fans have never experienced. Outside of the action and kind of the creativity and innovation, I mean, Justin Lin is a monster with doing what it is that he do. But there's just going to be a lot of stuff that people are going to see from our characters and our maturity and our vulnerabilities that people have never seen before.

I mean, the fact that Dom and his brother, it's like, well, what happens when your brother come around? That's a vulnerability and a place that you would never seen Dominic Toretto go. You've never seen him feel those feelings, because his brother ain't been around. We call ourselves brothers, but I'm not his brother.

Derek Lawrence:

Absolutely. That's one of the many things we're excited about with Fast 9. Well, again, Tyrese, thank you so much for joining us and going through Furious 7. Like I said, it's a great movie, and I know, sometimes a tough one to talk about, so we appreciate you doing that with us.

Tyrese Gibson:

No problem.

Dom:

I used to say, I live my life a quarter mile at a time, and I think that's why we were brothers, because you did too. No matter where you are, whether it's a quarter mile away or halfway across the world, you'll always be with me.

Derek Lawrence:

Thank you again to both Michelle Rodriguez and Tyrese Gibson, even eight years later, I know it's not easy to revisit such a painful period in their lives. So I appreciate them being so open and raw with us, in looking back on Furious 7. Now, no easy transition, but like on all episodes, let's have some fun and pick some award winners. Chanelle, where we starting?

Chanelle Berlin Johnson:

We start with our old favorite, which is, as Brian says in Fast one, "If I win, I take the money and the respect to some people that's more important." Well, he won Dom's respect, but it's now time for us to decide who wins our respect for Furious 7. I mean, it's a tough one to tackle. What do you think Derek?

Derek Lawrence:

I think you agree with me on this, I think it's everyone involved. I mean-

Chanelle Berlin Johnson:

Yeah.

Derek Lawrence:

... any person that helped make Furious 7 has my respect forever. The fact that they pulled this off, I still can't believe it. Everything that's working against them, not just dealing with the emotion of that tragedy of losing Paul, but then they're like, "Okay, we're going to move forward and actually finish this." Okay. That's one thing, then to be able to actually come up with a good idea that makes sense. That's, okay, now, wow, we're impressive so far. And then to actually go out and execute that in a way where you sit there and watch the movie.

Okay, maybe there's a scene here or there where you're like, okay, Paul's not really here. This is some special effects. They used his brothers as stand-ins, but for the most part, you're never really thinking that. And then as I said earlier, like, I can't even tell you how many times I've watched that final scene. It probably is my most viewed scene in film history. I don't know if I'm a glutton for punishment, but that's the thing, it doesn't even feel like, you don't even feel sad. I mean, you do, but you kind of just have a smile and you're just happy as you watch that. You're just glad to see Paul. You're glad to see Brian.

And man, I mean, that's Vin Diesel talking to Paul Walker. That last scene really, right? That's not a Dom talking to Brian. So the miracle of just that scene and then the whole movie itself even existing and being finished, that's credit and respect to everyone, with a special shout out to James Wan.

Chanelle Berlin Johnson:

Yeah. Yeah, absolutely. I fully agree. I think on top of that too, to be able to pivot what the ending was or how the movie wraps up, because they had shot some of it, but not a bunch of other parts, is they, also, in figuring out how to just tie this movie up, have to do it in a way that's satisfactory for fans too. Because they know, they have a fan base who loves this person, we're all also grieving in our own way. And it's so much pressure, but it really lives up to it. Like I said earlier, I cried watching that last scene, and it is just a strange mix of emotions, because it's a goodbye to the character who lives on. And it's really beautiful and heartfelt in that way. And kind of like a graduation for Brian, even though at the same time, in your mind, you know why this is happening.

So it's overwhelming in a great way, because it's like, who knew what to expect going into seeing this movie, how you would feel about it, how well they could pull it off. And they do such a beautiful job and it holds up on every rewatch too. So, yeah, respect to everyone involved, and to James Wan for coming into this franchise and expecting one experience, and then getting thrown something that no one could have imagined.

Derek Lawrence:

Yeah. No, I can't even imagine how he did that. And to your point of you sitting there crying, I cried the first time. Probably what really speaks to how incredible this ending is and what a great job they did is, the second time I went to see this, I went with my brothers who are big fans of Fast, then I went in my sister, my younger sister who had never seen one Fast movie. And-

Chanelle Berlin Johnson:

Wow.

Derek Lawrence:

... the final scene plays, cuts to credits, lights come on, I look at her sitting next to me, she was bawling. Her mascara was running. It was just, she was... I've never seen her cry so much in her whole life. And like I said, she had never seen one movie. So when you can have that impact, that kind of just speaks volumes and says everything you need to. So literally every single person involved with Furious 7, all our respects.

Next up quote of the week, I mean, speak to that final scene, we could have just gone probably with the whole final Dom monologue after Brian pulls up next to him. But we'll not include that just because it's so long, but what are the other options we're looking at on under best quote?

Chanelle Berlin Johnson:

There are some good ones. This movie, even though it has this sort of heaviness to it because of what happens with Paul Walker, it's still full of humor, adventure, fun. So there are lines, like, would you believe I knocked them out with my charm? You ain't that charming bitch.

Letty:

Would you believe I knocked them out with my charm?

Kara:

You ain't that charming bitch.

Chanelle Berlin Johnson:

The Rock of course saying, "Daddy's got to go to work." Always good. "The thing about street fights, the streets always win." "I don't have friends. I have family," classic, classic line. I also love, obviously, from that plane scene, which is, as they continue to up the ante and the stunts, Tej saying, "Roman, you need some fresh air? Because you're about to get a whole lot of it." Without telling what exactly they're about to do. And then of course, The Rock again with another great line, well, first, Letty asks, "Did you bring the cavalry?" And he says, "Woman, I am the cavalry." Which, just plenty of lines throughout.

I don't actually know if I have a favorite. It might be the cavalry line, just because it's so iconically Luke Hobbs, The Rock, it's like this hero moment, right in the middle of this intense chase sequence, that might be it for me, if I'm not choosing the Dom words Paul, Brian at the end.

Derek Lawrence:

Yeah. It's a tough one. I think this might be the deepest field we've had of this category, yet. And I really like the, "Daddy's got to go to work," and "Woman, I am the cavalry," just on paper, those probably wouldn't belong, but it's just the way The rock delivers them. And just totally nails that. And like you said, it's kind of like peak who Luke Hobbs is and fits that character and what we see in those last two movies so well.

I think for me, the top two would be, "Daddy's got to go to work," and it's because that's also aided, because he literally, flexes out of the cast. You can't not hear that line and think of him just flexing out of the cast, iconic. And then, "I don't have friends. I got family." Again, that's almost sums up the whole franchise right there. So those will probably be the top two for me. But like you said, I feel like you couldn't go wrong with any of these. And it's hard, what do we have, five or six different characters, just highlighted and those, so kind of everyone gets like a great line, at least one in the movie.

Chanelle Berlin Johnson:

Yeah. I also had one that just occurred to me, not even a line, but a series of lines, is when Ramsey is sort of describing everybody in the group, very memorable all the time, because she, she nails it.

Derek Lawrence:

Totally nails it. Totally nails it. Sorry, Roman, you are not a double alpha. So next up we go to, which Oscars should Fast have been nominated for? And just pulling back the curtain, this is the movie that inspired this as a category on the show. Because it's insane that See You Again, as you said in the intro on the Michelle episode, is now iconic, did not win best original song. It didn't even get nominated. I can't even wrap my head around that. But the fact that it didn't win is insane in its own right. Not only was this perfect for the movie and for that ending. And I can't even imagine another song there.

This thing was a smash hit. It was like, I remember literally writing up on ew.com, when it hit like two billion views on YouTube, the music video. So it's got everything going for it and it doesn't even get a nomination. I'm pretty sure, I'm not even going to look it up. I think this might've been a Adele's James Bond song, won this year, I think. If I'm remembering correctly, because I feel like I remember being appalled over that, which I would have been appalled no matter who won. So yeah, I mean that's...

And again, the visual effects probably should have been another winner. As we just mentioned in the respect category, what they pulled off and what they needed to do with special effects, they had to really kind of almost invent special effects for this film, and nothing there either. So I just don't get it. I don't get it Chanelle.

Chanelle Berlin Johnson:

It's incredible. I mean, even just going back, there were, I remember all the articles being like, "The Oscars snubbed, See You Again, completely." What were they thinking? I mean, there've been plenty of reasons for people to ask, who is able to like put together these nominations and vote on these things, but they got that super wrong, and everybody should feel bad about it, still.

Another thought I had though, is that I remember also there were reports that originally they had tried to go to Eminem to do the song for this movie, but he turned it down, and we all know of course Eminem did win the Oscar before for original song. I wonder if it had been him, who knows what the song would have sounded like, how different it would have been, but does he get the nomination for being Eminem, for being this because Furious 7 becomes such a huge moment? That's interesting to think about, but also just makes it more unfair that they snub it, because it's not attached to people they had given awards to before.

Derek Lawrence:

That's a great point too, because we know they were clearly wanting Eminem back at the Oscars, since, what was it, just two years ago, for some reason we decided we needed The Lose Yourself performance at the Oscars, that Marty Scorsese definitely was a huge fan of, if we remember those GIFs.

But, yeah, that's an interesting thing, because I mean, obviously, I'm glad, I've liked a lot of Eminem's music and I'm a fan of his, but I don't know that that would have fit. This Charlie Puth and Wiz Khalifa just ended up being the perfect combination. But, yeah, I guess obviously Charlie Puth was... Now he's a pretty big star, but he was basically an unknown at this point. Wiz Khalifa was pretty established, but definitely not for Oscar voters. Me and you knew who Wiz Khalifa was, but they didn't. So-

Chanelle Berlin Johnson:

They hadn't heard Black and Yellow.

Derek Lawrence:

Yeah, exactly. Clearly not. So, yeah, that's a great point by you. But still, I don't care, this song could have been made me and you, and it should have won an Oscar. You know what I mean? I don't really know what to say more about that. So yeah, not only should we have gotten some nominations on this one, this should have been an Oscar win. And on some of these, people could probably say we're stretching, in the past where we were like, "Come on, Sung Kang wasn't going to get nominated for best supporting actor. Let's be real." And sure, that's fine, we could say that we think he deserves it, but like, yeah, that was never going to happen for Tokyo Drift.

But this one, no, you can't argue that See You Again should have been nominated for best original song, so sorry, I'm not, I'm not listening to anything there. We could go on for a long time about that, but point made. Next up, biggest heat check. What do you think? I love a good heat check. So where's your eye at?

Chanelle Berlin Johnson:

It has to be Kurt Russell, who gets to swan in mid franchise, and it's just like the coolest dude, full of secrets. And yet also, so into Dom's team, such a fan of them, also. It's like, he plays it perfectly, where he sort of above the chaos, but also, very much someone who is involved with these people, really respects them. It's an interesting thing. And of course, this movie comes out the same year, I believe, as Winter Soldier. So he is like this juxtaposition, of course, like Nick Fury in the Marvel movies, basically. And that's how I think of him. He's just the guy who knows what's going on. And I think it has to be Kurt Russell.

Derek Lawrence:

He is, basically, the white Nick Fury.

Chanelle Berlin Johnson:

Yeah.

Derek Lawrence:

That's really where we've landed with Kurt Russell. Especially as we move forward in this franchise. Which, hey, Nick Fury is obviously a great character, so trying to get your own Nick Fury, and especially, if you're going to cast Kurt Russell, that's hard for us to say, "No," to. I get what you're doing there. And Kurt Russell's, I mean, I feel like he didn't come up at all in either of the interviews really, but Kurt Russell in Furious 7 is so good. I just love everything that he does. And, I mean, he's Kurt Russell, but he walks in, and this is true, and we'll talk about this on the Fate of the Furious episode, like Charlize Theron, he walks in and he knows exactly what movie he's in.

That's not the case for everybody in these types of films, but like he knew. So, yeah, totally, I think just introducing Kurt Russell, basically, as the white Nick Fury is the heat check of Furious 7, and I'm all here for it. So keep giving us more, Mr. Nobody. Maybe a little less little nobody, but definitely more big nobody.

Chanelle Berlin Johnson:

I like when an actor, you can just tell they're having a great time. And I feel like every time Kurt Russell's on the screen in any of these movies, you can tell he's having the time of his life.

Derek Lawrence:

Yeah. I like to imagine he goes home and is like, "Goldie, I guess what I did today? I had a Corona with Vin Diesel and just talked about family. He was really curious about our family and how Kate and Oliver were doing and Wyatt." So I like to imagine that that's what happens when Kurt's done for the day over at Fast.

But next up, we have the, why is this person in the movie? We're not offended that they're in the movie, we're kind of like, "Whoa, why? Who decided this? What's going on?" This one, we got a lot of contenders. There's a few people where we could sit there and be like, "Wait? Why? What's going on here?"

Chanelle Berlin Johnson:

Yeah, I think, well, the most hype at the time was Iggy Azalea. Everybody knew she had a cameo in the movie, and then it's literally like two lines and you never see her again. Why did it happen? Who asked her to be there? Who knows? It's not even-

Derek Lawrence:

What's up Ghost Girl? What's up Ghost girl? Oh my God.

Chanelle Berlin Johnson:

So there's that. A little more of a subtle one is T-Pain, who's like a DJ at the party in Abu Dhabi. And out of nowhere, never commented upon, not even treated as if he's T-Pain in the movie. He's just there. He's just there. And that one he did talk about. He said that basically he, at that time, was hanging out with Tyrese and Vin Diesel a lot. And they were like, "Hey, do you want to get in on this?" And he was like, "Yeah, sure." So why not? He ends up in the movie. That's how that came together. Cool. Didn't have to happen, but who's going to turn that down? If anyone asked me if I wanted a cameo, I would, in the Fast movies.

But probably the most surprising, and I think it's because we have, obviously, Jason Statham's character set up is kind of the big bad revenge plot, is getting Djimon Hounsou in the movie as well, who's like the secondary villain, almost. But this dude has been nominated for awards, an actual Oscar nominee.

Derek Lawrence:

Yeah. We didn't need to argue to get him an Oscar for Fast, because he already had the nomination back for Blood Diamond. Yeah. It's just, I mean, obviously we're not going to complain about having him in the movie, but it is kind of weird, like you said, Statham's the main bad guy and Hounsou's kind of there as his Jakande character, we don't really have much context for him or really getting the actual in depth explanation about his character. He's just kind of like some mercenary, bad guy who ends up getting killed on this aerial attack of Los Angeles.

So, yeah, I mean, like I said, happy to have. Any Oscar winners we'll take them in Fast, just helps the brand. But, yeah, the kind of an interesting... that he was in there and kind of just there, really.

Next up, the holy shit moment of the week. And I feel like we could go with a lot of them, so I'll give you a few options here. I mean, we've talked so much about the ending, so we don't have to really dive further into that, but I mean, that's kind of, you're sitting there and you're like, "Wow, Holy... They really did it. They pulled that off." You have the jump in Abu Dhabi, which I feel-

Chanelle Berlin Johnson:

Insane.

Derek Lawrence:

... like our... Yeah, I was talking to our colleague, Darren Franich, he reminded me that I believe in the trailer, they showed them jumping from one of the buildings, the skyscrapers to the second one. So you're like, okay, you kind of know that's coming, but they didn't show you, and then you see in the movie, that, no, it's not just the one, they're going to a third skyscraper. And you're just like, "Oh my God, how are you? Really? Okay, this is still..." And we're just still reeling from flying cars, like 20 minutes earlier. And now we're essentially kind of flying cars again from skyscraper to skyscraper.

And then the third one, for me, was Brian running up that semi-truck as it was about to go over the cliff, because, again, remember, going into this movie, as long as you didn't like read spoilers or anything, you don't know, you're like, what are they going to do with this Brian character? How are they going to say goodbye to him? How are they going to write him out? You're like, could they kill the character? Could that possibly happen? And then, so any scene you're sitting there like watching him, this truck he's trying to get off of is falling off of a cliff, and then he's just running and barely jumps off just in time. You kind of just fall back in your seat, and like kind of like, "Oh my God, oof," it's like a sigh of relief. Like, "Oh my gosh, I'm so glad that wasn't it." So I don't know, what do you think?

Chanelle Berlin Johnson:

Even with that scene, too, I feel like the script sort of inadvertently nods to it, because you could just have that moment after where Letty's, like, "You good?" Or, "You okay?" Or whatever she says, and it's like, yes, we're all taking a moment to breathe that Brian did not die. Thank goodness. Yeah, there's a lot to choose from, but I feel like you can't top the ending, like it's so... Getting to that point feels like such a relief that Brian has lived, after spending the whole movie worrying, what's going to happen to him? And then it's so emotional and so perfect, and everybody gets that like beautiful closeup. And then we get, obviously, the closeup car shots between Dom and Brian. How do you choose anything else but this super, both lighthearted and yet crazy emotional, and-

Derek Lawrence:

Yeah, no, I think you're dead on there. Now, speaking of the final sequence, obviously, that was pretty dramatic, for a lot of reasons, but then there's a lot of dramatic moments throughout this movie. So I feel like we needed a special category this week for the best dramatic moment that isn't the final sequence. So what do you think? What comes to mind? Because there's a lot to choose from, I think, in this one, which is surprising. For most Fast movies, we wouldn't be talking all about these big, dramatic, emotional beats.

Chanelle Berlin Johnson:

Yeah. I think the one that always comes to mind is that big Letty speech, basically, where everybody thinks the Dom might die. And everything she says is so touching in a way that I don't think we really get to have from the Letty character in the series, previously. And then for this big revelation that they are married. That I always think of, quite a dramatic moment. And as Michelle talked about, she's down for action and stuff, it's like sort of the big, emotional, romantic beats that don't come as naturally to her, but she sells it. It's a great emotional moment.

I think Mia and Brian's last... The phone call where Brian's not sure he'll survive. Harrowing both for their relationship, but, again, for the audience, that's another one. There are a bunch. What sticks out to you?

Derek Lawrence:

I mean, I think, there's also the Letty at the grave sequence, and we talked a bit about that with Michelle. I think to me it really is the Mia and Brian phone call. And it's just like, man, that's the things that you can't even plan for. That was something that they already had written in the script. I know Paul had filmed his side of it, I don't know if Jordana had already filmed her side, before Paul's passing. But man, you're just sitting there in a theater and you're kind of like, how did they know to have this scene? Because it does really... If we wouldn't have gotten that scene and that final moment between Brian and Mia, because I'm not going to really count the beach for them, because it's like, they're kind of far off, we don't get to actually hear them say anything to each other.

But just to have that phone call and have them tie it all the way back to the beginning of this franchise and this relationship. The reference to the tuna sandwich and how bad it was, gets me every time. It both makes me laugh, but then also just makes me very sad at the same time. So I mean, that's the one that gets me. And obviously a lot of that is just the real life circumstances behind it. But that would probably be the one, even though there's a lot to pick from, that I would go to.

Chanelle Berlin Johnson:

Yeah. I think that's a great choice. It ends up sort of, even though, obviously, he survives, it just sort of ties up emotionally, a lot of things, you sort of need to be able to say goodbye to the character, and thank goodness he does not die, narratively. But, yeah, it feels kind of cathartic in a way as well.

Brian:

You know the best decision I ever made was stepping into the store and buying that that first sandwich.

Mia:

It was such a bad sandwich.

Brian:

I know, I ate a lot of them. I love you Mia.

Mia:

Don't do that.

Brian:

What?

Mia:

The way you said it, it's like goodbye. Say something else.

Brian:

Okay. Kiss Jack for me.

Derek Lawrence:

And as always, we'll wrap up with our last category, which is winning's winning, so who was the ultimate winner of Furious 7? And I think that's probably the, I mean, I would bet you would agree with me, this is the toughest one we've ever had, in terms of picking a winner.

Chanelle Berlin Johnson:

Yeah.

Derek Lawrence:

Because for me, it's hard to say anyone won here, just with such a tragedy involved, and this movie will forever... that's what you're going to think of when you think of Furious 7, Paul's passing and you know what they did there at the end to send him off. So, yeah, I mean, we should note, this movie was the highest grossing, Fast film still. I, this movie made $1.5 billion. I believe it was the best reviewed Fast film. So there's so much obviously going forward in that regard, and obviously people won in a way.

But I don't know, I guess, for me, if we're saying someone "won," it's just, I would pick, again, almost going back to what we did with who earned our respect, just everyone involved and the fact that they won by finishing this, and achieving such a proper, an earned, and incredible goodbye to a beloved friend of theirs.

Chanelle Berlin Johnson:

Mm-hmm (affirmative). Yeah. I think you're you're right on with that. It took so much for everyone to be able to come back, even though they were still grieving, but they wanted to pay tribute to Paul and this franchise he was... Vin talked to us about it all the way back when we were talking about the first movie, it's like, he was always the one that was like pushing it, the biggest fan of the franchise, and what it meant to people and the impact that it could have. And always saying, "The great one is the next one in the can." So they felt, you couldn't just let it go, even though it's really difficult.

And they were able to both create a movie that I think just honors him so perfectly, but also is such a gift to fans too. And how do you say anything else, other than they all win for being able to come together and create this thing that feels just sort of eternally good in what it turned out to be.

Derek Lawrence:

Yeah. I remember talking to Neal Moritz, he's been a producer since day one on these films, and we were talking for the Fast one oral history that went up on ew.com. And he was saying for seven, for that first test screening, they were all super nervous. They're like, what are people going to think? Are they going to be able to spot, oh, hey, that's not Paul, that's special effects or whatever? And he said, what he was blown away from him, he said, some kids actually came up to him afterwards and just thanked him.

Chanelle Berlin Johnson:

Wow.

Derek Lawrence:

And he's like, "I knew we needed this for ourselves," but he's like, "I didn't realize that the fans needed that closure too." And so, I guess we all won for getting some closure in an impossible situation, so that's really, I feel like the proper winner there. And also, the proper way to wrap up this special two-part episode. Again, go listen to our Michelle interview, over on the BINGE: Fast Saga feed, where you can find all of the other episodes. And thanks to both Michelle and Tyrese for joining us, and as we've said, kind of just opening up and really going through the whole history, the good and the bad.

But like Brian O'Conner, we hope we earned your respect today, and that you keep listening to EWs BINGE of the Fast Saga, when next week we're joined by Ramsey, yes, Nathalie Emmanuel. She made her debut in this film, Furious 7, and she's on next week to talk The Fate of The Furious and a whole lot more. Man, once we have that episode, we're only a week out from F9, Chanelle. This has been a long road, and I'm getting kind of sad as we're getting towards the end. Obviously, we're excited for F9 to be out, but we're also sad that this BINGE road will be coming to an end, right?

Chanelle Berlin Johnson:

It's a little bittersweet now. I feel so lucky still that we've gotten to do this podcast, and I'm so hyped for F9, but yeah, it'll be unfortunate that we have to say goodbye. Until, of course, 10 and 11 come out, and we do special episodes.

Derek Lawrence:

I like the way you're thinking. I like the way you're thinking. And speaking of special episodes, be ready, we'll have multiple F9 episodes, too, so be ready. Just because this film is going to be pretty new, we're still digging deep. So stay tuned for that. In the meantime, please subscribe and listen along every week wherever you get your podcasts. Rate us, tell us what you think, share it with your friends, and family.

Chanelle Berlin Johnson:

You can find us on Twitter @DerekJLawrence or me @ChanelleBerlin.

Derek Lawrence:

Also head to ew.com for complete coverage of the Fast Saga and full episode transcripts.

Chanelle Berlin Johnson:

This episode was hosted and produced by Derek Lawrence and Chanelle Berlin Johnson. Produced, edited, and mixed by Samee Junio, and executive produced by Carly Usdin and Shana Naomi Krochmal.

Derek Lawrence:

Thanks for listening, and until next time, salud, mi podcasts familia.

Related content:

Furious 7

type
  • Movie
genre
mpaa
  • PG-13
runtime
  • 129 minutes
director
  • James Wan

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