The Fast and the Furious cast: Where are they now?
Catch up with Vin Diesel, Michelle Rodriguez, and the rest of your favorite stars from the film that kicked off the hit franchise.
The Fast and the Furious cast: Then and now
The distance between the original The Fast and the Furious (2001) and Fast X (2023) is so vast, not even Dominic Toretto could jump a car over it. Named after (but not based on) a vintage hot rod movie from 1954, The Fast and the Furious is a gritty, street-level crime action-drama film that features exhilarating racing scenes designed to appeal to gearheads everywhere. But more recently... well, let's just say that they drove a car into space in F9 (2021).
Although the tone has changed significantly across the installments, the one thing that remains the same about Fast and Furious today is the core cast. With the exception of Paul Walker, who died suddenly in a 2013 car crash, all of the original film's main characters — Dom (Vin Diesel), the streetwise racer with a side hustle in larceny; his motorcycle-riding wife Letty (Michelle Rodriguez); and his sister Mia (Jordana Brewster), the heart and soul of the Toretto clan — are all still part of the franchise more than 20 years later. Now with yet another installment on the roster, EW takes a look back at the OG Fast and the Furious cast and what they've been up to lately.
Vin Diesel (Dominic Toretto)
When The Fast and the Furious hit theaters in the summer of 2001, Vin Diesel was just beginning his career as an action hero. He gained experience in tearjerkers Saving Private Ryan (1998) and The Iron Giant (1999) as the titular hero, followed by his first big starring role in Pitch Black (2000), where he played the movie's brooding anti-hero, Riddick. But it was the one-two punch (pun totally intended) of Fast & the Furious and XXX (2002) that made him the famous muscleman we know him as today.
Diesel has since appeared in sequels of Pitch Black and XXX and joined the Marvel Cinematic Universe as the voice of Guardians of the Galaxy's lovable tree-man Groot. He's even taken on more serious roles in recent years, like his performance as a fallen soldier in Ang Lee's film Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk (2016).
But his greatest loyalty has been to the Fast and Furious films. Ironically, Diesel told EW he almost dropped out of the first movie due to the initial script, but screenwriter David Ayer collaborated with Diesel on a rewrite, and together they made his character far more complex. The rest is history, as the actor is now an outspoken cheerleader for the franchise and has been involved on multiple levels as a producer of many movies and as the director of the F&F short film Los Bandoleros (2009). Hey, he said he was all about family...
Paul Walker (Brian O'Conner)
Paul Walker's life and career were tragically cut short on Nov. 30, 2013, when he died in a car crash in Santa Clarita, Calif., at the age of 40. His castmates said goodbye to him at the end of Furious 7 (2015) in an emotional scene where Dom and Brian drive together down a coastal highway before splitting off onto different roads. For those shots, Walker's brother Caleb stood in as a body double and Paul's face was added with CGI.
Before his breakthrough role as undercover-cop-turned-street-racer Brian O'Conner, Walker got his start on the soap The Young and the Restless, followed by supporting parts in the teen movies Varsity Blues and She's All That in 1999. Once the racing franchise (and his career) took off in 2001, Walker was a devoted member of the Fast and Furious family, returning for every sequel with the exception of 2006's The Fast & the Furious: Tokyo Drift. Between F&F films, he also starred in a series of thriller and crime B-movies such as Timeline (2003), where he played an archaeologist who goes back in time to 14th-century France, along with Clint Eastwood's Flags of Our Fathers and the sled dog drama Eight Below in 2006.
But F&F was never the same without Walker. "We've felt the loss," Diesel told ET in 2016, referring to the cast. "The last three years have been some of the hardest of my life because of losing my brother like that." Though he's no longer with us, his memory lives on in many ways, the latest example being his daughter, Meadow, making a cameo in the new Fast X film.
Jordana Brewster (Mia Toretto)
The globe-trotting Jordana Brewster spent her childhood living between London, Rio de Janeiro, and New York City. It was in the latter that she attended theater school and got her start in soap operas before landing her first lead part in the sci-fi horror flick The Faculty (1998). But it was her role as Dom's sister, Mia Toretto, that made her a star.
After The Fast and the Furious, Brewster starred in a string of movies like D.E.B.S. (2004), The Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Beginning (2006), and Justin Lin's Annapolis (2006). Lin, who helmed five of the F&F films, also directed Brewster in her big comeback to the series in Fast & Furious (2009), the fourth movie in the franchise, where she teamed up with Dom again and got back together with her ex, Brian. Since then, Brewster has spent most of her career with her F&F family or in recurring roles on TV, with her two longest gigs being TNT's Dallas reboot and the TV version of Lethal Weapon on Fox.
Michelle Rodríguez (Letty Ortiz)
Michelle Rodriguez's first movie roles in Girlfight (2000) and The Fast and the Furious (2001) set the tone for the rest of her career. In both of those films, she plays tough, streetwise gals who don't take any crap but could beat the crap out of you if they felt like it. And she's continued to portray similar characters, appearing as cops (S.W.A.T.), soldiers (Resident Evil, Avatar, Battle: Los Angeles), revolutionaries (Machete, Machete Kills), and bank robbers (Widows) over the course of her long and successful career. Even her character on Lost, Ana Lucia Cortez, was an ex-cop with rage issues.
One of Rodriguez's most unusual roles is in the trippy indie horror movie She Dies Tomorrow (2020), where she plays a depressed young woman named Sky who's oddly unfazed when a stranger covered in blood arrives at her door. Her most recent part leading up to Fast X is opposite Chris Pine in Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves (2023), where she plays the barbarian Holga Kilgore.
Chad Lindberg (Jesse)
Chad Lindberg — who plays Jesse, the anti-establishment computer wiz of Dom's crew — has done everything from beloved films like October Sky (1999) to one-off roles on shows like Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Law & Order. On TV, he's known for his work on Supernatural, where he played another computer genius — mulleted Harvelle's Roadhouse resident Ash — from 2005-2010. In the movies, his biggest post-Furious gig was as Matthew, a member of the group of creeps who get their comeuppance in the remake I Spit on Your Grave (2010).
As a child, Lindberg nearly died from complications of Reye's Syndrome, and he's been obsessed with ghosts ever since. He turned that passion into practice as a paranormal investigator on Ghost Adventures in 2012 and by hosting the miniseries Ghost Stalkers in 2014. When Lindberg isn't spending the night in haunted locations with an EMF meter, he's currently working on the bridge of the Enterprise, playing Ensign Foster on Star Trek: Picard.
Johnny Strong (Leon)
Johnny Strong came to the role of Leon, a member of Dom's racing crew, as a trained martial artist. (Strong has studied judo, jiu-jitsu, boxing, kickboxing, and Jeet Kune Do.) So it may come as a surprise that he hasn't been in many martial arts movies — his roles tend to lean more towards soldiers, cops, and criminals in the Sylvester Stallone action flick Get Carter (2000), Black Hawk Down (2001), and Sinners and Saints (2010) among others.
Acting is just one of Strong's creative hats: He also started the post-grunge rock band Operator, with whom he's recorded seven albums. Strong makes music under his own name as well and composed the scores for three of his films. In recent years, he's also gotten into crafting weapons and has been featured on the cover of Blade magazine — twice.
Matt Schulze (Vince)
In The Fast and the Furious, Matt Schulze plays Dom's childhood friend Vince, a.k.a. the loudmouth bruiser in the sleeveless T-shirt who threatens to beat up Paul Walker at the beginning of the film. In real life, Schulze is more of a Renaissance man who trained as a musician and worked as a model before taking on his role in the burgeoning franchise.
His resume is eclectic as well: Schulze had a successful run as an action star in the late '90s and 2000s, appearing in Blade (1998), Blade II (2002), The Transporter (2002), and Torque (2004) as well as The Fast and the Furious. In 2008, he wrote, directed, and starred in the spy thriller The Acquirer (2008) before returning to the family in Fast Five (2011). Since then, he's only had one film role in the Johnny Knoxville vehicle Action Point (2018).
Rick Yune (Johnny Tran)
A pioneering force who led the way for future generations of Asian American actors, Rick Yune played Vietnamese gang leader Johnny Tran in The Fast and the Furious (Yune is Korean American). He followed the film's success with another notable villain turn, this time facing off against James Bond in Die Another Day (2002) as Zao, a North Korean terrorist with piercing blue eyes and a face full of diamonds (literally, the gems are embedded in his face).
Yune is often cast as a villain, playing baddies in Ninja Assassin (2009), Netflix's Marco Polo (2014-2016), and Olympus Has Fallen (2013), where he portrayed another North Korean terrorist. He played a more heroic role in RZA's martial arts epic The Man With the Iron Fists (2012), wherein he whipped out his Olympic-level taekwondo training. But to first break out as a lead actor, he had to write his own starring role in The Fifth Commandment (2008), a John Wick-esque story about an assassin under fire from his pissed-off colleagues.
One of Yune's more recent projects was Alita: Battle Angel (2019), where he played the cyborg warrior Master Clive Lee. Michelle Rodríguez also appears in the movie in a small role as Alita's mentor, making the film a mini-Furious reunion.
Ted Levine (Sgt. Tanner)
Ted Levine's most famous role came long before he was cast as Brian O'Conner's boss, Sgt. Tanner, in The Fast and the Furious. Although he looks completely different in the two movies, if you squint, you'll realize that Levine also played serial killer Jame Gumb, a.k.a. Buffalo Bill, in the multi-Oscar winner The Silence of the Lambs (1991).
Once you get over the shock, it might take another minute to recognize Levine as mustachioed police captain Leland Stottlemeyer on the acclaimed series Monk or as the similarly groomed NYPD Commissioner Thomas Byrnes on TNT's The Alienist. After that, don't be surprised if you see his face pop up in just about anything: Levine has appeared in almost 100 films and TV shows over the course of his career, covering everything from prestige dramas like Shutter Island (2010) to big-name blockbusters like Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom (2018).
Thom Barry (Agent Bilkins)
Though one of his first film roles was playing Michael Jordan's dad in Space Jam (1996), Thom Barry soon became a character actor for authority figures (think cops, judges, and military men). He plays to this strength in The Fast and the Furious as FBI Agent Bilkins, who simply can't wait any longer for Brian to break the racing-heist case. He reprised the role in the sequel, 2 Fast 2 Furious (2003), before taking on his longest-running and most recognizable role as Inspector Will Jeffries on the long-running CBS police procedural Cold Case.
Barry appeared in 156 episodes of that series between 2003-2010, and took on a few more supporting roles after that — he's the second Fast and Furious/Texas Chainsaw crossover on this list after Jordana Brewster, having played Sheriff Hooper in Texas Chainsaw 3D (2013) — before retiring from acting in 2017. He's also a committed advocate for animal rights.
Noel Gugliemi (Hector)
Ever since his first appearance as "Latin Guy on Bicycle" in the Offspring's 1998 "Pretty Fly for a White Guy" video, Noel Gugliemi has stayed busy. He's the most prolific actor of The Fast and the Furious cast by far, with over 200 credits to his name. Many of those have been bit parts — with his signature shaved head and goatee, Gugliemi is a classic "that guy" character actor — although he's also done longer runs on TV series like Mayans M.C. and the sitcom Fresh Off the Boat.
Gugliemi's character on the latter was also named Hector. In fact, it's a name that's haunted him throughout his career. He's played "Hector" in eight different, unrelated projects — not to mention the time he reprised his role as Fast and Furious' street-racing kingpin Hector in Furious 7 (2015). His other notable films include Training Day (2001) with Denzel Washington, Street Kings (2008) with Keanu Reeves, and Dragged Across Concrete (2018) with Mel Gibson.