Michelle Rodriguez praises Vin Diesel as a ‘supporter of strong women’

Michelle Rodriguez has a beef against the Fast and Furious franchise, but don’t think she has any ill will against co-star Vin Diesel. The 38-year-old actress, who has played Letty in five of the films in the series, recently slammed the movies for their portrayal of women. She later made sure that Vin, who plays her love interest in the movies, didn’t get any of the flak.

On Saturday, a video of the two actors together showed up on Vin’s Instagram. In it, Michelle thanked him for being “the biggest supporter of strong women” and added, “I’ve always appreciated that about you throughout the years and just know that if I ever post anything, that it’s not you I’m talking to.” Vin gave Michelle a playful kick and jokingly said, “Of course it’s not me!”

The impetus for the video stemmed from a post Michelle shared to Instagram last week where she commented, “F8 is out digitally today, I hope they decide to show some love to the women of the franchise on the next one. Or I just might have to say goodbye to a loved franchise.”

Fast and Furious director F. Gary Gray responded to Michelle’s comments, telling the Business Insider:

I thought there was a strong representation of women in the movie when you bring on what I thought was one of the strongest antagonists in Charlize Theron. And then you have Helen Mirren, who has a cameo that’s strong. I can’t speak for Michelle, she has a very specific point of view and I can’t take anything away from that, but I would like to think that with ‘The Fate of the Furious’ specifically, I can’t speak to the other films, I thought the combination of female characters was pretty strong.

[From the Business Insider]

This, of course, isn’t the first time that Michelle has expressed her displeasure about the female characters in the Fast and Furious movies. Back in September, while working on F&F 8, Michelle told Entertainment Tonight that while she admired the work of Charlize Theron in the flick, calling her “the most powerful villain this franchise has ever seen,” she asserted that “In order for me to be a part of the franchise in the future, they need to up the ante on the females. I mean, it’s like a sausage factory in this thing.”

I have never seen a Fast and Furious movie, and, frankly, I don’t think I’m missing much. I understand where Michelle is coming from though. It would be awesome to see more kick-ass ladies in action films. I hope the tide has turned since the success of Wonder Woman. Also, Vin Diesel seems like a sweetheart.

Michelle Rodriguez at Giorgio Baldi restaurant

New York premiere of 'Fast and Furious 8: The Fate of the Furious'

Photos: Getty Images, WENN.com

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31 Responses to “Michelle Rodriguez praises Vin Diesel as a ‘supporter of strong women’”

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  1. trollontheloose says:

    but let me take the money first ..did V call her and hastily staged a photo-op?

    • Nyawira says:

      It does look that way. I wouldn’t be surprised if her manager got a call that went “V isn’t happy especially after the Rock fiasco that this may fall on his shoulders as a producer. Tell her to make it right”.

    • Pandy says:

      Right? Cash that cheque Michelle! Don’t bite the hand that feeds you so publicly, sheesh.

      • Pumpkin Pie says:

        I think she was very brave to put out that statement.
        I watched all F&Fs and can’t wait for the next two – I read there are two more in the making. Though I am not a fan of Charlize Theron’s acting in the last one and it seems that her character will make a comeback.

    • Nicole says:

      It does look that way but to me I think she’s more against the writers and directors than the cast. She’s never had anything bad to say about them even when criticizing the movies

  2. Erinn says:

    Don’t like either of them. He’s known to be a real pain in the ass on set… and Ms. Repeated DUI and Domestic Violence over there isn’t much of a voice of reason. Seeing how much she sucks as a person – her building up of someone who’s known to be very difficult doesn’t exactly make me think he’s some genuinely sweet and kind dude.

  3. SM says:

    That’s a tricky one. How many ladies are actually fans of this franchise? I assume (but i might be wrong) most of fans of Fast and Furious are young male who like fast cars. Not to stereotype but they are also the ones who just like to look at half dressed young good looking women and are not interested in strong female figures. And in this post-trump world (yes, the pre and post Trump ages are legit periods of modern history) they will be less “shy” to make this attitude public. And the creators will probably have to oblige in order to keep their main viewer and hence strong female leads are hardly in thr future pf this franchise

    • slowsnow says:

      I dunno. I’m halfway on this one. This is the kind of Saturday mid-afternoon film on TV (once they go on TV) right? To lazily watch while you drink a cold one and chat away with the family? A bit more clever and less douchey than The Transformers franchise, in Burger King / McDonalds kind of parallel? Perhaps if the characters were a little bit more interesting it would not do any harm. It did not seem to hurt Mad Max (which is, of course, far superior, but still attracts the machine/fight/display of guns kind of spectator).

    • Nyawira says:

      There’s no way it becomes a billion dollar franchise without a significant female audience. Consider that most movie goers go to the movies with a member of the opposite sex. Adding stronger women can only increase its audience not hurt it.

      • slowsnow says:

        And, also, many women like cars and action films, come to think of it.
        I guess it’s the same debate as the minority characters… Minorities are not minorities in the sense of being a small negligeable number and they fill in the theatres as much as the straight white man.

    • Cee says:

      I’ve seen them all at the movies and yes, there are fewere women in the audience. But we’re still there.

    • Betsy says:

      I don’t know. How many men are usually featured in movies geared to women?

      • Dem says:

        The men are often either the leads or sold as the biggest draw in those films. Just think about how much attention Edward and Jacob got for those Twilight films.

    • bettyrose says:

      SM – I’m no lady, but I am female with a lot of experience going to movies with the male species. The truth is that until recently, neither young men nor women demanded strong female roles in movies, but they don’t object to them either. The data proves you right that the target audience for these highly lucrative films doesn’t give a crap whether there are strong female characters, but they wouldn’t object to strong female characters either. And their inclusion might make this target audience realize they appreciate them. Sure, Hollywood has no obligation to social justice. It’s fine if $$ is their only pursuit, but it speaks volumes about the lack of women in charge in Hollywood that no one tries to get this viewer demographic to care about strong female role models. Kudos to MR for speaking out.

    • Jess says:

      I love all of these movies, but I also love fast cars. Sure these movies are completely unrealistic but it’s fun to go into the theater and forget about your own shit for awhile, plus the men are all nice to look at:) I somewhat agree with Michelle though, the most girls are usually in skimpy bikinis and have short roles, other than being the girlfriend. So yeah, they could improve.

  4. Ozogirl says:

    I’ve only seen the movies with Letty and Dom because I like Michelle and I like their chemistry. She’s had the biggest storyline of any female in the franchise, but I also think her scenes get cut first in favor of testosterone. She didn’t even have many lines in the movie that brought her back from the dead and her character was the whole plot line!! ALL the characters take the backseat to Vin, Paul, and Dwayne. I’m glad she slightly clarified her comments for Vin’s sake, but I still think she’s being rather vague. Some are left scratching their head because Cherlize and Helen were in the last one.

    • Nem says:

      Maybe it s her clumsy way to campaign for more script and screen time for herself on the next film.
      She must be fuming the woman shine was on Charlize Theron.

      • V4Real says:

        That’s what I was thinking, she wants more screen time or a stronger role. I don’t see her gripe. Every female character, not the extras have strong roles. Letty is often driving just as fast as the guys and kicking ass. The fight scene between her and Rhonda Rowsey was one of the best in the series. Even Jordana”s character was not just the gf of Brian, she had Sponk and strength in her own way. Charlize was the best villain to date in the franchise. Helen Mirren cameo made me want her as my mother, how clever they played that. I also loved the diverse cast. Oh and the female hacker added not just beauty but brains.

        Now if she was talking about the scantily clad women I would understand but she doesn’t seem to have a problem with that.

      • Nem says:

        Maybe she feels threatened with such a big fish as Theron on their pool.
        Their franchise is one of the most solid without being books or comics adaptation. Michelle Rodriguez knows she is lucky to have such a meal ticket at such an ancient age(for Hollywood) and being poc without a very high profile.
        She doesn’t want to be put on the side or fired from this hard earned success, now she can profit from it, by someone who wasn’t part of it in the beginning.
        If i remember well Rodriguez has debuted her career in prestige indie girlfight. If she had had her big break into superstardom she would have been into Angelina Jolie and Theron ‘s lane as a action woman.
        Struggle between actresses in Hollywood as meaty roles are scarce must be fierce.
        Maybe the actors’ reaction wouldn’t be better if the role was given to Leonardo di Caprio.

      • Ozogirl says:

        Yes and maybe it’s also about Jordana who I believe was completely left out of the last movie? But that made sense because of Paul Walker passing… If Michelle is saying women take the backseat as the romantic interest to the male lead, then I agree with that, but she’s being vague and I’m not sure what her point is or who she’s actually aiming it at. Let’s be honest, Michelle isn’t a good actress or a box office draw and she’s pretty darn lucky to have a role in this billion dollar franchise. Does she want more screen time? More action scenes? Her own storyline? More money? More female characters? Hopefully she knows what she’s doing because I’d like to see her continue with the franchise.

      • bettyrose says:

        Fair enough, but I’d be steaming over Charlize Theron too. Saw her on a panel at Comicon once. She’s got the intellect of a plastic doll. Couldn’t answer a single question on her own. And maybe she’d been warned not to, but much less important male actors were wisecracking and waxing poignant with their audience responses, so at the very least Charlize is a coward – either way, Michelle Rodriquez is ten time the badass that Charlize is.

      • Lucy2 says:

        That’s what I thought Nem- she’s trying to get more for her character/herself. Which isn’t a bad thing, but maybe should be done in a meeting with the director and producers rather than on social media.

  5. Velvet Elvis says:

    I loved the original The Fast & The Furious and I hung in there for the next few… but when they started going heavy on the CGI stunts it just became a ridiculous cartoon. The women have always been pretty badass though…especially the Letty character, so not sure where she’s coming from.

    • Naddie says:

      Funny, I hated it exactly because I saw the opposite: one woman to be the pretty lady (Mia) and the other to follow her lover’s steps, just putting a “badass face” up. The scene where Mia drives fast and surprises Walker’s character couldn’t be more patronizing. A pat in our heads, basically.

  6. Moxie Remon says:

    Please, he harasses journalists, don’t come with this fake feminist talk cause we sure as hell know it’s not genuine.

  7. Cee says:

    I’ve seen them all and I agree with her. All of the women are eye candy and “companions”. Hers is the only character who drives, but she is in fact a “girlfriend/wife” character. The actress from GOT is a brainy hacker, always responding to Ludacris’ character. Charlize’s was the first strong female character introduced in the franchise. Even Hemsworth’s wife, a POLICE/DETECTIVE, was so damn weak.

    She’s right.

  8. Bridget says:

    Having a female villain doesn’t make the ladies’ roles any better or any more fleshed out. They’re just there as accessories to Vin Diesel and The Rock. F Gary Gray has no id a what makes a “strong” female character at all.

  9. MC2 says:

    All I have to say is: #TeamRock

  10. AlmondMilk says:

    I thought F&F was indeed Vin Diesel’s franchise.

    So why wouldn’t she take this to him?

    Also why is F.Gary Gray, talking about Theron and Mirren, when the franchise, in Michelle Rodirigues, has one of the most watchable action stars and actors in their own franchise (and a woman of color to boot!). That was kind of an insult to her.

    Michelle could easily be one of the main stars along with Diesel, on an equal footing in terms of size of her role, and storyline. She sure as heck shouldn’t slide into girlfriend mode and let these guest stars like Theron get the meat. That’s some. B. S.