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Michelle Rodriguez threatens to leave ‘Fast & Furious’; director responds

Michelle Rodriguez in 2009's

Michelle Rodriguez in 2009's "Fast & Furious." Credit: Universal Pictures

The director of the most recent “Fast & Furious” film has responded to Michelle Rodriguez suggesting she might not reprise her role in the ninth and 10th installments that are planned to wrap up the series.

“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,” Rodriguez, 38, wrote on social media Tuesday after noting that F. Gary Gray’s $1.24 billion worldwide hit, “The Fate of the Furious,” was being released digitally that day. “It’s been a good ride & Im grateful for the opportunity the fans & studio have provided over the years. . . . One Love,” she concluded. In addition to Rodriguez, that eighth installment also featured Oscar winners Charlize Theron and Helen Mirren, and Elsa Pataky.

In an interview with Business Insider on Thursday, Gray said: “I’m the new guy and I thought with ‘The Fate of the Furious,’ as it relates to women . . . [that] 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.”

He added, “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 . . . [that] the combination of female characters was pretty strong.”

It was unclear if Rodriguez was referring to the depth of the women’s roles or to the actresses’ financial compensation compared to the many male stars in the films.

Rodriguez said in an interview with New York magazine’s Vulture blog in 2013 that she almost left the franchise while shooting that year’s “Fast & Furious 6.” In particular, she objected to portraying a promiscuous woman, “I was crying on the set,” she said. “I was like, ‘Look, dude, I love you guys, I really want to be a part of this, but I can’t play a slut in front of millions of people around the world.’ I’d rather go back to Jersey City, doing my small little indie movies.”


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