Actress Jordana Brewster discusses Fast Five, working with this ensemble cast, Dallas, and much more
Actress Jordana Brewster was primarily known as a soap opera star, appearing on over 100 episodes of As the World Turns, before landing her breakthrough role as Mia Toretto in 2001's The Fast and the Furious. The actress returned to the franchise in 2009's Fast & Furious and in this year's blockbuster Fast Five, which hits the shelves on Blu-ray and DVD October 4. I recently had the chance to speak with Jordana Brewster over the phone about Fast Five. Here's what she had to say below.
This franchise has such a long and storied history. When you first went in for The Fast and the Furious 10 years ago, what would you have said if someone told you that you'd be talking about the fifth movie, 10 years later?
Jordana Brewster: I think I'd be pretty incredulous. I was still in school, an East-coaster, so I didn't really drive. I just knew we were making a movie about cars. I don't think any of us had any clue this would grow to be something so big, and that would resonate so much with the fans.
Did you all get this gear-head crash course when you went in for the first movie?
Jordana Brewster: Well, I'm the only one that didn't have a license. Everyone else did, so they said I had to get my license and then go to Las Vegas to go to this driving school. I was like, 'What do you mean? If I don't even have my license, how the heck am I going to participate in a driving school?' But, I did and I was really scared. 10 years later, I'm a better driver, but it did take me about that long.
That's awesome. The franchise took a few different turns after the first movie. Were you ever offered parts in the other sequels, 2 Fast 2 Furious and The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift? Did you follow the franchise as it grew?
Jordana Brewster: Yeah, I especially loved The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift. (Director) Justin Lin and I were working together on Annapolis, and while they were in post for Annapolis, he was working on the deal for Tokyo Drift. I was so excited that he was going to take over the franchise. I thought it was such a perfect fit. No, I wasn't offered a role in those, because if I had, I would be in them. I love the franchise and I love playing Mia.
You hear the phrase "upping the ante" a lot with sequels, but this franchise seems to really know what they're doing when it comes to that. Each movie adds a lot of new elements and this movie brings in cast members from all of the sequels. Can you talk about the dynamic of being on a set like that, creating this big family?
Jordana Brewster: That's what keeps it fresh, and I think keeps it really fun. It's the same core characters from the first one, but then you have Tyrese Gibson and Ludacris from the second one. Tyrese is such a fun guy to be around on the set because you never know what he's going to do. He's a really funny guy and kind of a practical jokester. Then Ludacris, I never thought I'd be in a movie with Ludacris, and I'm such a massive fan of his. I have a bunch of songs of his on my iPod. I was like this schoolgirl fan. I think for the fans, it was fun because they get to see the characters evolve and see where they're at now. Everyone is part of the heist for different reasons and they all have their own motivations. Also, I think changing the setting helps a lot, and being in Rio, what better place to go?
Justin's career has really taken off with this franchise. Can you talk about working with him on this, and what his sensibilities really bring to an action franchise like this?
Jordana Brewster: He's just a wonderful leader. He's very calm and he knows exactly what he wants, which is amazing. You just feel so safe in his hands, which on such a big movie with so much at stake, it's so great to have a director that's like that. He also cares a lot about the characters, and the integrity of the characters and their relationships. He's very collaborative. He meets with each actor, one-on-one, and you can also email back and forth and discuss the characters. It's great that he has so much on his plate, and yet he makes time for that. It's amazing.
Jordana Brewster: No, I haven't heard anything official yet.
I'm interested to see how they will up the ante again, and if everyone comes back. do you have a location in mind where you would like to see the whole team go to?
Jordana Brewster: It'd be really fun to go to Europe. That would be really fun.
Have the whole gang on the Autobahn? That would be kind of insane.
Jordana Brewster: That would be awesome.
It's fairly rare to see the fifth movie in a franchise out-gross the first movie. What do you think keeps bringing in the fans even more so this time around?
Jordana Brewster: I think Vin Diesel, who is one of the producers, and Justin Lin, they don't take the fans for granted. Technology has changed so much and action has changed so much. I think we know we have to give them something new, like bringing everyone back from the old ones and bringing in someone like Dwayne Johnson, who adds a complete new flavor to the franchise and ups the ante in terms of Dom's showdown. The story is one of the most important things as well, adding the heist element. And yeah, I think they just work really hard at making it good, basically.
I was wondering if you could talk a bit about Dallas. Could you talk a bit about your character, Elena Ramos, and what you really hope fans take away from this new show?
Jordana Brewster: You know, I'm on the third season now of the original Dallas. It's just so much fun to watch. When I saw our pilot, I got so emotional when the theme song came on. It's like you're a part of something so iconic. I just hope the fans of the original series like watching the new generation interact with Bobby and J.R. Ewing and Sue Ellen. It's kind of like what happens with Fast, you get to pick up where characters left off and you get to see them evolve. There is still family drama playing out, there are those who still care about money more than anything and those who care about the family more than anything. There are those age-old themes that are so much fun to watch play out.
Can you talk a bit about your character, Elena?
Jordana Brewster: Well, I'm in a love triangle between John Ross Jr. (Josh Henderson) and Christopher (Jesse Metcalfe). I grew up with the boys on the ranch, so I'm very familiar with their antics. It's a really fun, juicy role to play. I'm also an engineer.
I know Fast Five did fantastic at the box office, but, what would you like to say to anyone who didn't see it in theaters, or people who might be on the fence about the movie, about why they should pick it up on Blu-ray or DVD?
Jordana Brewster: They should watch it because there's something for everyone. There's drama, there's a beautiful setting, and the action is just unbelievable. They're missing out if they don't watch it.
Great. That's about all I have. Thanks so much for talking to me, Jordana
Jordana Brewster: Thank you very much.