For twelve years now, the Fast and Furious franchise has been steadily ratcheting up the insanity of the action in the films. Also growing and changing in those twelve years has been Jordana Brewster’s Mia Torreto. The character started as the girl-next-door love interest for Paul Walker’s Brian, but over the course of six films has grown to become just as bad ass as the boys. In Fast and Furious 6, out Friday, Mia returns as a wife and mother who will do anything to protect her family, all while flipping the idea of what a damsel in distress is capable of.
We sat down to talk with Jordana about the Fast and Furious films, working with director Justin Lin, and the potential future for her cult hit D.E.B.S.
Nerdist: Fast and Furious 6 was set in London. How was it to get to go back there? You grew up for a little bit in London, correct?
Jordana Brewster: I did, I grew up here. Well, I got really lucky, because I grew up in Brazil as well, and we shot there. I also grew up in London from the age of one to six. I looked at my old school and went to my old building where I used to live. So, it’s been fun.
N: So, Fast and Furious 7 takes place at Yale (Brewster’s alma mater)?
JB: (Laughs) No…. Actually, that could be fun.
N: So Fast and Furious is becoming your version of This is Your Life?
JB: That’s kind of how I felt during the opening credits of this one. They had all of these snippets from all the different movies, so it was definitely a walk down memory lane. I felt that since this is Justin’s last installment of the franchise, it was kind of like an ode to him as well.
N: You’ve worked with Justin through several films. He’s the one that pushed for everybody coming back and oversaw this great arc for your character through several films. How do you feel about him saying goodbye?
JB: I owe Justin so much. I love him so much. I trust him completely. We were actually shooting reshoots for Annapolis in London and he was talking about doing Tokyo Drift. I told him, “Man, you have to do it. It’s so perfect.” It feels like we’ve come full circle.
N: Your character has had the most significant changes and growth throughout the series, but is still the moral center of the crew. How was it seeing the script and understanding that you play a hugely pivotal part of the film, but you would be absent for a huge portion of the movie?
JB: Well, we were shooting Dallas at the same time, so it kind of worked out great. So I was shooting Dallas and then I would get on a plane, hop over to London and shoot a couple scenes. The fact that she’s not in it quite as much because she’s at home with the baby really worked to my benefit.
N: Without giving away too much of how it all ends, the final act of the film really brings you back into the picture. The scenes are a great example of the heightened reality that Justin has created for this world. As your character got more integrated into the action in the recent additions to the series, what have you gotten to do that maybe you weren’t able to in earlier films?
JB: This one was really fun. I did a lot more green screen, which is fun. Again, it involved so much trust in your director. That ending sequence is so intricate and there are so many moving parts. Justin would be like, “Okay, in your rear view mirror you see Tyrese hanging from a car and you see this….” When you see it all come together, it’s so satisfying.
N: One aspect to your character that was very compelling is how easily Mia could have been a Damsel in Distress.
N: In Mia’s case, the moment she can, she gets involved. She is actively figuring out where she can help take down the bad guy. What are your impressions on getting to play that kind of strong character?
JB: That’s really Justin’s input. He was so intent on having his female characters be really strong. He even said when I was coming up to Luke Evans character in the plane… I was playing fear and Justin said, “Be strong.” When I saw the movie, it all made so much sense to me, because that guy slighted my family and wronged us. It just seemed like completely the right attitude to have. Justin had the movie in his head, and he realizes that.
N: You seem to have a lot of faith and trust in Justin. Do you hand over that kind of faith with all of your directors, or is that something that comes with working together so many times?
JB: It definitely depends on the project. A director has to earn that trust. The fact that Justin and I have done now Annapolis, Fast 4, Fast 5, and now Fast 6; I’ve had a lot of experience with him and I know that he’s a guy you can definitely trust, but sometimes it’s really hard to take that leap of faith. So directors definitely have to earn it.
N: Switching gears a little bit, we’re big fans of D.E.B.S.
JB: Oh, cool!
N: Erasure is still stuck in our heads because of you.
JB: Oh, I know, right?
N: With your experience on Dallas now and with all of the films getting big boosts on Kickstarter, do you think the the world is ready for the return of Lucy Diamond?
JB: I DO! I retweet it every time I see it on Twitter, I talk to Angela about it. I think it would be so much fun.
N: If they picked up the story, Lucy would be a good guy?
JB: We’ll see how long she could last. I don’t think she could last that long as a good guy.
N: You’ve shown a lot of versatility, but it seems you’ve only gotten to show off your comedy chops a few times. Do you have anything coming up that lets you work those muscles?
JB: As soon as I’m done here, right after the premiere, I go to New Orleans to shoot this movie North of Hell, which is a dark comedy with Patrick Wilson and Katherine Heigl. I go completely outside of my comfort zone in terms of the character I’m playing. And that’s more my sense of humor, dry and dark… and a little bit twisted.
N: Are there any other genre projects you’d want to do?
JB: I would love to be a part of Batman or Spider-man. Actually, Iron Man is my favorite, so that would probably be my first choice.
Fast and Furious 6 is in theaters now. You can find out more about the making of the film in our interviews with actress Gina Carano.