Michelle Rodriguez: Charlize Theron and I Shot Our ‘Fast X’ Fight Scene ‘With No Director… We Don’t Need One, Let’s Do This’
The official trailer for “Fast X” unveiled the first footage of Jason Momoa and Brie Larson joining the long-running action series, but it was the brutal fight scene between franchise veterans Michelle Rodriguez and Charlize Theron that packed the most punch. The duo go head-to-head in what looks like a fist fight for the ages, and Rodriguez recently told Vanity Fair they filmed it without a director.
“Can I just tell you — no pun intended, but Charlize is a monster,” Rodriguez said. “We shot our [‘Fast X’] fight sequence with no director. Bro, like, hands down, drop mic, we nailed it. We were there, we don’t need [a director], let’s do this.”
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“Fast X” started production with Justin Lin, who has directed five “Fast & Furious” movies, but he departed the movie just days into filming because of creative differences. “The Transporter” and “Now You See Me” director Louis Leterrier was brought in as Lin’s replacement, but there was about a week where “Fast X” had no director. According to Rodriguez, that was when she and Theron filmed their fight scene. No principal director was on set for the scene, although Rodriguez did say a “second unit director” came on to help oversee.
“We kept that train running until Louie came in and took over,” Rodriguez added. “And [Charlize] is a consummate professional, sharp elbows, her work ethic is beyond.”
Variety has reached out to Universal Pictures for additional comment.
Leterrier revealed to Esquire Middle East in February that only four days separated getting the call from Universal to calling action on set.
“I read the script four times on the plane, and I said I had some ideas, and they said, ‘Great, because the whole third act is changing. Can you rewrite it tonight?’” Leterrier said. “I was literally on no sleep. I’d been on no sleep for days.”
“Obviously, this was not going to be set in stone,” the director continued. “But I was like, ‘Okay, yeah, I’ve got some ideas,’ and started writing. And obviously, since the third act was changing, I needed to change the first act. And when you rewrite the third act, and the first act, the second act has to go. So basically I had to on the fly rebuild the airplane.”
What can fans expect from the “Fast X” script? Rodriguez told Vanity Fair that moviegoers will be shocked at the ending.
“It is not really an ending, but it’s also like, ‘You can’t do this to us. We’re your die-hard fans, you can’t do this to us!'” she said. “You’re going to feel so cheated in a way, but then so gratified and excited about what’s to come. I can’t divulge more than that, but get ready for a shocker. After 23 years of shooting these things, it’s really tough at this stage to shock me, and they got me good.”
“Fast X” is set to open in theaters on May 19 from Universal Pictures.
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