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Michelle Rodriguez Discusses Importance of Female 'F9' Writer to Break "Egoist" Male Stories

Fate of the Furious -Michelle Rodriguez
Universal Pictures/Photofest
The actress has been a part of the franchise since the 2001 original.

Michelle Rodriguez was ready to walk away from the Fast & Furious franchise if a female writer was not brought on board — and she feels strongly about the benefit the upcoming F9 has received from the move.

While a guest Wednesday on SiriusXM's The Jess Cagle Show, Rodriguez explained why she demanded a female writer be added to the series after years of the male characters growing in depth and benefiting from rich storylines, while the female characters remained stagnant.

"A lot of my necessity to have a female writer was just really more about candor," she began, adding, in her opinion, the male writers prefer "a one dimensionalized" female character.

In a separate interview with Jessica Shaw on SiriusXM’s EW Live, the actress further explained, "Guys get excited about their own stories. So it's almost like a forgetfulness. And so it's just kind of like having to remind them gently from the sidelines for years that you exist, you know? And that you're loud and that you're hardcore and that you won't take shit from anybody."

She continued, "All the (male writers) are focused on the guys, period. It's just an egoist natural thing. People just care about themselves usually, or people who look like them or act like them or have the same genitalia, I don't know. It's just how it works."

Daniel Casey, the male screenwriter also known for the 2018 sci-fi movie Kin, is known to have written the F9 script, however, it is common on studio blockbusters for multiple writers to contribute to a film, sometimes going uncredited. Though Rodriguez, who has been a part of the franchise since 2001's The Fast and the Furious as Letty Ortiz, did not name the female writer added to the series but gave some clues, such as she is also a writer on HBO's Westworld.

"She's a freaking awesome African American woman who just gets it, she's down to earth, she's urban," Rodriguez explained on The Jess Cagle Show. "You got to also understand the multicultural aspect of it. It's hard to have a guy from Beverly Hills who maybe sometimes hangs out or listens to hip hop and thinks that he may know what that kind of, you know, rapport is between street kids."

Stressing how the series is a "minority platform," Rodriguez, who last appeared in 2017's The Fate of the Furious, said the male characters have become icons in the eyes of a diverse range of male fans. And she wants that for the female characters in the eyes of female fans.

"I wanted all the females in Fast & Furious to get some love," she told Shaw.

F9 is due in theaters April 2, 2021

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