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[This story contains spoilers for F9.]
They say lightning doesn’t strike twice, but F9 star Sung Kang begs to differ. After Kang’s fan-favorite character Han was killed off in 2006’s The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift, the Fast creatives — including Kang’s friend and collaborator Justin Lin — decided to retcon the franchise’s timeline in order to keep Han in play. This creative choice led to three Tokyo Drift prequels involving Han including Fast & Furious (2009), Fast Five (2011) and Fast and Furious 6 (2013). And when Furious 6‘s post-credit scene revealed that Jason Statham’s Deckard Shaw was the driver of the Mercedes that seemingly killed Han in Tokyo Drift, the book on Han and Kang’s role in the franchise appeared to be closed shut. That was indeed the case — until Los Angeles Times film reporter Jen Yamato had other ideas.
“Jen [Yamato] had a vigil for Han — an actual vigil with people and candles,” Kang tells The Hollywood Reporter when asked about his first time seeing the “#JusticeForHan” social media campaign. “She’s a fan of the idea of what Han represents to so many, Asian or not. It taught me and instilled in me that Fast is no longer hokey. I used to always think of it as a hokey action flick, but within that, there’s so much power to make a difference and truly impact people. So I was totally honored, and that’s when I started taking it super seriously.”
In the post-credit scene of F9, Kang and Statham share the screen for the first time since 2007 Statham-Jet Li actioner War, as Han confronts the man who tried to kill him. When Statham was integrated into the Tokyo Drift car crash footage in Furious 6 and Furious 7, archive footage of Kang was used in both cases. And oddly enough, after wrapping War in 2005, Kang and Statham happened to discuss the former’s upcoming role in Tokyo Drift. But even though Han survived Deckard Shaw’s attempt on his life, Kang, along with Lin, insists that “Justice for Han” hasn’t been served yet. In fact, Kang alludes to the need for justice toward a different Shaw brother [Luke Evans’ Owen Shaw].
“As Sung, it’s fairy-tale land right now,” Kang explains. “But within the story, if you just take away my personal feelings and involvement, yeah, [justice] hasn’t been served. It hasn’t been served because someone that is dear to Han [Gal Gadot’s Gisele] is not here anymore. So how is that resolved? And if I find the man responsible for it [Luke Evans’ Owen Shaw], what do I do to him? So we’ll see.”
In a recent conversation with THR, Kang also discusses Han’s emotional reunions with Vin Diesel’s Dom, as well as Tokyo Drift‘s Lucas Black, Jason Tobin and Shad “Bow Wow” Moss. He also shares his excitement regarding his current role on Disney+’s Obi-Wan Kenobi.
Well, how are you, Sung?
I’m so relieved that this [pandemic] is somewhat ending, at least for us here. Somewhat. I just want to give people hugs. It’s been such a long time since I’ve even given somebody a handshake. But not being able to hug each other is making people feel lonely. It sounds corny, but it’s important, right? So I’m really happy it’s kind of ending. We can actually go out and see people in the audience and celebrate F9 with people. It’s pretty cool, man.
So you met Justin Lin on Better Luck Tomorrow, and while the Internet claims you wanted to play the Ben (Parry Shen) character, you apparently settled for a character named Han.
100 percent. (Laughs.) Everything works out when you trust, you know? The thing is, even when I was pushing to play Ben, I said to myself, “Should Justin cast me to play Ben?” I thought it would kind of compromise his vision of the movie that he wants to make, so I agreed with him. And Parry was perfect casting for Ben. At that time, I was just hungry for screen time and a role that had different dimensions. And Han, he’s the quiet one. There’s not much written on the page for him. In Better Luck Tomorrow, he’s usually written as standing, brooding, smoking, you know? (Laughs.). But yes, it worked out 100 percent. I’m glad that I trusted my gut and said, “I would just love to be on the team with someone like Justin. I trust this guy.” Internally, it was a bit of a last hurrah because I had so many reservations about it. I thought, “Is there any possibility of having a real career playing three-dimensional characters?” I didn’t sign up to go play a yakuza, a waiter or a guy standing in the background. I want to push the story forward. I don’t have to be a star, but you want to be on the court. You want to get the W with the team, and that’s how Justin spoke. Basketball terminology is the language he spoke. He trusted me to play the position that he needed me to play, and that happened to be Han. So it just worked out where that position could carry over into the Tokyo Drift, where we could grow together.
I know it’s been said over the years, but do the two of you really treat Better Luck Tomorrow as the origin story for Fast‘s Han?
I think it’s more of a romantic notion to say that our lineage comes from Better Luck Tomorrow and to be able to celebrate a character that happens to have the same name. It’s a similar cadence, right? In Better Luck Tomorrow, there’s a similar vibe and similar ego that people responded to at the time, and currently with the Han in Fast. But on paper and legally and all of that stuff like copyright issues, I’m sure it gets super complicated. (Laughs.) But for us, it’s barbecue talk. We get together and go, “Look what we did. We actually created a filmography and a lineage for our character from a credit card movie.” So that’s where it just gets fun, you know what I mean? It’s super romantic. In a way, it’s the Hollywood fairytale.
Is “Han Seoul-Oh” a response to the aforementioned copyright issues?
No, Han Seoul-Oh is completely misconstrued because Han Seoul-Oh is a fake name that Han Lue used on a fake ID. That’s the ID that pops up and it’s a joke. When Han went to go get a fake ID, he put Han Seoul-Oh as a joke to fuck with everybody. (Laughs.) But now, everyone thinks, “Oh, that’s his name.” So, no, it’s an inside joke from Justin to say, “That’s how clever this guy is.”
Since Justin clearly loves you and the character, did he want to kill Han in Tokyo Drift? Or did he have to honor someone else’s script at that point in his career?
At the time, we never talked about that being a problem or unnecessary, because he is a learned filmmaker who follows story. Essentially, Tokyo Drift is the hero’s journey, and Obi-Wan has to die in a way, right? So that character needed to die, and if he didn’t die, I don’t think he would be a fan favorite that would now have this campaign behind him. You appreciate things when they’re taken away, and I felt it. When we did Tokyo Drift, there was no talk about continuing him in other parts of the franchise. But I felt really happy, and I was like, “That’s the way you go out, man. That’s how you get set up to go play other roles that are three-dimensional.” So I felt so grateful that people had a reaction to that character even though he probably says four words in the whole movie. He’s just eating snacks. (Laughs.)
Last year, Christopher Nolan was asked about his favorite Fast movies, and while he said the first one was his favorite, he quickly added that he had a real “soft spot” for Tokyo Drift. How validating did that feel?
It’s super validating when you get validation from your peers. The irony of the Fast movies is that they were supposed to be B-movies at first, and now we have Oscar winners like Helen Mirren and Charlize Theron coming to play with us. And Christopher Nolan, a filmmaker like that, his statement gives you insight that the guy is a true film lover. They play Tokyo Drift all day, every day, somewhere. It’s a great hotel movie and it’s fun. So it’s just so validating. You kind of have to laugh a little bit, because at one time, it had a prejudice associated with it. It was like, “It’s a corny Fast and Furious movie.” But now, so many people want to come and play with us, right? So we’re doing something right. (Laughs.)
Everybody wanted #JusticeForHan years later — and rightfully so — but it was quite the grand gesture when they retconned the timeline to keep Han around for what became Fast 4-6. How flattering did that feel at the time?
Each time was humbling, and it’s a gift that never stops giving. The experience of a Fast movie is like going to the amusement park every single day, but everyone is walking around and asking you if you want something to eat or drink. It’s such an experience to be on a Fast movie because there’s so much resource to give you every opportunity to just do your work the best you can. It just sets you up and tees you up, man. You get everything. I don’t even eat lobster at home, but they have lobster there periodically. It’s crazy! (Laughs.) I don’t even have to show up with underwear; the costume department will give me a whole pack every day, you know what I mean? There’s so much privilege and awesomeness. All of the stuff that you imagine and fantasize about being in a Hollywood studio film, it’s like that and more in a Fast movie because it’s successful. You’ve got larger-than-life characters that are constantly coming in and out. So every day has such exciting energy on set. And to be able to be invited back after your character is dead, it’s like getting invited to that special family reunion or that party that you know is going to be awesome. As an actor, it’s great because you get to work with the best of the best, too. The crew is amazing, and what’s great is as we get older, a lot of the crew is growing up with us in a way. They watched our movies, and they’re so happy to see us. It allows you to be the best version of yourself, not only as a person, man and colleague, but in front of the camera, as well, because these guys want us to succeed. So in every way, I don’t see how any actor can complain when they work on a movie like this. There’s no job like this. None! So blessed.
When you walked off the set of Fast 4, did you assume that was it for you?
Yeah, I thought that was it. Each time, I was like, “This was awesome. Thanks, guys. This was a lot of fun. Hopefully, I get invited to the premiere.” (Laughs.)
So when did you first realize that #JusticeForHan was set in motion?
I started seeing it because of my now-friend [Los Angeles Times film reporter] Jen Yamato, and then I saw stuff on social media that was going viral. But Jen had a vigil for Han — an actual vigil with people and candles. I was like, “Is this some crazy fangirl?” (Laughs.) But there was deeper meaning behind it and it was really thought out. So I was humbled by the gesture of playing a character that means so much to people on multiple levels and so many subtextual levels, too. And in the current climate with all this divisiveness and Asian hate, it was like, “Wow, it’s interesting how everything is connecting.” So I can’t just dismiss this as a joke or some fangirl stuff. You have to honor it, so I was like, “This is wonderful.” And when I started learning how to do podcasts, I wanted to meet Jen, and she volunteered to be one of the first guests on my podcast. So we talked and I got to know her. And over time, I was like, “Wow, she is one of the people who’s completely responsible for this character coming back and me having these wonderful opportunities.” It’s also providing for my family because you make money on these movies, obviously. So I’m looking at her and going, “This journalist is a movie character in a way. She’s giving me life.” She’s a fan of the idea of what Han represents to so many, Asian or not. So I was like, “I’m honored.” It taught me and instilled in me that Fast is no longer hokey. I used to always think of it as a hokey action flick, but within that, there’s so much power to make a difference and truly impact people. It impacted this hyper-intelligent woman who is in touch with what’s going on socially and knows how to articulate it in words. So I was totally honored, and that’s when I started taking it super seriously.
And how did Justin deliver the news that Han would return for F9?
Well, we’re friends, so we see each other. We’ll take walks and play hoops, but he’s always bouncing ideas off of me. But he also keeps things close to the chest because he doesn’t want to make promises that aren’t going to happen. So once he got everything aligned, he just gave me a call and said, “I think I figured out how to bring Han back, but there’s some work to be done. So let’s just keep talking about it.” And that was it. It was just a casual call from a buddy, going, “Hey, get ready because you’re going to the family reunion.” (Laughs.)
Did you cut your hair to symbolize a rebirth of sorts, or did you not have time to grow it back after a previous job?
Well, it was both. I tried a bunch of wigs on because I had to wear wigs throughout the flashbacks, but I could’ve chosen to have long hair the whole movie. But we had long discussions with the wonderful hair and makeup department that’s worked with us since Fast 6, and we all felt like it was appropriate to keep Han’s hair short. He’s in hiding, too. He’s disappeared. And anyone with long hair is saying something. It’s a statement, and they usually stick out in a crowd, right? And Han is older now. He has to blend in, and he has to look like more of a father figure, so I felt like it was totally appropriate. And Lisa [Tomblin], the hair designer, is just so amazing. She worked on all of the Harry Potter films, and is an amazing, amazing collaborator. She did a great job finding Han’s hair because he’s older, and I think it works. And Justin was really pushing, “I want Han to start aging like Paul Newman in Cool Hand Luke and Steve McQueen in Bullitt.” So the long hair symbolizes carefreeness, but with short hair, there are more wrinkles on his face and heart. He did lose someone, and when a guy is that heartbroken, how does he walk through life? I don’t think he’s going to go out with flashy long hair anymore.
I love how you were grouped with Jordana Brewster since Mia was the first character to immediately console Han after Gisele (Gal Gadot) died in Fast 6. So did you and Jordana bond over the fact that you were both returning at the same time?
It’s just easy to bond with Jordana. She becomes your sister right away on set, and you are automatically enlisted as an uncle to her sons. (Laughs.) They’re on set all day with her, and they’re busybodies. They’re the coolest little kids in the world, and so you’re automatically thrust into her life and joined at the hips. Off-screen, we all have the same relationship with Jordana. She’s the sister, and I’ve heard many times from people that the camera doesn’t lie. She is that sister that everybody wants, so it’s easy to connect with her. She’s amazing.
Kurt Russell’s Mr. Nobody had a major hand in Han’s return, so it must’ve been a thrill to act opposite him.
Bucket list! Come on, now. Like, come on. I’m a child of the ‘80s, and Han’s long hair is very young Kurt Russell, you know what I mean? (Laughs.) It’s very inspired by that. And his whole cadence, too! In many ways, I feel like he was part of the DNA that I have in me as an actor and how I want to play a leading man. He’s the true movie star, man. He doesn’t show up with a bunch of bullshit. He just shows up with his cowboy boots and flannel. And he’s fucking happy and he’s transparent. There’s no bravado and there’s no, “I was cool back then and you’re just a punk kid.” Instantly, he’s like your older brother. He’s just great. And when you get to work with him, there’s humility because we’re human and people make mistakes. You flub lines, but he teaches you how to work together and collaborate and elevate one another. And it’s not movie star bullshit, you know what I mean? What an honor. Even the short scene that we had together, that’s the stuff you write home about. That’s the stuff where you check in with yourself and you go, “I can’t believe I’m actually here right now.” And the dude is hella cool. I can actually say I learned something from him. Like, I want to be him. He talked about his grandkids and how awesome they are and what they’re doing on the weekend. I thought, “I want to be that dude and show up to a Fast when I’m his age.” That seems pretty cool. (Laughs.)
When you shot Han’s reunion with everyone at the “clubhouse,” what was the vibe of the set like?
That was my first thing!
You had smart producers.
Yeah, I had hella anxiety the night before. It felt like transferring out of school in the middle of your freshmen year and then coming back in the middle of your junior year. Everybody has their friends already, and even though you were friends with everybody, you wonder if you’re going to eat lunch by yourself the next day. I swear that’s the story of my life, so I was like, “I hope everyone’s cool with me. I hope I didn’t change, and I hope I don’t feel like I’m being squeezed into this movie because my friend is the director. I don’t want that vibe.” And that hug with Vin, the camera doesn’t lie. Vin set it up, and he was like, “Let’s welcome him extra. Let’s make sure he doesn’t have any reservations. Let’s show him how much we appreciate him and the value his character is bringing to the film.” And I felt it. Really, I was like, “Wow, they are genuinely happy to have me here. They are genuinely welcoming me back to the franchise as one of the family members.” So it was pretty cool. It could’ve gone the other way.
The Tokyo Drift reunion affected me a great deal. When was the last time you saw Lucas Black prior to the barbecue scene?
Probably the premiere of Tokyo Drift. That was it. Yeah, he was a kid, man. He was into video games and a whole bunch of other stuff that kids are into. We had nothing in common. And Bow Wow [Shad “Bow Wow” Moss], at the time, was a rap star, and we also had nothing in common. I was the older dude, you know? I remember trying to talk to [Lucas] about Rich Dad Poor Dad and saying, “You should read Rich Dad Poor Dad and take the money you’re making off this movie and invest into some real estate, man. You should do that.” And he just ignored me. And when I saw him on set, the first thing that he told me was, “Hey Sung, remember that book, Rich Dad Poor Dad? I read it and I follow that book now. I wish I would’ve listened to you back then because I would be ahead of the curve.” So that already tells you who he’s become since I’d seen him. Now he’s a father and a husband. And his perspective on his place and contribution to a movie set is one that I respect. That’s movie star quality stuff right there. He’s there to make the movie better and to show the best version of himself. And it’s not about him being a star; it’s about him elevating everyone. And those are the words he uses now. That’s his cadence and I love it. And we weren’t on our phones in our trailers. We hung out in the cast room and ate together and just caught up for that whole barbecue scene. That was a solid day. He was there for two days, so we were able to see each other for two days. But that barbecue scene had a whole bunch of delays because it was shot in London. They built the Toretto house on the backlot, and since it was raining, they had to wait for all the rain to stop. So we were stuck inside our trailers for probably half the day, and we had so much time with Bow Wow and Jason Tobin, who was also brought back from Better Luck Tomorrow and Tokyo Drift. And they’re fathers now. Everyone has kids. Everyone’s a little heavier. (Laughs.) They have more wrinkles and their hairlines are a little further back. And it’s harder to get up. But all of the pretenses were gone, finally. All of the “I’ve got to be cool” nonsense was gone, and I was just dealing with good men. Good men.
You gave Jason Tobin a huge hug in the movie, and I tried to treat it as Han hugging both his cousin Virgil [Better Luck Tomorrow] and Earl [Tokyo Drift].
Did you know he was originally supposed to play Twinkie? If you think about it, what is a Twinkie? It’s yellow on the outside and white on the inside. So it didn’t really make sense that Bow Wow was called Twinkie, you know what I mean? But it didn’t work out, so Justin still wanted to have Jason in the movie. So he is part of Han’s crew in the garage.
What was your favorite action moment in F9?
I don’t mean to be biased, but it is the scene in the tank with Francis Ngannou, the current UFC heavyweight champion. The scene is a little shorter than I hoped because we did shoot a lot of stuff, but we really put our heart into that and you only have so much real estate. But working with him was so awesome because I’m a huge UFC fan. It’s so cool because you think you’re going to deal with some serious muscle head who just wants to eat meat and talk about fighting. But no, he schooled me on international tax law, and that was our conversation. We talked about investments and how to save money and provide for family. He was telling me where to incorporate this and this. He’s highly intelligent and also super grateful. So you realize why someone like him is a champion. He came from nothing, man. He literally broke rocks to eat, and he literally had dirt floors. And now, he’s flying private jets to Dubai, and he’s in Fast and Furious movies. But there’s this nobility and a true champion kind of energy to him, which doesn’t come from money. It doesn’t come from all of that. It comes from parenting, family values, and understanding crisis and how to get over it. He knows what it feels like to be hungry. So when you work with someone like that, you come out of it and you look at the scene. Sure, it’s a cool action scene, but it means so much more underneath it. Anyway, that’s why I love that scene. (Laughs.)
And now we’ve arrived at the big post-credit scene with you and Jason Statham. How was that day?
So cool. I have a Statham story that’s so Fast related. It’s full circle. I did a movie with him prior to Tokyo Drift called War, and I was a character that was in his police squad. It was him against Jet Li. We shot that in Vancouver, and when we wrapped the movie, we were both at the airport on the same day. So he asked me, “Hey, what are you doing next?” And I said, “I’m going to go do this movie Tokyo Drift, Fast and Furious.” And he said, “Fast and Furious? That’s a good franchise to be a part of.” And I was like, “Yeah, man.” And he said again, “That’s a good one, man.” And then years later, he plays Shaw! It’s crazy. But I never worked with him when he was in Fast. I wasn’t in those films when he started participating. So when I did that scene with him that day, we hung out in the makeup trailer, and I was like, “Hey Jason, do you remember that conversation at the airport, man? This is crazy.” And first of all, I’m a fan of Jason Statham and his movies. I think he’s dope. I played a small supporting character in his movie, and now, he’s so connected to Han that it’s actually kind of made my career. It’s connective tissue. It’s so crazy. What if we hated each other on that movie and we were on set? It would be a nightmare because it’s a small town. (Laughs.) You bump into each other again, somehow. But really, it was super cool. It was awesome to work with him and play together. People think we should have a feud and go method, but it’s acting. I think the scene was pretty cool, man. It came off really well. Powerful.
Do you already know how that post-credit scene resolves?
No, I have no idea. Justin will not tell me until probably the day of. I don’t know if he knows yet, but I’m sure he has ideas.
Justin said that simply bringing Han back isn’t justice; justice is how he’s used moving forward. Do you agree with him that justice hasn’t been served yet?
As Sung, it’s fairy-tale land right now. But within the story, if you just take away my personal feelings and involvement, yeah, it hasn’t been served. It hasn’t been served because someone that is dear to Han [Gal Gadot’s Gisele] is not here anymore. So how is that resolved? And if I find the man responsible for it [Luke Evans’ Owen Shaw], what do I do to him? So we’ll see.
You referenced Obi-Wan Kenobi earlier, which makes sense since you’re filming Obi-Wan Kenobi right now. How’s that experience going for you?
Well, I’m still shooting. I worked yesterday and I have a night shoot tomorrow. I used to dress up in the cheap Kmart Halloween costumes every single day and play pretend with my friends. (Laughs.) I mean, stuff was held together with duct tape eventually. And now, I’m sitting there on set with real Star Wars characters in front of me, and I’m just like, “What is this?! I can’t believe I’m here.” At this age and being around now a little bit, people get so jaded. It just brings me down. And on this set, no matter how old someone is, they grew up with Star Wars, and they’re all freaking out that they’re on set and working in whatever department. Most of the movies weren’t shot in America, so Americans didn’t have opportunities to work on Star Wars movies, but we grew up with it. It’s part of our pop culture DNA. And that energy is on set. It’s crazy, man. I watched Star Wars: A New Hope with my family and looking at it, going, “I can’t believe I’m going to be part of this storyline and legacy.” It’s insane! And it shoots in L.A., so I get to stay home. That’s even cooler, you know.
It must be surreal to be able to watch those movies while knowing that your character exists in that galaxy.
Super cool. Yeah, I was watching A New Hope, going, “Man, we’re using some of the same droids, and we’re able to create some of the background through digital volume stages and current stages. You don’t have to go to the Sahara and shoot anymore.” You can actually shoot it locally and make it look even better. So it’s crazy that we’re going back in time in the storyline, but the technology is so current that the visuals and special effects can now be applied here. It’s all of the cool stuff that George Lucas would’ve loved to do back then, and you get to be a part of it, man. And you get to see it! Production is evolving right in front of you. The technology is the best of the best, and as an actor, it’s amazing to look at this stuff and work with these tools. This is probably the future, and I get a jump start on how to work with the cameras on the volume stage. So it’s just a different muscle that you start developing, and the potential is amazing. It’s so much better for the actors to actually have visuals on an LCD screen, as opposed to a dot on a blue screen or a green screen. There was a time when we were acting to a tennis ball. And also, the people at Lucasfilm and Disney are so in touch with inclusiveness, and they instill that in the way they hire, the way they shoot the production, the way they organize and the way they appreciate people. So not only do you see the technology evolving, but you also see how Hollywood is evolving, socially, in terms of diversity and hiring. It’s amazing. There are people from all over the world. You hear different accents, and you go, “It’s not a thing anymore. This is the future.” And I’m the old guy now. So the 20- to 30-year-old folks see the world differently, and this is the way it should be. So on both sides, it’s pretty awesome.
Returning to Better Luck Tomorrow, a patron of a restaurant you worked at really gave you $50K to help fund the movie?
Oh yeah! Reiko Chan from Day O Productions. She and her husband ran a production company that basically worked as line producers for Japanese companies that wanted to do commercials in L.A. It was like car commercials for Toyota or Lexus. So they would frequent this restaurant that I worked at when I was starting out, and there was some talk about the budget issues for Better Luck Tomorrow. And Justin didn’t think we were going to be able to finish. So I was devastated and said, “If this movie doesn’t happen, then what hope do I have? I feel like this guy actually has a chance.” So I went to work and I was just bummed. But Reiko would always come in on weekends with clients and she would always talk to me. I call her an artistic guardian angel or like an older sister, who’s always checking in and asking, “How is acting going?” She was an artist, herself, and she’s always supported musicians. And she still does to this day. She started a small label and she supports all of these independent artists. She’s a true patron. But she looked at my face and she’s like, “You look so sad.” And I told her, “I don’t think we’re going to finish this movie. We ran out of money.” And she was like, “Can I read the script?” And I was like, “Yeah.” I actually had one in the car, and then she was like, “Hey, why don’t you come to the office with the director?” So Justin and I go to this fancy area, and we’re like, “Holy moly. Wow, they’re so successful. They have an office on Melrose.” So we went in there and she basically just handed us over a $50,000 check. She said, “I think you guys are going to make a great movie, and I just want to invest in you. Whatever happens, happens.” So that’s how we got part of the financing.
In a decade or two, it’d be cool if you and Justin paid it forward by making another restaurant worker’s dreams come true.
Absolutely! We should. I hope I have that opportunity, and I know Justin is already doing that. He’s given many young filmmakers and writers opportunities. And that’s my duty from here on, as an actor, especially if I have the success and the ability to pay it forward. I have to. The younger generation is going to get older and become directors, so hopefully they can give me opportunities because I want to act until I die. The 20- to 30-year-old that we help now will eventually hire me. So we have to always pay that forward, which is an ethos that I believe in. And it’s just as an actor, but in every aspect of my life.
Let’s wrap on my most basic question: What’s your favorite car in the Fast franchise?
It’s the ‘72 Ford Maverick from Fast 5. That’s the car that really connected me to Brazil and Brazilian fans because I rebuilt that car. I bought another Maverick, and I did a full resto-mod version of it. It was the first time that a film of mine inspired me to continue something that a character would have done. So I connected with a whole community that loves that particular car. I understand it inside and out. It represents the best of Brazil, the best of the car community in Brazil, and it gave me insight into what Brazil is. And don’t judge a book by its cover because it looks like a piece of junk. But for people who know that car, it’s more important than a Ferrari because it’s part of their childhood. It’s part of their car DNA. A Ford Maverick GT built in Brazil with the Brazilian GT center dash represented “cool” to them when they were growing up. Only in Brazil, right? That was their Corvette, their Camaro, and it helped me understand how important Fast and Furious is to the car world. That’s why I take car stuff really seriously. I don’t want to be an actor in a car movie who doesn’t even know how to drive. Our fans are so supportive of us, so the least I can do is go and educate myself on the things that this character is doing. Plus, I love it anyway. It’s a hobby of mine. So it kills two birds with one stone. I love cars, so I’ll play with them all day.
F9 is currently available in theaters nationwide.
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