Everyone has a role in the Fast and Furious family.
Vin Diesel’s Dom is the leader, Michelle Rodriguez’s Letty his second in command, Dwayne Johnson’s Luke Hobbs is the muscle while Ludacris’ Tej Parker and Nathalie Emmanuel’s Ramsey provide the tech smarts.
Tyrese Gibson’s Roman Pearce probably has the best role of all of them though: he’s the funny one. A veteran of six Fast and Furious movies to date, Gibson has carved out a niche as the franchise’s all-action comedy relief.
It’s testament to Gibson’s skills as an actor, as well as his comic timing, that he’s increasingly the one thing fans look forward to most about the movies. There are plenty of muscle-bound action stars on hand to deliver thrills but Gibson, as Roman, delivers all of that, alongside genuine belly laughs.
With Fast and Furious 8 now available on DVD, Gibson offered up his thoughts and insights on this film and the franchise to date.
On the story:
“Dominic Toretto compromised his family because he turned his back on us, and it was uncomfortable to shoot. It was uncomfortable to watch. I actually had a problem with them wanting to do that.
“But I understood clearly that the family and the movie in itself needed to do something disruptive, and everyone in the world was just curious, like, why would Dom turn his back on us. And the fact that we didn’t know what was going throughout the movie until the end just had the world on the edge of their seats.
“And I didn’t realize how good it would be for the franchise, but I realized it really fast when I saw how intrigued everyone was to just find out why he turned his back on us all.”
On director F. Gary Gray:
“I think when it comes to family, family boils down to inspiration, morale, being honest with each other, and just really making someone feel like you got their back even when they’re not looking.
It’s very easy to show someone I got your back when they’re looking, but do you have my back when I’m not around. And F. Gary learned that from me really fast on the set.
“I thought it was good that he brought his voice and his unique energy to the franchise. I think that’s what keeps taking us up a level that we give a lot of different filmmakers an opportunity to come in and give their own take and spin on the franchise. And to make sure that we’re still forging the head and not getting caught up in repeating everything.”
On Roman’s new cars in Fast 8:
“Well, thanks to F. Gary Gray I got my Lamborghini; my orange one. And I was able to get the Bentley G2 coop, two-toned, which was cool. I thought it was just cool like when you look at an orange Lamborghini out there coasting on ice in the middle of Iceland. It’s kind of crazy.
“There are really no rules in this game. We can kind of just do whatever we want to do. That was just another example of changing the game seeing a Lamborghini on ice. It was the first and only Lamborghini that had ever been to Iceland, and I was just happy to be a part of that.”
On Cuba’s vintage Cars:
“We were proud to find out that was the first movie in 60 years to shoot here. But obviously, when you’re first it comes with a lot of challenges, a lot of politics, and a lot of red tape. But we were able to forge ahead and put all of our brains together. Everyone worked every angle imaginable to pull it off.
“It feels like we travelled back in time 60 years. And the folks that live here every day are used to it, but this is not normal as far as anyone else in the world. I thought it was going to be a couple of old school cars, but the majority of the cars are out here from 50 or 60 years ago and that’s unbelievable to me. Shout out to all the mechanics that have kept these cars alive for 60 years because they drive them every day.”
On the global appeal of the Fast Franchise:
“I think it’s the diversity that is one of the things that is really unspoken. You know, everyone wants to go to a movie or a TV show and see someone in the movie that looks like them or is where they are from. It gives you a greater sense of pride, and makes you feel like you’re in the movie while you’re watching it.
“Family is a universal thing. We all can relate to family. Some of us are close to our families. Others are not, but we do understand what a family is. And cars. customised cars. Men, women, kids, teenagers it’s something that we all love and want.
“And if you don’t have that car you’re at least able to look at these cars and imagine that one day you’ll be able to have one. And that’s what dreams are made. So we’re just happy to be a part of something that translates around the world. There has been a lot of folks that have been trying to tap into this space, but Fast and Furious is in a league of its own. We just hope that we never let the fans down.”
On the Blu-ray and DVD release:
“Way more scenes, way more funny, way more action and it’s the extended director’s cut. The fans are going to get a real sense of what that looks like. For two, you get a chance to really get behind the scenes and check out Cuba in a way you didn’t even see in the movie.
“You really get a sense of the behind-the-scenes, the laughter, the fun, the comradery that the whole world knows about, but we’re proud to show people that there is a way to work on one of the biggest movies in the world and actually have fun doing it.”
Fast and Furious 8 is available on Blu-Ray and DVD from October 16