“I feel like this is kind of like the World Series,” says Paul Walker on the Atlanta set of Fast Five, “…we went through four games and made it through the finals and it’s because of all these people that we made it this far.”
As revealed in the first part of ComingSoon.net’s visit, the production is planned as the penultimate film in the decade-long series. Viewed by star and executive producer Vin Diesel as the second part of a new trilogy (begun in 2009’s Fast & Furious), Fast Five brings together cast members from every preceding film, including 2 Fast 2 Furious‘s Tyrese Gibson, reuniting the characters of Walker’s Brian O’Conner and Gibson’s Roman Pearce.
GALLERY: See new photos from the movie!
“I’m happier than you could ever imagine, man,” says Gibson of getting to play Roman again, “and I genuinely mean it. I feel like this is my baby like it’s theirs, you know? It’s the second movie I ever did in my career, and it was the first movie that took me into international living rooms… People that don’t know English walk up and go, ‘Yo! 2 Fast 2 Furious!'”
Not unlike their characters in the film, Walker and Gibson forged a friendship during “2 Fast” that lead to Walker insisting that the character of Roman return for part five.
“It’s always good to know that somebody like Paul Walker… is on the inside fighting for me to come back,” smiles Gibson, “…That meant everything to me.”
Approaching Roman with almost a decade between then and now, Gibson has no problem admitting that he’s changed a lot as an actor over the years.
“I’m much more professional than I was on ‘2 Fast,'” Gibson says with a grin and bit of a wince, “I grew up — and I hope you print this — but what I’ve learned about Hollywood is exactly that it’s Hollywood. Nothing is ever what it seems, and nothing is ever what it appears to be. You could literally be on a movie set pissing everybody off, rubbing everybody the wrong way, saying all of the wrong s–t. Whatever the case may be, no one will ever tell you that you’re doing it. So at some point somebody is going to decide if they love or care for you enough to walk up to you and tell you the truth about your actions and then you have an opportunity to learn from it and grow up from it.”
For Walker, time has just made him more comfortable with the character of Brian and being recognized for the part and the franchise first and foremost.
“At the end of the day, I am the guy from ‘The Fast and the Furious,'” he says, “…I know what [Brian] stands for. I know what he’s all about… In the last one, when the screenplay came around, to be honest with you, I was like ‘What the Hell?’ There is no way Brian would be a Fed. He’s learned his lesson. He knows better. He’s not supposed to be involved in law enforcement. I got in an argument with Justin [Lin] and Neal [Moritz]… Justin said, ‘That’s the beauty of it, because he now knows he is living a lie!’ And I was like, ‘Aw, you f—er, you knew I was gonna come at you with this!’ But it made sense.”
Continuing from the end of Fast & Furious, the new film opens six to eight months later with Brian and Mia (Jordana Brewster) now a couple, both on the run.
“They’re roughing it,” says Brewster, “[Mia] is in a completely different place in life. Whereas before she was the one at home, waiting for the boys and holding down the fort, she’s now in it with them. So it’s a really different place to be in and a really fun phase in her life to be able to play.”
“We are attached at the hip,” adds Walker, “[Mia]’s not letting me out of her sight. Brian’s completely bananas over her… Even though he is running from the law, [Brian] is actually living lighter than ever before. He is being true to himself. Sure, he is running, but the people he is running with [would] all just as soon go out in a blaze of glory than go to prison.”
Of course, being a Fast and Furious film, everyone gets their time behind the wheel. Though none of the actors get a specific car this time around, one big sequence is said to have Dom’s crew driving stolen police chargers.
“Getting in a car is Brian being a kid,” says Walker, “That’s him riding a big wheel. He may as well be five or six years old.”
“There’s a lot more action for me in this movie which I love,” adds Brewster, “…in Puerto Rico I got to jump off a building with Paul and that was awesome.”
Brian, Mia and Roman are all on the run from the franchise’s latest addition, Dwayne Johnson in the role of Federal Agent Luke Hobbs, a part that Walker says, in a way, is designed to mirror who Brian would have been had he stayed in law enforcement.
“Brian looks at [Hobbs] and thinks, ‘Yeah, I know this guy,” Walker explains, “…[Hobbs] looks at Brian like he’s a scumbag a criminal. He sees things as absolute and black and white.”
Gibson, meanwhile, considers himself lucky that Roman and Hobbs don’t have to go at it in the story.
“I’m actually kind of happy about that,” Gibson laughs, “because I would shoot him. I’m not fighting no goddamn Dwayne Johnson!”
After the tremendous box office take of Fast & Furious, Walker admits that he’s much more at ease about the long-term fanbase of the franchise and, as Diesel laid out in our report yesterday, could easily see the characters heading to Europe for a final film.
“The last go around, really, I thought that was going to be the last one,” he says, “And now with this one, I don’t even know if I can say this will be the last one. The way things are looking and coming together, we are having a good time. There was a period back a ways when I thought I’d never come back and revisit, but I’m a little older and a little wiser and it’s been fun to be a part of something that spans ten years. We’re having a good time.”
Fast Five hits theaters on April 29th in both conventional and IMAX theaters. ComingSoon.net will be bringing more reports straight from the Atlanta set, so stay tuned. You can watch the teaser trailer below!