Vanessa Kirby is teasing that her character in the upcoming Fast & Furious spinoff (also known as Hobbs & Shaw) is very much in charge of things. However, she cannot confirm just yet whether she's playing Deckard Shaw's sister in the movie, as was reported earlier this month.
Following the release of last year's The Fate of the Furious - the eighth Fast & Furious movie overall and second to gross over $1 billion at the worldwide box office after Furious 7 - the next installment in the street racing series-turned globe hopping franchise will be a spinoff centered around two characters: ex-Diplomatic Security Service agent Luke Hobbs and mercenary Deckard Shaw (Dwayne Johnson and Jason Statham, respectively). The pair will be joined in the film by Kirby as, reportedly, Shaw's sister and an MI-5 agent who helps the macho duo on a (for now, under-wraps) special mission. Whoever she's playing, The Crown veteran insists she's the true "boss" in the movie.
Screen Rant interviewed Kirby at the Paris press junket for Mission: Impossible - Fallout (which she costars in as "The White Widow") and, naturally, the topic of her role in the Fast & Furious spinoff eventually came up. At the time, Kirby admitted her casting in the film was "not definite" and, thus, she could neither confirm nor deny that she's up to play another member of the Shaw family in the Fast & Furious universe. However, she did talk a bit about her character in more general terms:
Yeah, it's not definite yet. But, um, so I can't really talk about it, can I? But from, I suppose. Yeah, well I feel like is a responsibility, just in general, this is generalized. To play characters, particularly in these kinds of movies, that have always been male protagonists led. To play women that are fiercer then the men. And the character in that project is absolutely the boss by far. And I think that's really important nowadays to do that. And that's a really, really important thing to me. So yeah, I think, yeah. It's not definitely. I literally don't know, yet.
Fittingly enough, Fallout is now being praised by critics for its complicated female characters, as played by not only Kirby, but also Rebecca Ferguson, Angela Bassett, and Michelle Monaghan. During our interview with Kirby, she also talked about the importance of big-budget Hollywood movies featuring complex roles for women and indicated that it was a factor in her decision to sign on for the Fast & Furious spinoff:
Well I think it's really, really important. Because these big movies are the things that are getting watched most in cinema. And because a lot of the long running, you know, like with The Crown or whatever, it's Netflix, you watch at home. And I think people come to the cinema or Imax to see these movies. I think it's so important to see these movies in the cinema. So, the kids that are coming to see it, or you know, the girls that are growing up, I think they have to be able to look at people on screen and go, I can be her rather than, oh, I don't know if I can be him. He's leading the movie and he's the one getting to do all the action. And I think that times are absolutely changing. And in something like that, the project we talked about, Hobbs & Shaw, what was exciting about reading it was that this was a character which is absolutely in charge from start to finish. And leads it in a big way.
Kirby's comments here are encouraging and suggest her Fast & Furious character will play a central role throughout the spinoff, along with Johnson and Statham as the movie's leads. Interestingly enough, Johnson's action movies in general have become increasingly feminist in their portrayal of women in this sense, as most recently exemplified by Naomie Harris and Neve Campbell's respective roles from this year's Johnson vehicles, Rampage and Skyscraper. With Emily Blunt sharing the screen opposite The Rock in 2019's Jungle Cruise and Kirby playing "the boss" in Hobbs and Shaw, it seems that welcome trend will only continue from hereon forward.