From Mia Toretto to Letty Ortiz, these characters of ‘The Fast and The Furious’ franchise are renowned and admired for their tough, daredevil personalities and strong-minded temperaments. In real life, some of these cast members’ backgrounds, careers and lifestyles are just as fascinating as the roles they play. Here are a collection of the most interesting members of ‘The Fast and The Furious’ cast, beneath all the fanfare, and what they are up to in real life.
Jordana Brewster as Mia Toretto
Dominic and Jakob Toretto’s sister, Mia, is the loyal, dependable and steadfast character who eventually dates Brian O’Conner and has two children with him. O’Conner was once the undercover cop, who was sent to reveal the crimes of Mia’s brothers. Mia saves her brothers from being arrested.
Following this, Mia herself enters the crime-world as a means of providing for her family. Throughout the Fast and the Furious franchise, Mia is consistently unwavering in her commitment and loyalty to family.
Jordana Brewster – Real Life
Jordana Brewster was born in Panama and lived in Brazil until she was 10, when her family relocated to New York City. Brewster got her B.A. in English at Yale University, all whilst beginning to pursue her acting and modeling career.
Her breakthrough role was as Mia Brewster in The Fast and the Furious in 2001, which she filmed whilst still attending college. She is also known for her role in the TNT series ‘Dallas,’ and the horror film ‘Random Acts of Violence.’ Brewster is married to producer Andrew Form and they have 2 children.
Vin Diesel as Dominic Toretto
Dominic Toretto is an elite street racer and auto-mechanic, a main protagonist of the franchise. Dominic has a strong sense of morality and family loyalty. He begins as a career criminal, stealing trucks to support his family. He was banned from the professional racing circuits, and therefore illegally drives quarter mile races to sustain his passion for racing.
Dominic escapes USA after run-ins with the law and earns his freedom by helping Agent Luke Hobbs take down Owen Shaw. He betrays his team after being blackmailed by Cipher, but rescues his son and rejoins his team with Shaw brothers’ assistance.
Vin Diesel – Real Life
Mark Sinclair, alias Vin Diesel, was born in California and has a fraternal twin, Paul. He’s never met his biological father. He was raised in NYC by his astrologist mother and acting instructor and theatre director stepfather.
Vin Diesel studied creative writing at Hunter college, leading him to writing, directing, producing and starring in a semi-autobiographical short drama ‘Multi-Facial,’ which was selected for screening at the 1995 Cannes Festival. Steven Spielberg took notice and cast Vin Diesel for a small role in Saving Private Ryan. ‘The Fast and the Furious’ saw Vin Diesel shoot to fame. He has 3 children.
Charlize Theron as Cipher
Cipher is the pseudonym of a psychopathic, arrogant and powerful cyberterrorist, determined to begin a nuclear war with her connections to the criminal underworld. She is the overarching antagonist in The Fast and The Furious franchise.
Cipher uses blackmail against Dominic Toretto, by kidnapping Elena Neves and his son, Marcos and using them as leverage to get Toretto to betray his crew and steal components she needed. Cipher works largely behind the scenes and orchestrates her plans from a distance, using her superior tech knowledge and skills.
Charlize Theron – Real Life
Charlize Theron is a South African/ American actress and producer. Her father was a substance abuser and threatened a teenage Charlize, her mother and her brother with a weapon. Her mother fired back in self-defense and her father succumbed to his injuries.
After spending time in Europe and NY pursuing dancing, Theron flew to LA to try acting. Her break-out film was ‘The Devil’s Advocate,’ shooting her into stardom. She has been the recipient of an Academy Award, a Golden Globe and a Screen Actors Guild Award for her role in ‘Monster.’ Theron has adopted two children.
Paul Walker as Brian O’Connor
Brian O’Conner is a loyal, honest and protective protagonist in The Fast and The Furious. O’Conner was an officer in the LAPD, as well as an agent in the FBI, however he abandons the FBI and enters the criminal underworld when he helps Dominic Toretto avenge his wife, Letty Ortiz.
Eventually, O’Conner falls in love with Dominic’s sister, Mia Toretto, and they have a child together, whom they name Jack. After some time, Brian and Mia retire from the team, and pursue a normal life for the safety of their son.
Paul Walker – Deceased
Paul Walker was born in California and was raised Mormon. He majored in marine biology in college, before pursuing acting. His role in ‘The Fast and the Furious’ established Walker’s acting career in Hollywood. He had one daughter with Rebecca Soteros, whose godfather is Walker-s co-star, Vin Diesel.
Walker was a keen car enthusiast, with a collection of about 30 cars. He had a brown belt in Brazilian jiu-jitsu, and curbed his craving for a career in marine biology by starring in a National Geographic series, Expedition Great White. In 2013, Walker was tragically involved in a fatal car accident.
Dwayne Johnson as Luke Hobbs
Luke Hobbs is a former agent of the Diplomatic Security Service, who was given the job of hunting down the criminals Dominic Toretto and Brian O’Conner, who were being framed for taking the lives of four DEA agents in Rio de Janeiro. Later on, Hobbs recruits Toretto’s crew to capture Owen and Deckard Shaw, after the passing of Han Seoul-Oh.
Later, he asked Dominic’s crew for help once again for a secret mission, eventually forced to coordinate with Deckard Shaw to prevent a nuclear war headed by cyber-terrorist Cipher. Later, Hobbs works again with Deckard against the terrorist organization, Eteon.
Dwayne Johnson – Real Life
Dwayne Johnson, alias The Rock, was born in California to a wrestling family. During high school, Johnson demonstrated promise in football, and succeeded in getting a full scholarship from the University of Miami. However, a back injury cut his football career short, and in 1996 Dwayne joined the WWE.
During his highly acclaimed wrestling career, The Rock won a combined 17 WWF/WWE titles. In 2001, he took time off wrestling to pursue acting, starring in ‘The Mummy Returns,’ which developed into a successful acting career, ultimately leading towards his roles in ‘Jumanji’ and ‘The Fast and The Furious’ franchise.
Michelle Rodriguez as Letty Ortiz
Letty Ortiz is a protagonist in The Fast and The Furious franchise as the childhood sweetheart, and eventually wife, of Dominic Toretto and Brian Macos’ stepmother. Letty is tough, loyal and driven, as she volunteers to go undercover for the FBI and help expose Arturo Braga.
During this mission, she almost lost her life and, as a result, suffered from temporary amnesia. Later on, when Luke Hobbs of the Diplomatic Security Services enlisted Toretto and his crew to stop Owen Shaw, Letty was reunited with her family.
Michelle Rodriguez – Real Life
Michelle Rodriguez is a 41-year-old American actor, most famously known for her role as Letty Ortiz in ‘The Fast and The Furious’ franchise. She made her breakthrough in 2000, starring as a troubled boxer in the critically acclaimed film, ‘Girlfight.’ Rodriguez has also earned herself a reputable status in Hollywood, starring in numerous award-winning films, including ‘Avatar,’ ‘Resident Evil,’ ‘S.W.A.T,’ and ‘Smurfs: The Lost Village.’
Additionally, she has done voice-work for the video-games ‘Halo’ and ‘Call of Duty.’ Rodriguez has had a few run-ins with the law, including being jailed after being arrested for DUI and violating her probation.
Tyrese Gibson as Roman
Roman Pearce is a childhood friend of Brian O’Conner, who was arrested and jailed for three years for having stolen cars in his possession. After being released from prison, Roman was placed under house-arrest. He secured his freedom by pursuing and overcoming the known substance trafficker, Carter Verone, alongside Brian in Miami.
Following this, Roman joins Dominic Toretto’s crew and helps them steal a vault from the corrupt Portuguese businessman Hernan Reyes. Roman helps Dominic take down the Shaw brothers and later assists the team in disrupting Cipher’s attempts to start a nuclear war.
Tyrese Gibson – Real Life
Tyrese Gibson is an American singer, songwriter, rapper, actor, model, VJ and screenwriter. Gibson rose to fame after appearing on Coca-Cola ad, singing ‘Always Coca-Cola,’ whilst still in high-school. In 1998, he was signed to RCA Records and released the eponymous album, ‘Tyrese,’ which hit Billboard charts at #17.
Gibson has received an AMA award and 5 Grammy nominations. He made his breakthrough in acting with John Singleton’s ‘Baby Boy’ in 2001 and has been a recurring actor in two of the highest-grossing film series of all time: ‘The Fast and the Furious’ and ‘Transformers.’
Gal Gadot as Gisele Yashar
Gisele Yashar is the fearless, courageous and witty ex-Mossad agent who joins Dominic Torreto’s team as a weapons expert. She initially develops feelings for Toretto, who rejects her. Later, whilst helping the team with heist involving Hernan Reyes, she and Han Lue develop a romantic relationship.
In the sixth film, Yashar is recruited by Toretto to prevent a heist planned Owen Shaw. She saves Lue from Adolfson, a member of Shaw’s gang, falls and passes. Lue later avenges Yashar’s death.
Gal Gadot – Real Life
Gal Gadot is an Israeli actress and model, who was crowned as Miss Israel when she was 18. Gadot went on to complete her mandatory army service in the IDF, where she served as a combat instructor. She then studied law and international relations at IDC Herzliya.
Her breakthrough into the International film industry came about with her role as Gisele Yashar in ‘The Fast and The Furious.’ She earned worldwide recognition as her role as Wonder Woman, and has since featured on Time’s 100 Most Influential People in the World list. Gadot is married and has two daughters.
Jason Statham as Deckard Shaw
Deckard Shaw, the eldest brother in the Shaw family, is a former British soldier turned mercenary. Deckard is mainly driven by his commitment to family and is a dirty fighter, taking pride in harming others. He has a quick, dry sense of humor.
He killed Han Seoul-Oh in his efforts to avenge his brother Owen, and was placed in maximum security prison by Luke Hobbs. He is later recruited by Mr. Nobody to apprehend Dominic when he was believed he was working with Cipher. After some time, Deckard joins Hobbs in preventing the lethal virus, The Snowflake.
Jason Statham – Real Life
Jason Statham is a British-born actor and film producer. He was a passionate diver, competing in the 1990 Commonwealth Games for Britain’s national diving team, after which he was recruited for various modeling jobs. During this time, Statham sold items at the local markets to make ends meet.
After being casted by Guy Ritchie for the films ‘Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels’ and ‘Snatch,’ Statham achieved international recognition as an actor, leading him to be casted in ‘The Transporter’ trilogy and ‘The Fast and the Furious’ series. Statham is married to model Rosie Huntington-Whiteley and they have one child.
Nathalie Emmanuel as Ramsey
Megan Ramsey is an introverted, strong-willed and self-assured hacker, who is a member of Dominic Toretto’s crew. She is a hacker and the creator of God’s Eye – a device which can hack any type of technology and feeds information in under four minutes to its’ user.
Ramsey is dedicated to computers and programming, which feeds into her binary perspective of life. She is passionate about technology and hacking, preferring to be alone as she is uncomfortable around large groups.
Nathalie Emmanuel – Real Life
Nathalie Emmanuel is a British-born actress, who began acting at age 10 as Young Nala in West End’s production of the musical ‘The Lion King.’ In 2006, she made her debut on television in ‘Hollyoaks.’ Emmanuel’s breakthrough came about through her role in the HBO series ‘Game of Thrones,’ as Missandei, Daenerys Targaryen’s interpreter.
She got the news that she’d received the role whilst working as a shop assistant in a clothing store. During this time, she was cast as Ramsay in ‘The Fast and The Furious’ franchise, and as Harriet in ‘Maze Runner.’ Emmanuel is vegan for health reasons.
Lucas Black as Sean Boswell
17-year-old Sean Boswell is a reclusive and apathetic American high school student living in Tokyo. He has an aptitude for auto mechanics, which leads him to befriend Twinkie, Neela and Han Seoul-Oh, who later mentors Boswell.
Sean is extremely hot-tempered, and will result to violence when provoked. He is portrayed to show little remorse and have an arrogance towards adults, which causes him to make many enemies. However, his character is shown to develop and be humbled, as he takes responsibility for his own actions.
Lucas Black – Real Life
Lucas Black is an American actor, married to Maggie O’Brien and has three kids. Black is most famously known for his role as a NCIS Special Agent LaSalle in ‘NCIS: New Orleans’ and for playing Sean Boswell in ‘The Fast and The Furious.’
After leaving ‘NCIS: New Orleans’ to spend more time with his family in 2019, Black has been uploading fishing videos on youtube. In 2020, however, he will be returning as Sean Boswell in the upcoming ‘The Fast and The Furious’ film.
Ludacris as Tej
Tej Parker is a close friend of Brian O’Conner, and is a former street racer, passionate mechanic and tech expert. Tej becomes involved with Dominic Toretto and his crew after being recruited by Toretto to assist in stealing a vault from the corrupt Portuguese businessman, Hernan Reyes.
After the heist’s success, Tej is wealthy enough to set himself up for life. However, his humility shines through as he gets a day job as a mechanic, pursuing his passion in cars.
Ludacris – Real Life
Christopher Brian Bridges, a.k.a Ludacris, was raised in Atlanta and began rapping at age 9. At 12, he joined an amateur rap group and later studied music management at college. After briefly working as a DJ, Ludacris went on to release his debut album, ‘Incognegro,’ which he produced by his then independent record label, Disturbing tha Peace.
Ludacris has been the recipient of Screen Actors Guild, Critic’s Choice, MTV, and 3 Grammy Awards. His role as Tej in ‘The Fast and The Furious’ saw him breakthrough as an actor. Ludacris had three daughters and is married to model Eudoxie Mbouguiengue.
Elsa Pataky as Elena Neves
Elena Neves is steadfast in her loyalty and highly protective of those she loves. Following the passing of her police officer husband in the favelas, Neves joined the Rio de Janeiro police force. She was recruited by Luke Hobbs to track down Dominic Toretto and Brian O’Conner.
Neves then helps Toretto’s crew in the Hernan Reyes heist, following which she relocates to LA to work alongside Hobbs in the DSS. Dominic and Elena develop romantic feelings for one another, and they have a child together, Marcos. The cyberterrorist Cipher abducts Elena and Marcos to blackmail Dominic into working with her.
Elsa Pataky – Real Life
Elsa Lafuente Medianu, a.k.a Elsa Pataky, is a Spanish actress, model and film producer. Pataky was attending CEU San Pablo University, when she left her studies to pursue acting after being cast in the Spanish television series ‘Al Salir de Clase.’
She gained prominence as an actor in Spain and Europe, but her breakthrough into international stardom came about through her role alongside Samuel L. Jackson in ‘Snakes on a Plane.’ She then starred in ‘The Fast and the Furious’ franchise, cementing her status in Hollywood. Pataky is married to Australian actor Chris Hemsworth, and they have three children together.
Sung Kang as Han Lue
Han Leu, alias Han Seoul-Oh, is the silent and loyal street-racer and thief. He’s a member of Dominic Toretto’s crew and business partner to Takashi. He is portrayed to be consistently snacking – a reference to his former compulsive nicotine addiction, and craves stability despite his nomadic lifestyle.
After the passing of his lover, Gisele Yashar, Han leaves the USA to Tokyo, where he was assumed to be fatally hit by Deckard Shaw. He somehow survived the attack, and rejoins the crew to fight against the cyberterrorist, Cipher.
Sung Kang – Real Life
Sung Kang was born in the USA, to South-Korean immigrant parents. Whilst in college, he decided to pursue acting, which disappointed his parents as they were concerned about job prospects in an industry which had minimal Asian representation. Kang’s first major role was ‘Better Luck Tomorrow,’ followed by ‘The Motel.’
He continued to gain international recognition as an actor through his recurring role as Han Lue in ‘The Fast and The Furious.’ Kang also owned a restaurant, Saketini, in Brentwood, California, until 2013.
Helen Mirren as Magdalene Shaw
Magdalene Shaw is Deckard, Hattie and Owen Shaw’s mother. She is quite aware of her sons’ criminal activities. Dominic Toretto invites her to a private meeting, in which he attempts to make a deal with her: he’ll free Deckard and Owen from government custody if she can get them to save Toretto’s son from Cipher’s plane.
Later, she is incarcerated and makes several escape attempts. Deckard and Hattie eventually free their mother using a device that had hidden in a cake.
Helen Mirren – Real Life
Dame Helen Mirren is an English actor who is one of very few performers to have achieved the Triple Crown in Acting: an Emmy, Oscar and Tony award. She began her career with the Royal Shakespeare Company, making her broadway debut in Ivan Turgenev’s ‘A Month in the Country.’
Mirren’s portrayal of Queen Elizabeth II in ‘The Queen’ saw her earn a BAFTA, a Golden Globe, and an Academy Award. She is the only actress to have played both Queen Elizabeths onscreen. She married American director Taylor Hackford. Mirren has stated that she’s an atheist and has no maternal instinct.
Luke Evans as Owen Shaw
Owen Shaw is a British former Major in the Special Air Service, turned mercenary. He is an extremely pragmatic character, brilliant strategist, calm, unpredictable and ruthless. Shaw recruits Dominic Toretto’s former lover, Letty Ortiz, into his team of criminals with the goal of collecting military hardware and create a Nightshade device to sell to the highest bidder- a plan which was foiled by Toretto’s crew.
Owen later helps his older brother, Deckard, rescue Dominic’s son from cyberterrorist Cipher. Shaw does demonstrate a code of honor, reflected as he ensures his team is payed and fights unarmed against Toretto.
Luke Evans – Real Life
Luke Evans is a Welsh actor and singer, was raised as Jehovah’s Witness, however he left both religion and school at the age of 16. At 17, he studied with the singing coach Louise Ryan and in 1997 he won a scholarship to London Studio Centre and graduated in 2000.
After dabbling in various theatre performances, Evans made his film breakthrough in the 2010 remake of ‘Clash of the Titans.’ After his acting career took off, Evans has starred in many high-grossing films, including ‘Robin Hood,’ ‘The Three Muskateers,’ ‘The Hobbit,’ and, ‘The Fast and The Furious’ franchise.
Kurt Russell as Mr Nobody
Mr Nobody’ is the alias of the trustworthy covert government agent, who is portrayed to be quite a friendly and relaxed character with a fondness for Belgian ale. He is upfront and honest with his intentions when he partners up with Dominic’s crew to stop the terrorist Mose Jakande.
Contrary of Dominic’s expectations for Mr. Nobody to betray him once the God’s Eye device is retrieved, Mr Nobody proves his honorability and allows Toretto to use it. He also upholds his deal with Hobbs and erases all of his criminal records. He becomes a trusted ally of Toretto’s crew.
Kurt Russell – Real Life
Kurt Russell is an American actor, who found fame at the age of 12 starring in the television series ‘The Travels of Jaimie McPheeters,’ after which he signed a 10-year contract with Disney. He was nominated for a Golden Globe for ‘Silkwood’ and for an Emmy for ‘Elvis.’
Russell married Season Hubley, with whom he had a son Boston, and then divorced a few years later. Following this, he began his relationship with Goldie Hawn. The two have been together for over 35 years and have a son, Wyatt. Russell is an avid hunter and a supporter of gun rights.
Eva Mendes as Monica Fuentes
Monica Fuentes is a US Customs agent, working undercover as an assistant for the infamous substance trafficker, Carter Verone. She had been working for nearly a year when she is introduced to Brian O’Conner and Roman Pearce. Initially, she develops feelings towards O’Conner, but Pearce mistrusts her.
She reveals to O’Conner that Verone intends to eliminate them after they complete their mission. Fuentes then tells Brian about the airstrip, blowing her cover as she’s the only one Verone told about it. She’s taken captive onboard the boat, but is saved by O’Conner and Pearce and assists them in capturing Verone.
Eva Mendes – Real Life
Eva Mendes is an American actress and businesswoman. Eva was raised by her Cuban mother in a Catholic household in Los Angeles, and even considered becoming a Catholic nun. She studied marketing at California State University, Northridge, but left college to pursue acting.
Her breakthrough came in 2001, when she starred alongside Denzel Washington in ‘Training Day.’ This led to more prolific roles, including her part in ‘The Fast and The Furious’ franchise and ‘Hitch.’ Mendes is currently in a long-term relationship with Ryan Gosling, and they have 2 daughters. She is also a pescatarian and practices Transcendental Meditation.
Scott Eastwood as Little Nobody
Little Nobody’ is the sarcastic nickname given by Roman to Mr. Nobody’s assistant, Eric Reisner, much to Reisner’s annoyance. Little Nobody is given the responsibility of introducing the dangerous nature of the cyberterrorist Cipher to Dominic Toretto’s crew, and additionally reveals how she was using Owen Shaw.
The crew is attacked by Dom and Cipher, during which Little Nobody is trapped in a constriction site. Little Nobody, for the first time, strays from the rules and helps the team take down Cipher.
Scott Eastwood – Real Life
Scott Eastwood is the fifth child of actor/ director Clint Eastwood. He has six half-siblings, and one sister, Kathryn. He was raised in California until he was 10, when he moved to Hawaii with his mother, flight attendant Jacelyn Reeves. Eastwood soon moved back to California and graduated from Loyola Marymount University, majoring in communications.
When pursuing his acting career, Eastwood would use the surname ‘Reeves’ to avoid nepotism. Eastwood has stated that he was rejected from most of his father’s movies, but briefly appeared in his father’s films ‘Gran Torino’ and ‘Invictus.’
Idris Elba as Brixton Lore
Brixton Lore is a former MI6 agent, who served alongside Deckard Shaw. His time in the secret service led him to be easily turned into a ruthless mercenary by the terrorist organization, Eteon. Eteon transformed Brixton into a super-soldier, implanting him with mechanical enhancements and gave him the perspective that transhumanism was the future.
This belief prompted his willingness to unleash The Snowflake virus to eliminate half the human population: those that Eteon had decided were unfit for their vision of the future.
Idris Elba – Real Life
Idris Elba is a British producer, actor, DJ and musician. He is known for his roles in ‘The Wire,’ ‘Luther,’ ‘Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom,’ the ‘Avengers’ franchise, ‘American Gangster,’ and ‘Prometheus.’ He has been nominated for 4 Golden Globes, winning one, and 5 Emmy Awards.
Elba has been married 3 times and has 2 children – he is currently married to Sabrina Dhowre. He is a keen football fan and a supporter of Arsenal F.C. In 2016, he was appointed Officer of the Order of the British Empire for his services to drama by Queen Elizabeth II.