By ANGELA DAWSON
Front Row Features
HOLLYWOOD—Jordana Brewster is calling from London where the night before she attended the glitzy world premiere of “Fast & Furious 6,” the latest installment of the long-running high-octane Universal Pictures franchise.
The actioner, opening in time for the Memorial Day weekend, reunites Brewster with her “Fast” colleagues Vin Diesel, Paul Walker, Michelle Rodriguez, Tyrese Gibson, Chris “Ludacris” Bridges along with fairly recent arrivals Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson and Sung Kang, who joined the festivities in 2011’s “Fast Five.”
Set primarily in London, with a few side trips to Spain and Scotland, “Fast & Furious 6” finds the drag racing outlaws living in luxury in various parts of the world. They also are wanted fugitives, having successfully pulled off a heist in Rio in “Fast Five.” Diesel’s Dom finds out that his girlfriend Letty (Rodriguez), presumed dead in a car explosion, is actually alive and working with a band of international mercenaries, led by former British Special Forces soldier Owen Shaw (“Clash of the Titans” star Luke Evans). He rouses his friends out of their quiet comfortable lives to help him find her.
Dark-eyed beauty Brewster reprises her role as Mia, Dom’s feisty sister who is now married to Brian (Walker), a former LAPD cop turned car-crazy renegade. The happy couple lives in an idyllic Spanish villa with their baby son Jack, but sort of miss the excitement of L.A.
The gang is nothing if not supportive of one another, so they’re willing to help Dom find Letty and bring Shaw and his dangerous crew to justice in exchange for federal immunity for themselves. That effort won’t be easy and involves a lot of fast and furious driving in old-school muscle cars with a climactic ending that blows away any chase scene previously seen onscreen.
Brewster, 33, is excited to reunite with her colleagues, who have become like family over the past 12 years, starting with “The Fast and the Furious.” (She sat out “2 Fast 2 Furious,” and “The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift,” the second and third installments).
Justin Lin, who helmed the hit “Fast Five,” returns to helm this sequel, and delivers the type of over the top road action that fans have come to expect from the successful franchise. Brewster, who also stars on the rebooted “Dallas” series on TNT, racked up significant frequent flyer miles bouncing between Europe and the U.S. to perform in both projects. She wouldn’t have missed it for the world, she says.
Q: You saw this last night at the London premiere?
Brewster: Yeah, but I would have loved to see it with a real audience. I’m going to see it Memorial Day weekend, for sure.
Q: You shot this at the same time you were shooting “Dallas?”
Brewster: I was.
Q: How did you manage to do that?
Brewster: I was very fortunate in that the (“Fast & Furious 6”) producers worked it out, which was really great. It would have broken my heart to not be a part of it. I’m also part of the “Dallas” family. They just happened to coincide in terms of when they were shooting. What I would do was I’d get on a plane and fly from Dallas to Madrid, and then from Madrid to Tenerife (on the Canary Islands), and then I’d turn back around 24 hours later. I probably did that four or five times. Everyone was like, “Aren’t you tired? You must be so jet-lagged,” and I was like, “I get to fly first class and play with my friends and be a part of an unbelievable movie.” I was very happy to do it. When December came around and I had to slow down, I was kind of bored. It’s kind of a bummer.
Q: You get to play a mom in this to baby Jack. Was the baby played by twins? How was that experience?
Brewster: A couple of them were twins and sometimes they were different babies. We had a Spanish Jack, a British Jack and an American Jack. It’s not like we could fly the babies in. So that was really fun. Paul’s a dad in real life so he has such a way with kids. It was really nice nurturing that element and discovering that side of their characters.
Q: And preparing for the next generation of racers, right?
Brewster: Absolutely. I also loved watching Vin’s character. He was so vulnerable and so sweet when he looked at his nephew. I loved seeing that.
Q: You also get in on the action towards the end. Were you excited when you read the script and saw you were going to be part of that big finale?
Brewster: I’ve no clue how Justin (Lin) pulled that scene off but he did. He is such a wonderful, honorable person, and that’s pretty hard in this business, especially when you’re playing with as much money as he’s playing with. He just has not changed since I worked with him on “Annapolis.” He always looks at you and says, “I’ve got you. You will get your moment in the action scene. You’re character will retain her integrity.” He really delivers on that front. I can’t imagine how difficult that must be because there are so many characters he has to service. When we were talking about going back and forth from “Dallas,” he said to me, “I really need you in the sequence,” and I’m so happy I’m a part of it because it’s massive.
Q: After working with your co-stars for 12 years on and off, what’s your relationship with your co-stars?
Brewster: It feels a little bit like a family. Paul said earlier today that we might not always like each other but we always love each other. We’re so many personalities that we clash every once in a while, but for the most part, we have a really good time. I think we have each other’s back more than anything. I don’t want to let Vin down. I would be there for Paul no matter what. He’s a very good friend. That’s a really nice thing to have in this business. We’ve been working together for 12 years and we’ve all been a part of something that is so rare. We all feel very lucky.
Q: Do you have a favorite moment in this?
Brewster: My favorite scene as a spectator is when Michelle and Vin are drag racing. I thought it was really sexy.
Q: How many more “Fast & Furious” films do you think there will be?
Brewster: As long as the audience wants it and as long as they’re still welcoming us. Universal and (producer) Neil Moritz and Vin and Justin (Lin), they’ve all found a way to transform and evolve the franchise and it hasn’t gotten stale. As long as everybody’s being innovative and invests as much as they have in the past 12 years, it’ll keep growing, hopefully.
Q: Where would you like to see “Fast & Furious 7” go?
Brewster: I’d like to see Mia juggle being a mother and after the taste of adrenaline she got in “Fast Five,” she kind of has an itch for it. So I’d like to see how she balances that. She wants to set a good example for her son Jack and yet they still are a band of outlaws.
Q: Do you drive a domestic or import?
Brewster: An import.
Q: Have you ever gotten a speeding ticket?
Brewster: I’ve gotten two. I’m sure I’ve gotten more. There are certain phases you go through with your insurance. After three, you’re in trouble. So I’ve gotten two so far, and I really need to slow down. I tend to speed a lot in Texas because it’s really hard not to because there are so many wide-open spaces. I’m also a very impatient girl. (She chuckles.) I have to work on that.
Q: Can’t you just say you’re doing research for the next “Fast & Furious?”
Brewster: I should! Paul was saying he always gets off when he’s pulled over. But I guess I’m just not so lucky. I need to flirt a bit more.
Q: Speaking of “Dallas,” you just finished the second season, right?
Brewster: Yeah. We just got picked up for a third season. It’s really exciting. It’s a similar feel in that I really know my cast members really well. I know the crew really well so I’m always excited to go back and work with them. The more comfortable you get on a set, the better you are and the more risks you can take. I’m really looking forward to seeing where Elena’s going, because I think she’s headed in a different direction, which is really exciting for me.
Q: The love triangle has been a big part of the show so far.
Brewster: The love triangle has dissipated. She’s no longer by Christopher’s side, supporting him, so I think she’s discovered something in the finale that sets her off against the Ewings, which I can’t wait to explore. She’s a strong independent character and I want to see her compromise her morals a bit more.
Q: How do you like doing TV versus film?
Brewster: I love the stability that TV offers. I like the pace. I enjoy that. I’m a creature of habit so I like knowing where I’m going to be next week and next month, and that’s really nice.
Q: You’re coming up on an anniversary in your life. You and producer Andrew Form have been married for six years.
Brewster: Yeah. Tomorrow. My husband better remember. (She laughs.)
Q: What is the secret of a happy marriage?
Brewster: Being honest, but more importantly, communication. I think that’s really important. When something’s off, you’ve got to talk about it so you can make it better before it gets too big. Seeing each other once every three weeks helps immensely. That’s important because he’s a producer and I’m an actor. It’s so hard to stay together one place at a time. So when we’re in L.A. together for a couple of months together, we really cherish it. He’s a very secure guy, which is very lucky when you’re making out with handsome actors. In my next movie, I’m with Patrick Wilson and in this one I’m with Paul Walker. He’s very secure, which is lovely.
Q: What’s the movie you’re doing with Patrick Wilson?
Brewster: I start it as soon as I get back (to L.A.). It’s called “North of Hell,” and Katherine Heigl also is in it.
Q: What’s kind of film is it?
Brewster: It’s a dark comedy. I’m really excited.
Q: Are you on hiatus from “Dallas”?
Brewster: They haven’t given us an official start date yet, but in the past we usually go back to work in late September.
Q: How’s everybody coping without Larry Hagman (who died last year)?
Brewster: He was such a huge part of the show. Honestly, it doesn’t feel like he’s left because his character very much is still the puppet master and we’re all the little marionettes and he’s pulling the strings and his trailer is still on set and he’s still on the call sheet so part of me always expects him to walk in to the make up trailer. I don’t think we fully have absorbed the fact that he’s gone.
Q: Do you feel the show has a life of its own with the new cast members?
Brewster: I felt like TNT and Warner Bros’ intention was always to integrate both generations and have them interact with each other. It all depends on the writing. If the writing continues to be good and there are as many twists and turns as there have been in the past, I think we’re good. I don’t have to make that decision, luckily.