The very starry (and very bald) ensemble of the Fast and Furious cast is the envy of Hollywood, bringing together action icons and Oscar-winners. But can any of them actually drive for real? Well, one of the car experts on the vehicular franchise has spilled some secrets from under the hood.
It turns out that it’s Vin Diesel and the late Paul Walker who take the driving crown, according to Dennis McCarthy. McCarthy has been a part of the Fast and Furious franchise for nine movies now as car co-ordinator, making him almost as important to the best movies in the series as the Fast and Furious cast themselves.
McCarthy told The Verge that, despite the petrolhead chaos caused by the Fast and Furious characters, it’s actually very rare that the A-listers behind Dominic Toretto‘s “family” actually get to do any of the exciting car stunts. Having seen how cool some of the Fast and Furious cars are, we’d be gutted. But when they could get behind the wheel, it was always Diesel and Walker doing the best.
“The only cast members that I’ve seen really push the limits would’ve been Paul [Walker] and Vin Diesel,” said McCarthy. “Vin Diesel can slide a car and put it on its mark every time without a problem.”
It’s no surprise that Diesel is as comfortable behind the wheel of that Dodge Charger as his on-screen counterpart. As for the reason behind the cast’s lack of stunt driving, it’s actually far more mundane than you might expect. According to McCarthy, it’s because there isn’t enough space in their Google calendars when they’re working on new movies of this scale.
“The cast does quite a bit of driving, but it’s not the extreme stuff,” he explained. “They’re not jumping the cars, they’re not power-sliding the cars — they’re doing all the drive-up stuff. The reason being isn’t due to lack of skill, it’s lack of time.
“So we have to have two units going at all times — so if there’s a sequence where you’re not going to see the driver of the car, there’s no reason to waste Vin Diesel’s or Michelle’s time behind the wheel of that car. They can be somewhere else, maybe even in a different country filming a different part of the film.”
We told you it was disappointingly mundane. To be honest, we get the sense that virtually everyone in this cast would love to get behind the wheel more often. In fact, we know that only one problem kept Paul Walker away from stunts as Brian O’Conner in some of the earlier movies.
Now there are only a few films left in this franchise, we reckon the cast might be getting itchy feet on the gas pedal. They’ll want to make the most of the time they’ve got left. It will be fascinating to see if more of them get to do their own driving en route to the Fast and Furious 11 release date.
If you can’t get enough of zooming through the exhaust fumes with these characters, check out our guide on how to watch the Fast and Furious movies in order. You can also read our Fast X review and find out why Vin Diesel’s cameo in the third movie actually saved two franchises.