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The Fast and Furious movies once had a fake director, who got arrested

Fast and Furious movies are difficult to make and the decision to take over a busy city street caused police problems for one director.

The Fast and Furious movies had a fake director, who got arrested in Tokyo

The Fast and Furious movies have always pulled out all the stops to make the most intense vehicular action a reality. And when it came to the third movie, Tokyo Drift, that involved bringing in a fake director to take the fall for the real one when the Japanese police came calling.

Justin Lin has been a part of the Fast and Furious movies for years now, but Tokyo Drift was his first time working with the Fast and Furious cast. He devised an ambitious and chaotic sequence right in the heart of Tokyo, but knew that the local authorities didn’t routinely hand out permits for new movies to shoot there. So Lin just brought in a load of Fast and Furious cars and a team of stunt men to shoot the scene anyway, only to meet a stranger who claimed to be him.

“We would be setting up a scene and people would just walk right through the set. I had this one guy, I thought he said he was me. I didn’t know what that meant,” Lin told Digital Spy.

When Lin later filmed in Shibuya, “the most crowded place in Tokyo”, he found out why the mystery man might have been there. It turns out he had been hired for a very specific purpose.

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“The cops, they’re all so polite, so it takes ten minutes for them to come over and kick you out. They shut us down, I’d gotten all my shots, but I didn’t know they were going to arrest me. Another guy stepped up and said: ‘I’m the director’. I found out that it was his job to take the fall for me. He went to jail for the night and I’m forever grateful.”

Lin’s approach paid off. Although Tokyo Drift is right up there with the weakest installments in the whole franchise due to the absence of all the main Fast and Furious characters (it’s also a nightmare for the timeline of the Fast and Furious movies in order), there’s no denying the unique feel of its city chase scenes.

One of the great things about the franchise is that, despite the physics-defying action, the filmmakers behind its best movies always push to do things for real as much as possible. While some CGI is unavoidable – they went to space, for goodness sake – most of the explosive carnage and twisted metal is very real.

Fast and Furious Tokyo Drift shot partly on the streets of Japan

Most of the time, though, nobody has to get arrested. We wish we knew the name of that guy in Tokyo. He really took one for the family. Dominic Toretto would be proud.

For more on the Fast franchise, look ahead to the Fast and Furious 11 release date and find out what we thought of the latest adventure in our Fast X review. Alternatively, find out why the Fast and Furious movies use “zombie cars”.