The Fast & Furious franchise remains one of the most surprising in movie history. No one expected the 2001 original to become a monster box office hit that made stars of Vin Diesel and Paul Walker. While she’d had a few roles before, Michelle Rodriguez was boosted as well with her role of Letty, the tough thief and girlfriend to Dom. The fourth movie appeared to have her character killed off but the ending of the fifth revealed she was still alive. Rodriguez has been back with the series since and a key part of the films.
Fans just adore Letty with her feisty attitude, her expert racing skills and a tough brawler as well. It helps that Rodriguez is much like Letty in real life and knows how to look amazing doing so many stunts. While her on-screen action is great, off-camera Rodriguez looks just as (if not more) hot and always knows how to get attention. Here are 19 behind-the-scenes pics that prove Rodriguez is the scene-stealer of F&F even when the cameras aren’t rolling.
Furious 7 was sadly overshadowed by the tragic sudden passing of Paul Walker in a car crash. That makes the movie’s ending, where the group hang out at a beach, bittersweet. It is a good look for Rodriguez in this pic, showing off some nice leg with the long shirt as she and Diesel watch Brian, Mia and their kid play together. It adds some pathos to know this was one of the last times they got to hang out with Walker.
18 Wonder Women
Fast and Furious was the major breakout for Gal Gadot as her Gisele won over fans with her beauty and great fighting. It would be a major step toward Gadot winning the role of Wonder Woman. While her character was written out of the movies, Gadot herself still talks with pride of the fun she had on set. That includes this photo with Rodriguez that shows two true-life tough ladies just hanging out.
17 9 Lives
Most thought the Fast and Furious series was done after the disappointment of Tokyo Drift. Then it revived itself with the fourth movie and sparked four more sequels and the spin-off Hobbs & Shaw. Production is already underway for the ninth movie with the plot details under wraps. But Rodriguez and Diesel shared this pic on set on the first day with Rodriguez barely looking as if she’s aged since the first film 18 years ago. She’s made it clear, she’s ready to keep going for another decade.
16 Double the Fun
As tough as Rodriguez is, even she can’t do it all herself. Studios will have contracts banning stars from taking part in stunts they deem far too dangerous. So we have the intriguing sight of Rodriguez with Ronda Rousey and Rodriguez’s stunt double sharing laughs in between takes of the big fight scene. They seem to enjoy themselves even as Rousey gives the impression she could easily take on two Lettys at once.
15 Actual Buddies
One of the best parts of Furious 7 is when Letty finds herself in a fight with a bodyguard played by MMA legend Ronda Rousey. It’s a great fight scene with the two giving it their all in a wild brawl. It turns out Rosuey got along great with the cast on set as they respected her dedication to doing her own stunt work. This pic has Rousey and Rodriguez hanging around to show they were better friends off screen than on.
14 Mugging For the Camera
The Fast cast joke about the long hours spent in fake cars on soundstages for the action scenes. That means a lot of time talking and joking around. Here, Rodriguez is with Nathalie Emmanuel for a scene where the gang rescue her hacker in Furious 7. Rodriguez has a nutty smile on her face and a fun mugging for the camera with Emmanuel seeming to react to some joke. It’s a nice look at a let-down Letty.
13 Pre-Fight Laughs
Ronda Rousey was riding high in her MMA career when Furious 7 came out. Sadly, it took a major hit when she was upset by Holly Holm just a few months after the movie was released. Still, Rousey seemed to enjoy herself on set and this shows her and Rodriguez sharing a few laughs before their big fight scene. It shows how fun the two were on set together.
12 Sitting Pretty
Video game fans know Rodriguez as well as movie fans do thanks to her voice work in hits like Call of Duty and Halo. She admits she’s not a big gamer herself but does appreciate the action. Rodriguez acknowledges she’s a gal who hates to sit still which makes this image all the more notable. It says a lot about Rodriguez that just sitting around in a leather outfit makes her look hotter than any supermodel could.
The relationship of Dom and Letty has become one of the biggest of the F&F franchise. They were together in the first movie and Dom was deeply hurt when Letty appeared to have been blown up in the fourth. Her return (with amnesia) in the sixth was a big deal and by the seventh they were married. It’s helped by the great chemistry of Rodriguez and Vin Diesel and this pic shows that even off-camera they can’t help noting the fun romance.
10 Break Time
With all the wild stuff happening on set, it’s no wonder the F&F cast enjoy taking a break now and then. It says a lot that even just relaxing around, Rodriguez still has some edge with her great look and grabbing a bottle of water. The fake blood at her temples shows she’s fresh off some sort of big action scene but it actually makes her look more glamorous to prove how Rodriguez is the head-turner of the franchise.
9 Fight Club
Rodriguez’s breakout performance was in 2000’s Girlfight as a young woman becoming a boxer. She had trained hard for it with real boxers and won raves for how believable she was. That’s aided her role as Letty as she does enjoy some of the fight scenes of the movies. That includes her fight with Gina Carano in Fast 6 with the two women looking great even trying to knock each other senseless. Few “girl fights” in movies were as good as this.
8 Subway Fun
A great highlight of Fast 6 is Letty taking on Riley, the tough aide for Luke Hobbs. Riley is played by Gina Carano and thus, the MMA fighter is able to make it a great brawl. This pic shows the ladies during the walk-throughs of the fight as Carano confessed she got a bit too into it and actually punched Rodriguez for real. She appears to be just laughing it off but it was still a good scene.
7 Crash Cart
Besides F&F, Rodriguez is well known for the equally long-running Resident Evil franchise. While she hasn’t appeared in all the movies, she has done good work with the wild stunts involved and giving her all for them. That’s helped her majorly for her role in the F&F series and doing many of the stunts. That includes this shot of Letty leaping out of a hole in a wall and ready to go which fits Rodriguez’s attitude nicely
6 Mega Meal
F&F is just one of many action-oriented roles Rodriguez has taken over the years. She’s also been in Resident Evil, SWAT, Avatar and Widows. That works up a major appetite so it’s no wonder Rodriguez grabs a meal when she can. The sight of a woman chowing down on a salad on set shouldn’t be alluring but (thanks in no small part to that great leather outfit), Rodriguez pulls it off to prove she can turn heads just eating lunch.
5 Barrel of Fun
Rodriguez clearly enjoys the on-location shooting of F&F more than the soundstages where the green screen car chases on filmed. She looks amazing as here for the Cuban opening of Fate of the Furious as she’s describing a stunt to a reporter. It’s an odd background with a huge barrel amid other cars but Rodriguez’s great looks in the tight shirt make it look exotic.
4 “Wild” Gal
Rodriguez has confessed that while she loves cars and adventuring, it’s nowhere near as much as Letty. That made her a stand out for Running Wild With Bear Grylls. In 2015, the actress took part on the show where she had to survive a real night in the desert with almost no resources. That includes a meal so disgusting it can’t be repeated. Even exhausted and hungry, Rodriguez still looks great in this photo to show how tough she truly is.
3 Sit Down
As with any member of the F&F cast, Rodriguez has to handle the typical on-set interviews. Many of them are used for promoting the movies and for entertainment talk shows. Others are for the movie’s Blu-Ray extras and Rodriguez does a good job talking about the antics on set. This has her in a nice outfit to show how she’s ready to get right back into action and thus always prepared to “turn on Letty” at a moment’s notice.
2 Vested Interest
One of Rodriguez’s most notable non-F&F roles was The Assignment where she plays a hitman who (after bumping off the wrong person) is given an operation to become a woman. Rodriguez did her best selling the role of a guy becoming a gal. That’s pretty impressive given how stunningly hot Rodriguez is. This pic proves that with her adding a kevlar vest to Letty’s usual outfit to show how she’s prepared for anything coming her way.
1 All Business
Off-camera, Rodriguez is a charming woman with a bright smile and great sense of humor who enjoys talking to folks. However, she’s admitted to getting pretty intense on set and this is a good showcase. It’s Letty from Fast 6 and clearly getting into character with a tough walk amid her attitude. Still, even a “dressed down” Rodriguez is eye-catching and she knows how to draw attention shifting into Letty easily.
Sources: celebbuzz.com, twitter.com