‘Fast 9’ director Justin Lin said giving Letty and Mia their first real scenes together in the franchise was ‘long overdue’

Letty and mia share a moment in fast 9
Letty and Mia take names and discuss their families in ‘Fast 9.’ Universal Pictures
  • Warning: There are minor spoilers below for “Fast 9.”
  • In “F9,” Mia and Letty share their first real scenes together in the “Fast & Furious” saga.
  • Returning director Justin Lin told Insider he knew Mia and Letty scenes were “long overdue.”
  • Visit Insider’s homepage for more stories.

For the first time in the “Fast & Furious” saga, Letty (Michelle Rodriguez) and Mia (Jordana Brewster) share quality on-screen time together in “F9.”

When director Justin Lin returned to oversee the final trilogy in the “Fast” saga, he recognized that there was an opportunity to explore their sisterhood because they were “not being utilized.”

“It was very natural for me to think if we want to explore something new or [that] we haven’t done before, this is long overdue,” Lin told Insider recently.

In “Fast 9,” Letty and Mia not only share a heart-to-heart about their families, but they subsequently take down some bad guys fighting side-by-side.

In April, “F9” star Jordana Brewster told Insider that Rodriguez was very vocal about making sure she and Brewster shared scenes together in the new film.

From left: Elle (Anna Sawai), Letty (Michelle Rodriguez) and Mia (Jordana Brewster) in 'F9'
Mia and Letty visit Tokyo in ‘Fast 9.’ Giles Keyte/Universal Pictures

“Michelle [Rodriguez] was like, ‘Dude, we’ve never had a scene together. We’re always secondary with the guys. We don’t interact. We have a sisterhood. We need to explore this,'” Brewster said while discussing a partnership with Clearblue.

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Lin also recalled Rodriguez approaching him, telling Insider, “Michelle came and I remember she was like, ‘This is very important to me. And… I was like, good, because I totally am on the same page.”

“It was a great kind of melding of our minds,” he continued.

The director continued: “I love these characters and I think part of the fun, but also sometimes the struggle, is that we have all of these characters, but trying to do justice to all of them. As we’re evolving and hopefully finding new chapters, we want to do justice to every character.”

Letty and mia are seen in two stills from the fast and furious 9
Letty and Mia get extended time together in ‘Fast 9.’ Universal Pictures

It may be tough to believe the sisters-in-law never shared meaningful dialogue or actual scenes together across nine films. But both actresses weren’t in every movie.

Neither appears in 2003’s “2 Fast 2 Furious” or “The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift,” which was released three years later. Letty sits out most of 2009’s “Fast & Furious” (“Fast 4”), after Mia tells Dom she was murdered, and doesn’t reappear in the franchise until 2013’s “Fast 6” – but she’s a villain for most of that film because of a case of amnesia.

Any conversation between Mia and Letty at the film’s end wouldn’t have been meaningful because Letty doesn’t remember who she is until the end of 2015’s “Furious 7,” when she thinks Dom is about to die.

“Furious 7” also focused on sending Paul Walker’s Brain O’Conner off respectfully after the actor’s death in 2013. Brewster sat out the next film, 2017’s “The Fate of the Furious.”

The only chance the two really had to interact was in 2001’s “The Fast and the Furious,” and they just didn’t. Letty and Mia are even sitting right next to each other at one point when the group gathers for a meal and they don’t speak.

Fast 9 jordana brewster michelle rodriguez
Mia and Letty sit beside each other in 2001’s ‘The Fast and the Furious.’ Universal Pictures

Brewster previously told Insider she’s “really grateful” that she and Rodriguez had a chance to finally share the screen together in “F9” in a meaningful way and looks forward to working more with Rodriguez as the main “Fast Saga” enters its final two films.

“Hopefully, we’ll continue to explore it because there’s so much to unearth there,” Brewster said.