Helen Mirren Says She 'Begged' Vin Diesel for Part in 'Fast & Furious' Movies: 'I Was Shameless'

"I just loved driving and really wanted to do my own driving in a fast car," she said

Helen Mirren Vin Diesel
Photo: Jamie McCarthy/Getty

Helen Mirren manifested her Fast & Furious role.

The actress, who will receive the Life Achievement Award at the 2022 SAG Awards on Sunday, played Queenie in 2019's Hobbs & Shaw and F9, the mother of Jason Statham's Fast & Furious character, after debuting in the part for 2017's The Fate of the Furious. Joining the series was something she actively asked to be part of, Mirren told The Hollywood Reporter.

"I didn't ask — I begged!" she said. "I think I was at some function, and he was there, and I got introduced to him. And I was shameless: 'Oh God, I'd just love to be in one of your movies! Please let me be in it.' And then Vin, with that beautiful, deep voice of his, said: 'I'll see what I can do.' And he did it for me."

"He found this great little role for me, which was perfect," said Mirren, 76. "I'd just never done anything like that before — one of those big, big movies. And, in my vanity, I just loved driving and really wanted to do my own driving in a fast car."

Helen Mirren Career in Photos
Ethan Miller/Getty

Never miss a story — sign up for PEOPLE's free daily newsletter to stay up-to-date on the best of what PEOPLE has to offer, from juicy celebrity news to compelling human interest stories.

Last year, she told Entertainment Weekly about working with Diesel, 54, on F9.

"You're in very safe and loving hands when you're in a Fast & Furious. It was just great to be in a very small space with Vin Diesel for quite a long time. I just loved every minute," she said at the time. "It was great, hearing that beautiful, soft brown velvet voice really, really close, because we were squished together. Oh, I just so love his voice. He's got the best voice ever."

"That's completely natural chemistry. It was there right from the very beginning of my first meeting with Vin," she continued. "And I just adored him immediately, and he's always been so kind and lovely to me. So it was there right from the beginning, and it is very weird. It doesn't make any sense whatsoever on any level, but that's the weird thing about chemistry, isn't it? There's never an explanation for it. It's just one of those things that happens."

Related Articles