Yesterday, Variety reported that Charlize Theron was being considered for a role in the eighth installment of the Fast and Furious series. Then, the internet collectively melted, churning out stories with headlines that made it seem as though the Oscar-winning actress may just jump at the chance to play some hackneyed part in a summer action movie just because the franchise makes zillions of dollars.
Listen, I love the Fast and Furious movies as much as the next person. In spite of the fact the producers can’t decide on a fucking title, it’s the finest action series currently going. Not only are the stunts incredible, but the cast of goofballs is also pitch perfect for the parts they play. They work well together and, most importantly, they know their purpose in the movie, which is to crack a few jokes, say some tough guy shit, and drive cars off bridges. It’s not really taxing stuff; the writers learned not to push their people too hard after Vin Diesel tried to cry in the original (still one of the funniest scenes in movie history).
Here’s the thing, if Charlize Theron actually joined the cast, she’d blow everyone else off the screen. Sincerely, her presence on screen next to Jason Statham and Tyrese Gibson might accidentally show them for the mediocre hucksters they really are. Theron is a world class talent, folks. Yes, her most recent role saw her kicking all kinds of post-apocalyptic ass, but she’s not just Furiosa. She has proved that she does not need to rely on her insane superstar good looks to be amazing on film.
Ever since Monster, Theron has also tended to gravitate toward more challenging fare (Snow White and the Huntsman not withstanding), and audiences and the Academy alike have ignored the fact that, in addition to being brutally awesome, Mad Max: Fury Road was also a dyed-in-the-wool art film. It’s high quality shit, which is Theron’s bag. And she needs to stick to that pattern because it’s served her well throughout her unique career. Picking a role that would inevitably hew closely to one she just finished is also out of character for the actress.
So, with all that in mind, please join us in urging Charlize not to join in on Fast 8. Will the movie be awesome? Of course. But it doesn’t need one of the best actresses working today to make it awesome. It just needs to throw more cars off of bridges and toss Tyrese a few silly one-liners and all will be well.