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Rita Moreno’s Grandson Told Vin Diesel to Cast Her in ‘Fast X’

"My grandson Justin, who is an enormous fan of his, collared Vin and said ‘You really should have my grandmother in the movie.'"

By James Grebey
Fast X Trailer

The Fast & Furious movies are all about family, so it’s no surprise that Fast X is introducing another one of Dominic Toretto’s relatives. Rita Moreno, the legendary West Side Story actress, plays Dom’s grandmother, Abuela Toretto, in the upcoming film, which premieres in theaters on May 19. But, it was one of Moreno’s real-life family members who got her into the Fast family. 

RELATED: Jason Momoa sets his sights on Dom's son in latest ‘Fast X’ trailer

In an interview with Total Film, Moreno recalled how her grandson, Justin, told Vin Diesel to cast his real-life grandma as the actor’s on-screen grandma. Moreno, who had met Diesel years ago at one Hollywood event or another, had stayed in touch with the actor, who said he was a fan of her work. Moreno invited Diesel to the premiere of Stephen Spielberg’s West Side Story remake (which Moreno also stars in, 60 years after she won an Oscar for her role in the 1961 original). 

“We got together afterwards and had drinks,” Moreno recalled. “My grandson Justin, who is an enormous fan of his, collared Vin and said ‘You really should have my grandmother in the movie. She could be the kind of feisty old woman that grabs you by the nose and tells you off.’ Justin, to this day, is absolutely convinced that he cast me.”

However, Moreno says that Justin’s description of Abuela Toretto isn’t quite accurate to what the character ended up being in Fast X. 

RELATED: After 'Fast X': 'The Flash,' 'Cloverfield Paradox' writers sign on to script final 'Fast & Furious' film

“She’s truly the boss,” Moreno said. “But she would never do something like Justin described!”

So, don’t expect Abuela Toretto to grab Dom by the nose in Fast X. Whether or not she gets behind the wheel of a car and pulls off some sick stunts might be another story. We’ll have to wait until Fast X hits theaters to find out. 

Fast X opens exclusively in movie theaters on May 19. Get tickets here!