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How Rita Moreno used *ahem* family to land her role in 'Fast & Furious' sequel 'Fast X'

The legendary star will play the Toretto family matriarch in the penultimate installment of the Fast Saga.

By Matthew Jackson
Rita Moreno and grandson

A lot of iconic actors have been a part of the Fast Saga in the 20-plus years since the franchise launched, from new movie stars to living legends. Even among all that other star power, though, Rita Moreno feels like something on another level. The Broadway mainstay and EGOT holder is an American pop culture icon, even by the standards of the Fast films and their parade of stars, which adds another layer of excitement to her upcoming appearance in Fast X.

And apparently, we owe it all to her grandson.

Speaking to Entertainment Tonight on the red carpet for her new film 80 For Brady — starring fellow legends Jane Fonda, Lily Tomlin, and Sally Field — Moreno called the upcoming penultimate film in the Fast Saga "astonishing." She then left it to her grandson, Justin Fisher (pictured above), to explain how her role as Dominic Toretto's (Vin Diesel) grandmother came about.

RELATED: 'Fast X': The end of the road begins for Vin Diesel in cryptic new 'Fast & Furious' poster

"[Vin and I] caught up and grabbed drinks after the event, and he's so fond of my grandma," Fisher said, explaining that he met up with Diesel after an event for Steven Spielberg's West Side Story in 2021. "I told him, 'You should work with her. You should have her be your grandma, have her slap you upside the head. Have her have a little tone, because you know her, it's all tone.'"

So, Moreno joined the cast of the film as the matriarch of the Toretto family, who will no doubt make a big impression on the film, even when you factor in all the other major stars who've signed on for the latest revved-up installment. In addition to Diesel and returning stars Michelle Rodriguez, Tyrese Gibson, Ludacris, Jason Statham, Charlize Theron and more, the film will also feature newcomers to the franchise like Jason Momoa, Brie Larson, Michael Rooker, Alan Ritchson, and Daniela Melchior. 

Fast X is in theaters May 19.

Do you suddenly feel the need...the need for speed? Fast & Furious 6 and Furious 7 are currently streaming on Peacock alongside other Vin Diesel blockbusters like Pitch Black and xXx.