Gina Carano and Michelle Rodriguez in 'Fast & Furious 6' (Photo: Universal Pictures)
When it comes to automobile action and high-speed pursuits, you can always count on the "Fast & Furious" franchise to deliver the goods. But "Fast Five" also wreaked all kinds of havoc with a knock-down, drag-out, scenery smashing fist fight between two towering titans of movie macho, Vin Diesel and Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson. How will "Fast & Furious 6" top that memorable matchup?
"We put a gender twist on the big fight," said Diesel (who also serves as the movie's producer) speaking on the London set of "Fast & Furious 6." In other words: girl fight.
Michelle Rodriguez, Gina Carano and Luke Evans talk to Yahoo! Movies on the set of 'Fast & Furious 6':
"Fast & Furious 6" sees the return of Michelle Rodriguez as Letty, presumed dead since the fourth film, but now very much alive and running with a dangerous international outfit of mercenary drivers. And from the looks of it, her reunion with former flame Dominic Toretto (Diesel) does not go well.
To amp up the action and square off Letty with a formidable foe, director Justin Lin and Co. recruited former mixed martial arts fighter-turned-actress Gina Carano to play Riley, a member of the DSS team hot on the trail of Letty's lethal criminal crew. Boasting a 7-1-0 MMA record, and fresh from her star turn in Steven Soderbergh's action drama "Haywire," Carano was the legit choice to go toe-to-toe with Rodriguez.
Dwayne Johson and Gina Carano in 'Fast & Furious 6' (Photo: Universal Pictures)
"Dude, she's gnarly, man," said the feisty Rodriguez, who made her screen debut in the 2000 boxing drama "Girlfight" and is no slouch herself when it comes to throwing a punch. "And she was holding back! I can only imagine..." referring to Carano's physicality and real-life Muay Thai prowess. But competitive bouts and fight choregraphy are two entirely different skill sets, and their onscreen sparring required considerable rehearsal and coordination to make the fights look convincing.
The theatrical trailer shows Letty and Riley locked in a particularly vicious tussle and taking a spill down the steps to the London Underground. During my visit to the "Fast & Furious 6" set, I witnessed filming of one of the movie's mega set pieces, which includes another rough-and-tumble fight scene between Rodriguez and Carano in the hull of a massive moving cargo plane.
For Carano, who has taken and dispensed her share of hits in the ring, joining the "Fast" cast and trading fake blows with Rodriguez is actually an opportunity to play nice, collaborate and create.
"That's all you can really ask for when it comes to these things. Someone who wants to make something great with you."
'Fast & Furious 6' opens in theaters everywhere on May 24.
Watch the theatrical trailer for 'Fast & Furious 6':