We’ve had non-Latinx actors like Elsa Pataky (a Spanish actor) and Joaquim de Almeida (a Portuguese actor) playing Latinx characters in the franchise before, but it goes beyond that. There’s Gisele, played by Israeli actor Gal Gadot, first introduced in “Fast & Furious” as a liaison for drug trafficker Arturo Braga working in Mexico, who only got retconned into being an Israeli former Mossad agent in a later movie. Then came the biggest surprise: Dominic Toretto, a character originally coded as Italian-American in the first movie before becoming full Latinx in the sequels, has a brother. Not only that, but none other than John Cena was cast as Dom’s very Latinx brother Jakob, son of Jack Toretto (played by Latinx actor J.D. Pardo).
The franchise even tries to justify this twist by having another character joke about there being a Scandinavian strand in the Toretto family, but there’s no mistaking it. John Cena is as Latino as café con leche, as is Jason Momoa. It doesn’t stop there, either. Paul Walker’s Brian O’Conner? Also Latinx (by marriage). Sung Kang’s Han? Latinx too, as are Ludacris’ Tej and Tyrese Gibson’s Roman and Nathalie Emmanuel’s Ramsey. Even Jason Statham’s Deckard Shaw. No, really, it’s true, en serio.
This franchise has done many great stunts that defy gravity and logic. From the humble origins of a car racing beneath a truck, all the way to cars diving out of a plane, outracing a submarine, and literally going to space. The biggest stunt the franchise has pulled, however, is stealthily becoming the most Latinx franchise in Hollywood, and spreading the gospel of Latinidad to the point where it is converting every actor in Hollywood into a Latino, whether they like it or not.