Dame Helen Mirren joins the cast of the latest 'Fast & the Furious' instalment

The Oscar-winning actress has long expressed a desire to star in the car-chase franchise

Helen Mirren, Fast & the Furious, Vin Diesel, Charlize Theron, F Gary Gray, Jason Statham

Helen Mirren starring in the action comedy 'Red 2' [YouTube]

After admitting that she has long fancied a role in the film franchise, Dame Helen Mirren has revealed that she is to take a starring role in the eighth film in The Fast & the Furious series, becoming the second ‘Best Actress’ Oscar winner to join Fast 8 after Charlize Theron.

Mirren, who won her Academy Award playing Elizabeth II in The Queen, told Elle magazine that she will be taking her place behind the wheel of the increasingly critically-credible action franchise, saying: “I said, ‘I’ll be in it, but only if I’m allowed to drive in it.’”

The actress, who became an international star in the 90s off the back of a defining role in the police procedural drama Prime Suspect, has long been talking about her ambitions to join the Fast & the Furious franchise, as well as praising its star Vin Diesel.

“My great ambition is to be in a Fast & Furious movie,” she said in a much-shared 2015 interview with Yahoo Movies.

“I so want to be a mad driver in a Fast & Furious movie. My claim to fame is I always do my own driving – I was on Top Gear, and I did [my lap] in a very good time. I keep putting it out there, and they never ask me. I’ll be in Fast & Furious 8,” she said.

“I love Vin Diesel. He’s a great guy, smart – I love him. It’s partly because of him I’d like to be in one, but also the driving,” Mirren added.

The 70-year-old Mirren will now join the cast of regulars Jason Statham, Michelle Rodriguez, Tyrese Gibson, Ludacris, and Vin Diesel, as well as newcomers Charlize Theron and Scott Eastwood. Fast 8 will be directed by F Gary Gray, director of Straight Outta Compton and 2003’s remake of The Italian Job.

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