Rita Moreno’s Grandson Got Her Cast In Fast X

Rita Moreno's grandson Justin claims it was his insistence to Vin Diesel that got her cast in Fast X.

By Jessica Goudreault | Updated

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Rita Moreno in the trailer for Fast X

The tenth installment of the Fast and Furious franchise, Fast X, has a new cast member joining the Toretto family: Rita Moreno. The West Side Story actress will be playing Vin Diesel’s grandmother, “Abuela” Toretto, in the film. While Rita Moreno can probably get any role she wants after her long and successful career, her grandson Justin claims that he is the one responsible for getting her the role.

Rita Moreno was recently quoted in a Slash Film article talking about her upcoming role in Fast X:

“I met Vin [Diesel] a number of years ago at a Hollywood do… I thought of inviting him to the premiere of our new West Side Story and happily he said yes. We got together afterwards and had drinks. My grandson Justin, who is an enormous fan of his, collared Vin and said, ‘You really should have my grandmother in the movie. She should 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.”

-Rita Moreno

Ever since the success of the first Fast and Furious film back in 2001, the franchise has been adding bigger and bigger names to its ongoing saga. Throughout the first nine films, action stars Dwayne Johnson, John Cena, Charlize Theron, and Jason Statham have joined Vin Diesel, Michelle Rodriguez, Ludacris, and Tyrese Gibson in the epic adventure films. Rita Moreno will join Captain Marvel actress Brie Larson and Aquaman actor Jason Momoa in Fast X, marking the very first appearance for all three of them in the Fast and Furious film series.

The plot of Fast X will center on Vin Diesel’s character, Dom Toretto, as he and his family must protect themselves against Jason Momoa’s character who plays a vengeful son of a drug kingpin who was taken out by the family crew in Fast Five. While Rita Moreno is still very youthful and spry at the age of 91, we don’t expect her to be in any intense car chases or crazy stand-offs in the film. But as her grandson suggested, she will probably be the feisty grandmother who rallies the Toretto family into action and may even tell off Jason Momoa if given the chance.

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Vin Diesel and Rita Moreno in the Fast X trailer

As previously mentioned, Rita Moreno and Vin Diesel reunited during Steven Spielberg’s West Side Story movie premiere. The 2021 reboot was released 60 years after the original film. Rita Moreno starred in the original 1961 West Side Story as Anita and was brought back for the reboot to play the role of Valentina, the widow of Doc, the drugstore owner.

Steven Spielberg played a significant role in Vin Diesel’s career, casting him as Private First Class Adrian Caparzo in the 1998 war film Saving Private Ryan after seeing a short film that the Fast and Furious star had written and directed. So, it’s fitting that Rita Moreno and Vin Diesel will finally perform together in Fast X after their experiences working with Steven Spielberg, and the fact that they have been friends for years.

Audiences will get to see the newest Fast and Furious film when it hits theaters on Friday, May 19, but will need to wait even longer until the eleventh and final film in the franchise saga is released. While fans of the epic adventure franchise will be sad to see the story come to an end, we anticipate a new spinoff that will star Brie Larson’s new Fast and Furious character, Tess. We don’t know much about her yet, but we suggest paying close attention to her role in Fast X.