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Dec. 4, 2021

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Brewster shares how ‘F9’ takes on new route

Ninth ‘Fast & Furious’ film focuses on family

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The latest “Fast & Furious” movie explores new roads for Jordana Brewster’s longtime character.

Brewster, who debuted as Mia Toretto in the car-and-crime franchise’s original film two decades ago, loves how “F9: The Fast Saga” delivers a fresh family dynamic with the introduction of Mia’s estranged brother Jakob — an assassin played by John Cena.

“It’s going to be super gratifying for die-hard fans, because they’re going to understand, within the chronology, where everything works,” Brewster told the Daily News.

“That was one thing that was really surprising. We’re not just moving forward and getting bigger and getting faster and getting more explosive, as far as set pieces go. It also had so much heart in that it explained (the Toretto) history and where we’re coming from and why we are the way we are.”

Key moments in “F9,” which hit theaters Friday, are told through flashbacks that open a window onto the strained relationship between Jakob and Mia’s other sibling, Vin Diesel’s Dom Toretto. Jakob is at the center of a scheme with global consequences that Dom, Mia and their team try to stop.

“Mia is a little bit of the sane one, a little bit of the peacekeeper,” Brewster, 41, said. “I feel like she definitely held the tension between both brothers. I think she had to come out of hiding in order to check Dom, because I think she knew that Dom would absolutely kill Jakob given the chance. The stakes were really high.”

Directed by Justin Lin, the film serves as a return to the “Fast & Furious” franchise for Brewster, whose character wasn’t in the series’ previous movie.

Past events in the high-octane saga saw Mia and her husband Brian O’Conner, portrayed by the late Paul Walker, settle down with their family before “F9” pulled Brewster’s character back into action. Brewster said Walker, who died in a 2013 car crash, is spoken about “often and fondly” on set, adding that his presence is “felt no matter what.”

“There’s so much continuity with these films,” Brewster said. “We’re always working with the same crew, often the same hair-and-makeup people, so we all collectively have all these memories. It just comes up spontaneously and it’s just a wonderful way to remember him,” she said.

Brewster was 21 when the original “The Fast and the Furious” opened in June 2001. Twenty years later, Brewster believes the saga’s ability to connect with viewers is what separates it from other action franchises.

“There are lots of films that have the technology where we can show massive set pieces and we can blow people’s minds with technology, but not all of them have core characters that you can follow and relate to,” she said.

The actress believes the “Fast & Furious” films always manage to reflect the world through diverse characters who always have each other’s backs.

“(Some) of my favorite scenes in all of these films, that sort of threads all of them, are the scenes where we all show up. … None of us know what the hell we’re getting into, but we show up regardless, because we’re bound to each other,” Brewster said. “I think a lot of people can relate to that. I think that’s what keeps people coming back.”

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