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Explainer: Who Is Cardi B’s Character Related To In ‘F9’?

Screenshot via vindiesel/Instagram

Update: June 29th, 2021

“F9” (aka “Fast & Furious 9”) is finally came out on Friday and Cardi B fans flocked to the theater to see their favorite rapper on the big screen. After a memorable turn as a fun-loving stripper in “Hustlers”, fans couldn’t wait to see Cardi stretch her acting muscles again.

But while “Fast” fans were expecting a shocking reveal about the origins of Cardi’s character, Leysa, many of them were left…confused.

The “Fast & Furious” franchise is known for its telenovela-like twists when it comes to incorporating long-lost and estranged family members into its sprawling storylines. But when we learned of Leysa’s connection to Dom’s past, we were left scratching our heads.

We’re introduced to Cardi’s character, Leysa, about midway through “F9”. Like pretty much every character in the Fast franchise, she is a badass. Leysa is the leader of an all-female group of assassins who help rescue Dom from one of the many pickles he gets into in the movie.

Naturally, the audience is curious to who Leysa is (because everybody is somebody in this franchise), but all we get is a brief explainer from Dom, referring to Leysa as “Cara’s sister.” Unfortunately, that explanation left much to be desired. F9 is the ninth installment of this never-ending franchise and hundreds of characters have come and gone over the years.

But according to diehard “Fast & Furious” devotees, Cara is the character of Cara Mirtha–a minor character who appeared in 2009’s “Fast & Furious”.

Cara is played by Dominican American actress Mirtha Michelle. For those of you who need a refresher, Cara Mirtha was part of the crew’s heist in the Dominican Republic. She wasn’t a particularly memorable character, but she was Dominican. And so is Cardi B.

So it seems like the “F9” team specifically created the character of Leysa to be a direct tribute to Cardi’s Dominican heritage–a heritage she is very proud of. The move isn’t surprising from a franchise that is chock-full of Latinos. Michelle Rodriguez. Jordana Brewster. John Ortiz. Eva Mendes. Laz Alonso. Tego Calderón. Don Omar. Ozuna. The “Fast & Furious” team loves to shine the spotlight on Latino talent.

Original Below, Published February 10th, 2021

The “Fast & Furious” series may be on its ninth installment, but it has no intention of slowing down. Last week, the dependable franchise dropped a new trailer. And although Cardi wasn’t in the trailer, fans were later given a hint as to who Cardi B will be playing in the upcoming movie.

Apparently, Cardi will be playing Leysa in Fast & Furious 9, “a woman with a connection to Dom’s (Vin Diesel) past”.

And that’s the extent of the information we were given about that! Talk about a tease.

The official synopsis for F9 is as follows: “Dom Toretto (Vin Diesel) is leading a quiet life off the grid with Letty (Michelle Rodriguez) and his son, little Brian, but they know that danger always lurks just over their peaceful horizon. This time, that threat will force Dom to confront the sins of his past if he’s going to save those he loves most.

“His crew joins together to stop a world-shattering plot led by the most skilled assassin and high-performance driver they’ve ever encountered: a man who also happens to be Dom’s forsaken brother, Jakob (John Cena).”

Cardi’s addition to the cast was announced back in 2019, when Vin Diesel posted a surprise video with Cardi by his side on the set of the latest installment.

“Day 86 here on the set of ‘Fast 9,’” Diesel told the camera. “I know I’m exhausted. We all gave every single thing we could for this movie, put it all on the table, put it all out there.”

“I’m tired, but I can’t wait,” Cardi added, looking notably exhausted. “I ain’t gonna front, I think this is going to be the best one.”

Cardi B wasn’t the only Latino star to become a new member of the Fast family. Back in 2019, the news dropped that the king of reggaetón himself, Ozuna, would be appearing in the upcoming movie as well as contributing to the soundtrack.

Last year, Vin Diesel revealed to Jimmy Kimmel how Cardi happened to become a part of the Fast & Furious family.

“My daughter wanted a piece of casting to happen, so Cardi B is in it,” he told the late-night host. To which Kimmel responded: “Your daughter said to you ‘Dad, will you put Cardi B in the movie?’ And you said ‘Oh that’s a good idea?’”

“I said, ‘It’s a great idea!’ As she’s listening to ‘I Like It Like That’,” Diesel admitted. Sounds like the kid’s got good taste.

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