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See the Cast of ‘Fast and Furious 6′ Then and Now

Fast and Furious 6 Poster Preview
Universal

Fast and Furious 6‘ speeds into theaters this weekend, so we thought it would be fun to take a drive down memory lane to look at the cast of the film way back when the franchise started back in 2001. (For those actors/characters who weren’t in the earlier films, we found photos of them from back when ‘The Fast and the Furious’ debuted.) Read on to see what your favorite cast members looked like then and what they’re up to now.

Dwayne Johnson, Luke Hobbs

Dwayne Johnson Fast and Furious 6
Getty Images/Universal

Then: Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson was a pro-wrestler for the WWE who riled up crowds with his signature catchphrases like, “Do you smell what The Rock is cookin’?” Known for speaking in third-person and his dramatic eyebrow-lifts, Johnson used his charisma to begin a film career, starring in flicks like ‘The Scorpion King’ and ‘The Rundown.’

Now: Johnson is a huge action star these days and makes his second appearance in the ‘Fast and Furious’ franchise (following ‘Fast Five’) with ‘Fast and Furious 6′ as Luke Hobbs, a government agent willing to give the crew a clean slate on their records if they use their skills to help him track down and capture an international criminal. You also probably already saw him this year in ‘G.I. Joe: Retaliation’ and Michael Bay’s ‘Pain and Gain.’

Vin Diesel, Dominic Toretto

Universal

Then: Before joining the cast of the original ‘The Fast and the Furious,’ Vin Diesel made a name for himself in films like ‘Boiler Room,’ ‘Pitch Black,’ and ‘xXx.’ He also voiced the giant robot in Disney’s ‘The Iron Giant.’ In the first ‘Fast and Furious’ film, Diesel’s big physique was a problem: he accidentally broke a stuntman’s nose.

Now: Diesel returns for ‘Fast and Furious 6,’ and it’s like he’s hardly aged at all. The ‘Fast’ movies aren’t the only franchise he’s involved with: in addition to ‘The Chronicles of Riddick,’ Diesel has two more Riddick movies on the way, including this year’s simply-titled ‘Riddick,’ a continuation of the story of his character featured in ‘Pitch Black.’

Paul Walker, Brian O’Conner

Universal

Then: After a string of movies that put him on the map in the late 90s (‘Varsity Blues’ and ‘She’s All That’ among them), Paul Walker almost didn’t get the part of Brian O’Conner in ‘The Fast and the Furious.’ Mark Wahlberg, Christian Bale, and rapper Eminem were all considered for the part before Walker was cast as the film’s main protagonist.

Now: Walker reprises his role as Brian in ‘Fast and Furious 6,’ making this his fifth appearance in the franchise (he only sat out on ‘Tokyo Drift’). He also starred in a low-budget indie drama called ‘Hours’ that premiered at SXSW this year.

Michelle Rodriguez, Letty Ortiz

Universal

Then: When up and coming actress Michelle Rodriguez was cast in the first film, she didn’t even have a driver’s license, but that didn’t stop her from getting in the driver’s seat. Before ‘The Fast and the Furious,’ Rodriguez made her big screen debut with ‘Girlfight,’ a film for which she trained hard to play a professional boxer.

Now: Rodriguez’s career took off after ‘The Fast and the Furious’ — known for playing tough-lady roles, Rodriguez has starred in films like ‘Avatar’ and ‘Machete.’ You can catch her again later this year in Robert Rodriguez’s ‘Machete Kills.’

Elsa Pataky, Elena

Lionsgate/Universal

Then: You may have seen Spanish actress Elsa Pataky in films like ‘Beyond Re-Animator’ and ‘Snakes on a Plane’ before ‘Fast Five’ made her someone to watch. But before she made her way to the states, she was starring on Spanish TV shows.

Now: Pataky reprises her role of Elena in ‘Fast and Furious 6,’ and when she’s not busy acting, she’s busy being a mother to her child with fellow actor and ‘Thor’ star Chris Hemsworth.

Tyrese Gibson, Roman

Universal

Then: Tyrese Gibson began his career as a male model, known famously for his work for Tommy Hilfiger before becoming a VJ for MTV. Gibson made his big screen debut in the 2001 film ‘Baby Boy’ and joined the ‘Fast and Furious’ team in ’2 Fast 2 Furious.’

Now: In addition to making his third appearance in the franchise with ‘Fast and Furious 6,’ Gibson has also starred in all three ‘Transformers’ films and has a career as a hip-hop artist.

Jordana Brewster, Mia Toretto

Universal

Then: Like her castmate Michelle Rodriguez, Jordana Brewster also didn’t have a driver’s license when she landed the role of Mia in ‘The Fast and the Furious.’ The role was originally written for Eliza Dushku of ‘Buffy the Vampire Slayer’ fame — when she turned it down, Natalie Portman, Kirsten Dunst, and Dushku’s ‘Buffy’ co-star Sarah Michelle Gellar all auditioned for the part before it finally went to Brewster, whose previous acting credits included daytime soap ‘As the World Turns’ and the sci-fi horror flick ‘The Faculty.’

Now: Brewster went on to star in ‘The Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Beginning,’ and she played the role of Jane Smith in the failed pilot of the ‘Mr. and Mrs. Smith’ TV series. She currently has a recurring role on ‘Dallas,’ the updated version of the classic TV show.

Ludacris, Tej

Universal

Then: Known primarily for his work as a rapper, Chris “Ludacris” Bridges made his acting debut in ‘The Wash’ before jumping on the ‘Fast and Furious’ train in ’2 Fast 2 Furious.’

Now: Ludacris proved to be quite the star, and went on to land roles in ‘Crash,’ ‘RocknRolla,’ and ‘Gamer’ — to name a few. He continues to enjoy a successful music career and has collaborated with everyone from Justin Bieber to Missy Elliott. As Tej, he’ll make his third appearance in the ‘Fast’ franchise with ‘Fast and Furious 6.’

Gal Gadot, Gisele

Universal

Then: Israeli actress Gal Gadot won the Miss Israel pageant back in 2004, and went on to represent her home country in the Miss Universe pageant that same year. She caught her first big acting break in 2009 with ‘Fast and Furious,’ the fourth installment in the series.

Now: Gadot went on to nab parts in ‘Date Night’ and ‘Knight and Day,’ and has reprised her role as Gisele in ‘Fast Five’ and ‘Fast and Furious 6.’

Sung Kang, Han

Universal

Then: Sung Kang made his big screen debut in ‘Mystery Men,’ but it was his role as Han in Justin Lin’s ‘Better Luck Tomorrow’ that garnered serious attention. Lin had Kang reprise his role as Han in ‘The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift,’ insinuating that both films take place in the same universe.

Now: Kang went on to star in films like ‘Live Free or Die Hard’ and ‘Bullet to the Head,’ but it’s his excellent work at playing Han that’s kept us the most excited. Kang has reprised his role as Han  for director Justin Lin in ‘Fast and Furious’ and the upcoming ‘Fast and Furious 6.’

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