The guy behind the fastest and furiousest movie of the summer

Here's a cool NPR interview with Fast & Furious 6 director Justin Lin, who talks about his journey from making no-budget indie films to getting behind the wheel of the biggest, loudest, furiousest blockbuster of the summer: Director Justin Lin Shifts The Identity Of 'Fast & Furious.'

Back when Justin inherited what was left of the franchise with Tokyo Drift, who would have thought he'd be responsible for reviving the series and turning it into an international multi-movie box office smash? And somewhere in there, he was able to sneak in some interesting explorations of race, culture and family:

Funny, considering he initially turned down the Tokyo Drift gig:

But back in 2001, when Lin was still a film student, he saw the original Fast & Furious. He liked it, he said, but he was bothered by how the movie's Asian characters were portrayed.

"I'm probably overly sensitive as an Asian-American, growing up, watching Hollywood films," Lin said. "It was cool to see Asian-Americans on screen. ... But to see they always have to be next to Buddha statues or pagodas, they were always the antagonists, the bad guys who hung out in Chinatown."

So, fast-forward: Lin left film school, became a director and made a name for himself on the indie film scene. And then The Big Opportunity rolled around: He was asked to direct the third Fast & Furious movie, Tokyo Drift. But hold up. An indie director? Asked to come on board a blockbuster franchise?

"I said nah, probably not," Lin recalled.
Who would have thought Tokyo Drift was laying the groundwork for seemingly disparate characters and stories to eventually become united across a multi-movie mythology, while boasting one of the most diverse casts at the multiplex? More on Justin Lin: Justin Lin: 'Furious' Filmmaker Finds Even Better Luck Tomorrow.

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