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Mike Reyes

Fans Are Still Talking About That Fast X Scene Where Jason Momoa's Character Paints The Nails Of Corpses. Director Louis Leterrier Just Told Me How That Scene Came About

Jason Momoa speaking to a corpse in a beach chair in Fast X.

In the flurry of activity that saw Fast X come to life on set, director Louis Leterrier developed a pretty keen relationship with two of the film’s major leads. Thanks to his bonding with star Vin Diesel, the Transporter franchise veteran was given inspiration for the serious and grounded side of this major film equation. Meanwhile, Leterrier and his work with on-screen villain Jason Momoa helped create a moment that fans are still talking about, thanks to Dante Reyes having a spa day with some pretty un-lively company. 

(Image credit: Universal)

How Dante Reyes’ Beauty Skills Found Their Way Into Fast X

As another exciting story from my interview with Louis Leterrier, this further examination into one of the Fast Saga’s latest memorable moments came at the perfect time. Celebrating the home entertainment release of Fast X, we dug into the the details of the 9th sequel to The Fast and the Furious; which included some more background information regarding that moment where Dante painted the nails of two dudes who went from helpful to dead. 

This part of our conversation was inspired by Jason Momoa’s hopes that Leterrier used his “safer” Fast X takes in the finished film. Knowing that the Aquaman lead was putting in some extreme takes, I was curious as to how many of those 11 moments wound up in play for the finished product. It was that inquiry that led Louis Leterrier to share with CinemaBlend the following story on the Momoa work ethic and how those corpse makeovers came to pass: 

No. I used the stuff that was ‘safe for work,’ but there was some stuff that he was finding … there was a lot of cursing in some takes. That was not my taste, but it’s a balance. We had to create, we had to go very high to find a happy medium. He gave me everything. That’s the beauty of Jason, he’s such a generous actor. He’ll give you a take at 3, a take at 5, a take at 7, and then a take at 11; which is like, ‘OK!’ But I used some of the 11 takes, like that scene when he’s painting the nails of the two corpses. That scene was never in the movie, it was never written in the script. We were ahead of schedule, and we were losing Jason the next day. He was off to do the show he’s directing. And we came up with this little scene and said, ‘Alright. Let’s just let loose. Go!’ And you know, for him to say ‘I want to paint their nails,’ for me to say, ‘Let’s put Scotch tape on their eyes, so we keep their eyes open.’ We just had fun.

It’s roughly at the halfway point of the latest Fast Saga chapter when we see Dante opening up to two dead henchmen that he more than likely claimed on his road to revenge. Painting the toes of those men, while lounging around in a pink Versace robe and pearls, Momoa’s latest villain made dying for two minutes sound both horrifying and hilarious. 

The spontaneous moment managed to put him back into the movie just enough before taking him out for another stretch. According to Jason Momoa’s story of how this self care day from hell came together, that was exactly the point of this exercise in letting loose. 

As such a tight deadline loomed over losing the film’s villain to another commitment, there was a perceived need to see more of this dastardly funster at work. One day of brainstorming and improv later, Louis Leterrier had another prime example of Momoa as the metaphorical devil on his shoulder. Which, as it turns out, helped counterbalance the sort of energy that Vin Diesel was bringing to Fast X.

(Image credit: Universal Pictures)

Why Vin Diesel And Jason Momoa Are The Angel And Devil Of Fast X

It must also be noted that Louis Leterrier was pretty close with Vin Diesel during Fast X's production. In a partnership he thought would only be a short term arrangement, the director and star became equally invested in talking out how to shape the story they were telling. 

Even during our interview, Leterrier admitted that while they couldn’t work on anything involving what happens after Fast X’s cliffhanger ending, he and Diesel are still texting and amping each other up for when the time will eventually come. In that respect, Vin Diesel’s energy as a collaborator is the angel on Louis Leterrier’s shoulder. 

He laid it out as much when describing to CinemaBlend how he valued the sun and the moon that is his relationship with the Diesel/Momoa duality: 

As much as I had an extremely powerful relationship with Vin, I had this other relationship [with Jason]. It’s like I had the angel and I had the devil on my shoulder. These were my two best friends on the show. I was like, ‘And now let me go see Jason. How can we make it crazy?’ And then Vin was like, ‘Ok, how can we make it as strong, and powerful, and as deep, and as long lasting and respectful to the audience?’ And then Jason was like, ‘Let’s surprise the audience! I want Princess Leia buns in my hair.’ It was very interesting, me as a director, having to balance these two guys. I think I was able to take that sort of pure substance of what these conversations were, and put it on screen. That thing, for me, that’s the achievement I’m most proud of.

If you’re trying to remember where those Princess Leia buns came into play, it’s that same spa day scene that we’ve been talking about this whole time. While we probably won’t see the swearing that ensued in some of those “11” style takes, it’s good to know that some of the most outrageous contributions from Jason Momoa’s wild imagination led to such entertaining results.

Here’s hoping that Fast & Furious 11 ends up allowing Jason Momoa to push the envelope further, as it sounds like Louis Leterrier is still up for some craziness in the near cinematic future. Just as one can hope that Mr. Momoa can keep the insane energy flowing through Fast & Furious 11, Mr. Diesel's keen eye on story is just as important. With at least one sequel planned to close out this pop culture phenomenon, both sides will be important in the name of giving the public what they want. 

In their own respects, both men know how to polish what's in front of them, and Louis Leterrier knows it. If you haven’t caught up with the ridiculously fun energy of Fast X, the film is currently available for rental or purchase on both physical and digital formats. If you want to make it a true marathon though, you can catch the first five Fast Saga installments through your Netflix subscription, and then jump right in after that point to enhance Dante Reyes’ story.

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