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'Fast 9' director had 'multiple meetings' over adding a character's broken nose to the movie to honor 'the spirit of Brian' for fans

·3-min read
Stasiak nod to Paul Walker F9
Did you recognize the importance of Stasiak's cameo in "F9"? Universal Pictures, composite by Kirsten Acuna/Insider
  • "F9" features the brief return of FBI agent Michael Stasiak featuring a very broken nose.

  • On the film's commentary, director Justin Lin says that was a purposeful nod to Brian (Paul Walker).

  • "It was a really fun nod to his relationship and the connection to Brian O'Conner," said Lin.

  • Visit Insider's homepage for more stories.

One of the best Easter eggs you may have overlooked in "Fast 9" was the return of FBI agent Michael Stasiak (Shea Whigham).

Though you may not recognize the name, you know who we're talking about if you've seen the "F9." He's the character with the very obviously broken nose early in the film who chats with Dom (Vin Diesel) and his crew as he takes an antacid.

Agent Stasiak F9
Agent Stasiak returned for a cameo in "F9." Universal Pictures

You may have been so focused on the broken nose that it may have stolen your attention from the scene.

That was the point.

Real "Fast" fans probably smiled recognizing the nod was a subtle hint to Paul Walker's character, Brian O'Conner.

"We had a lot of fun with Stasiak's nose," director Justin Lin said on the commentary for "F9: The Director's Cut."

"We tracked it from 'Fast 4' when he gets slammed by Brian O'Conner and again in 'Fast 6,'" Lin said.

Shea Whigham as Michael Stasiak with a bloodied face and nose in "Fast & Furious" and "Fast & Furious 6."
Shea Whigham has appeared in three of the franchise's films. Universal Pictures

Stasiak first showed up as an FBI agent in 2009's "Fast and Furious," which Lin also directed.

He returned in 2013's "Fast and Furious 6," also directed by Lin, to help Brian get into a prison and gather intel about Arturo Braga. Brian broke Stasiak's nose again so he could get placed in a cell near Braga.

"It was a really fun nod to his relationship and the connection to Brian O'Conner," Lin said. "That's something that we were very conscious of, the spirit of Brian. The character is still, obviously, alive and thriving in this universe."

Brian and Stasiak in Fast 4
Brian worked with Stasiak in "Fast 4." Universal Pictures

"It was multiple meetings about his broken nose and how much we were going to do it," Lin added, saying that he always likes to honor past events in the franchise for fans. He never wants to short-change anything.

Walker died at the age of 40 in 2013 after he was involved in a single-car accident. His last appearance in the franchise was 2015's "Furious 7," which was dedicated to the actor.

"F9" has several subtle nods to O'Conner, most of which are without ever saying the character's name.

Little Brian, Dom's son who is named after O'Conner, wears Converse shoes at the film's end, a nod which costume designer Sanja Hays confirmed to Insider during a press day for the film's home release. Brian wore Converse in the earlier films in the franchise.

Little Brian wears Converse shoes as Dom looks on in F9, and Brian wears Converse in 2001's The Fast and the Furious
Dom named his son after Brian O'Conner. Universal Pictures

Near the film's end, Dom gives his little brother Jakob (John Cena) the keys to a 10-second car in a nod to a moment between Brian and Dom at the end of the first film in the franchise.

In June, Lin told Insider he's "constantly" considering how to honor Walker and his character in the "Fast" saga by checking in with Vin Diesel to make sure they're "doing it in the most respectful way."

"As we're moving into closing the saga, obviously there's a lot of different options," Lin said of how the next two sequels can respectfully address O'Conner.

"It's a constant discourse, I would say," he continued. "I hope that, whatever we choose, it continues to be done with the kind of thoughtfulness and respect that I hope to bring."

Read the original article on Insider

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