The premiere of Fast X drew massive crowds to cinemas, leaving many awe-struck with the comeback of various characters and a hint at some from the distant past. As is well-known, the central focus of the franchise is on Dom Toretto’s (Vin Diesel) core family. However, the latest sequel took an interesting detour to spotlight an additional family member who appears late in the narrative. Daniela Melchior, during a conversation with FilmSweep’s Perri Nemiroff, shared insights on her maiden role in the Fast & Furious series and her portrayal of Isabel Neves.
In the course of the dialogue, Melchior shared the backstory she conceptualized when developing her character. Isabel is the sibling of Elena Neves (Elsa Pataky), Dom Toretto’s child’s mother, who was assassinated at Cipher’s (Charlize Theron) command in The Fate of the Furious. The actress spoke about the groundwork undertaken to shape Isabel’s character ahead of her first appearance. She initiated the conversation by discussing the bond between Elena and Isabel:
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“Just like in real life, many people, despite sharing the same parents, attending the same schools, and having similar experiences, diverge on different paths, evolving into unique individuals. I envisioned Isabel’s backstory similarly. Elena might have joined the police academy and earned the label of the ‘perfect daughter,’ and that’s where their narratives would have diverged. This could account for many things, but the way I internalized and embodied my character was through the perception of living under her shadow. Despite her constant presence, and her selfless, family-centered nature, I didn’t despise her. But deep down, I felt a tinge of jealousy.”
Image via Universal
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Isabel Unveils Layers of Depth in Fast X
Subsequently, Melchior explained the thought process she embarked on to envisage Isabel’s life experiences that crafted the character we see in Fast X. Part of this exploration involved the nature of her relationship with the new antagonist Dante (Jason Momoa). Though the movie doesn’t disclose the link between Dante and Isabel, Melchior hints that Isabel, prone to hardships, might “Have collaborated with Dante, possibly in drug trafficking.” Fast X displays Isabel as a competent Brazilian racer, but Melchior proposes that “in her spare time, she would engage in dubious activities, either for Dante or purely for survival.”
As the discussion unfolded, Melchior disclosed that these backstory details resulted from regular correspondence with Diesel (who also produces the franchise). She probed Diesel with all possible questions related to character development, leading to the conclusion that Isabel is someone who has undergone distressing incidents, which she blames herself for. Therefore, she maintains a guarded distance from everyone, to avoid the pain of loss. Melchior divulged that if she gets called back for future sequels, she would be eager to delve deeper into Isabel’s darker facets:
“If Isabel has a future, I would love to delve into these dimensions. The thought I shared with him was, I could envision Isabel perceiving herself as a burden to others, hence her reluctance to form relationships, believing that anything she becomes involved with would wither. I was contemplating such a bleak perspective for Isabel, I can’t explain why!”
Fast X is set for digital release later this week. Our complete interview with Daniela Melchior can be viewed below:
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Fast & Furious franchise
What is the focus of the interview with Daniela Melchior?
The interview with Daniela Melchior focuses on her debut in the Fast & Furious franchise and her character, Isabel Neves, including insights into the intricate relationship between Isabel and Elena in the film Fast X.
Who is Isabel Neves in the Fast & Furious franchise?
Isabel Neves is the sister of Elena Neves, who had a child with Dom Toretto and was killed by Cipher’s orders in The Fate of the Furious. Isabel’s character is explored in Fast X, where she is portrayed as a skilled Brazilian racer with a complex backstory.
What does Daniela Melchior reveal about her character’s backstory?
Daniela Melchior shares her thoughts on Isabel’s backstory, envisioning her as living in the shadow of her sister Elena. Despite their shared experiences, Isabel feels jealous deep down and believes she is a burden to others, leading her to keep her distance from forming relationships.
What insights does Daniela Melchior provide about Isabel’s relationship with Dante?
While the movie doesn’t explicitly explain the connection between Isabel and Dante, Daniela Melchior suggests that due to Isabel’s tendency to hit rock bottom, she may have collaborated with Dante, possibly in drug smuggling. This adds layers to Isabel’s character and her motivations in the story.
Will there be future exploration of Isabel’s character?
Daniela Melchior expresses her interest in delving deeper into Isabel’s darker aspects if there are future installments of the franchise. She imagines Isabel feeling like everything she touches will rot and sees her character as someone who has experienced terrible things and blames herself for them.