Follow Us on Twitter

The Fast & The Furious: Tokyo Drift - Justin Lin interview

The Fast & The Furious: Tokyo Drift

Compiled by Jack Foley

JUSTIN Lin talks about the challenge of directing The Fast & The Furious: Tokyo Drift and what attracted him to the Japanese phenomenon of drift racing.

Q. Why did you make a movie about drift racing?
A. When I first was approached about the project the thing that really got me excited was the fact that when I was growing up I always loved Westerns, especially Spaghetti Westerns, and I thought it had elements of that in this movie. What excited me was that this film takes place in Tokyo and when you go to Tokyo it’s very post-modern. It has a little bit of everything and its very global, so I thought that’s something that would be great to put into a big summer popcorn movie.

Q. How easy was it to convey this style of racing on the big screen?
A. It’s something very visual, it’s not just two cars racing in a straight line, it’s about going through curves and turns. For an action movie, it’s a dream to be able to move the camera and we ended up shooting a lot of stuff that I had never seen in movies before, so that was a bonus.

Q. How did you make the racing look dangerous?
A. I wanted to bring back the old action driving movies of the 1970s when the special effects didn’t exist, where you do feel the adrenaline, the energy, the danger of a fast vehicle. So we designed it that way to bring back that feeling and use the effects we have today to help enhance it for the audience. It was great, we had such a great crew that whatever ideas we had, we’d just rig something up and try it. Nothing stopped us.

Q. How do the races in this film compare to the others in the series?
A. We have four very distinctive races and chases and what I love is that in the final version of this movie, each of those have their own personality. Usually, that’s not the case. The first one really embodies the idea of America because it’s on a suburban track and these cars are going straight away into big American muscles out in the desert. It really has that feel. Then when you get in the first drift race you get a sense of confinement but that’s very dynamic and it’s beautiful because you’re in an underground garage and the ceilings are a little lower, so when the camera moves it’s very dynamic. Then we have our big Tokyo chase where the people from Tokyo would be like: “Wow, I’ve never seen anything like it, this huge chase happening in Tokyo.” Then, of course, the final race involves coming down cliffs, so they all have their personalities and that’s something I’m glad about.

Read our review