Entertainment

Wait, Who Is Cardi B Playing in 'F9'?

The answer will take you back in time in the 'Fast' franchise.

Universal Pictures
Universal Pictures
Universal Pictures

The Fast Family is now a vast network that includes the original stars of The Fast and The Furious, Oscar-winning actresses like Helen Mirren and Charlize Theron, the dudes from Tokyo Drift, a number of former wrestlers, Kurt Russell, and music superstars. Falling into that final category is Cardi B, who makes her Fast debut with a brief cameo in F9.

Cardi B is not playing Cardi B. No, c’mon, the Fast world has too much lore for this. Instead, she shows up undercover and reveals herself to be “Leysa,” who is in fact “Cara’s little sister.” But who is Leysa? And, uh, who is Cara? The answers are as goofy as the rest of this glorious franchise. Let’s break it down.

How does Cardi B figure into the F9 plot?

In order to track down his brother, Jakob (John Cena, pouting)-who has stolen a device that Russell’s Mr. Nobody was trying to keep hidden-Vin Diesel’s Dom Toretto heads to London. There he meets up with Mirren’s Queenie Shaw in the midst of a jewel heist. Queenie reveals that she’s sold Dom out to Jakob and drives him to a mansion where a bunch of hot babes-a classic feature of the Fast movies-are dancing wearing all white.

Inside, Jakob tells Dom that he’s teamed up with Otto (Thue Ersted Rasmussen), a rich kid siphoning funds from his father. Jakob and Otto have Dom arrested by Interpol who shuffle him into a van. When everyone’s seated, the agents take off their helmets and reveal themselves to be, surprise, the babes, led by Cardi B’s Leysa.
 

How did Leysa get this job?

As Cardi briefly explains to Dom-presumably over the likely cheers and chuckles of audience members-she’s actually working for Helen Mirren’s Queenie, who was pulling one over on Jakob even as she claimed she was pulling one over on Dom. Dom actually got Leysa the job with Helen. They are old friends from the Dominican Republic, and Leysa mentions she is Cara’s little sister. But… wait… who is Cara?

Who is Cara?

This is where you have to dig deep into your memory bank and recall both Fast & Furious and the 2009 prequel to that installment, directed by Vin Diesel, called Los Bandoleros. Yes, perhaps the most forgotten entry in the franchise, Diesel made a 20-minute short that basically explains what Dom has been up to hanging in the DR. Filmed in a verité style, Los Bandoleros is probably the most political entry into the franchise, centering around economic injustice in the country. It establishes that Dom and Han are pals, reunites Dom and Letty, and introduces Tego Leo (Tego Calderon), a.k.a. Leo, and Cara (Mirtha Michelle), whose character is just called “Mirtha” in the credits.

While Los Bandoleros technically ends with Dom and Letty making out on a beach, it leads right into the opening of Fast & Furious, wherein Dom, Letty, Han, Cara, and Leo attempt to steal an oil tanker. While Leo shows up in future installments of the Fast movies, these are Cara’s only appearances, and it’s implied that she and Han are eventually a couple. In F9, Han is back, but Cara is only invoked as apparently she and Dom have stayed in touch and teamed up to help out Leysa, who is now running undercover missions in London.
 

Will Cardi and Leysa be back?

According to Dominic Toretto himself, a.k.a. Vin Diesel: Yes, for sure. He told ET on the F9 red carpet that her role will ramp up in the final two Fast films. “We are very much excited to evolve her character and to expand it to the finale,” he explained. Fingers crossed next time she’ll share some scenes with Mirren because that’s a pairing we’d love to see. However, we think it’s only fair that Michelle returns as well. You can’t have Leysa without Cara, apparently.Want more Thrillist? Follow us on InstagramTwitterPinterestYouTubeTikTok, and Snapchat.

Esther Zuckerman is a senior entertainment writer at Thrillist. Follow her on Twitter @ezwrites.

Entertainment

Where to Celebrate Lunar New Year 2023 in Australia

And what it means to be in the year of the Rabbit.

where to celebrate lunar new year australia

Starting with the new moon on Sunday, January 22, this Lunar New Year ushers in the year of the Rabbit. We’ve put together a guide on celebrating the Lunar New Year in Australia.

What is special about the year of the Rabbit?

As you might know, each year has an animal sign in the Chinese Zodiac, which is based on the moon and has a 12-year cycle. This year, we celebrate the year of the rabbit, known to be the luckiest out of all twelve animals. It symbolises mercy, elegance, and beauty.

What celebrations are taking place and how can I get involved?

There are plenty of festivals happening all around the country which you can get involved with. Here they are per state.

New South Wales

Darling Harbour Fireworks
When: Every year, Sydney puts on a fireworks show, and this year, you can catch it on January 28 and February 4 at 9 pm in Darling Harbour.

Dragon Boat Races
When: Witness three days of dragon boat races and entertainment on Cockle Bay to usher in the Lunar New Year. The races will commence on January 27 and finish on January 29.

Lion Dances
When: Catch a traditional Lion Dance moving to the beat of a vigorous drum bringing good luck and fortune for the Lunar New Year. The dance performances will happen across Darling Harbour on Saturday, January 21, Sunday, January 22, and Sunday, February 4 and 5, around 6 pm and 9 pm.

Lunar New Year at Cirrus Dining
When: Barangaroo’s waterfront seafood restaurant, Cirrus, is celebrating the Year of the Rabbit with a special feast menu. Cirrus’ LNY menu is $128pp with optional wine pairing and is available from Saturday, January 21, to Sunday, February 5.

Auntie Philter
When: Hello Auntie’s owner and executive chef, Cuong Nguyen will be dishing out some of the most classic Vietnamese street foods with his mum, Linda. All of Philter’s favourites will be on offer, as well as Raspberry Pash Beer Slushies and other cocktails being served at the Philter Brewing rooftop bar on Sunday, January 22 and Sunday, January 29.

Victoria

Lunar New Year Festival
When: Ring in the Lunar New Year with food, music, arts, and more on Sunday, January 22, from 10 am to 9 pm.

Lunar New Year at the National Gallery of Victoria
When: Celebrate the year of the rabbit at the National Gallery of Victoria’s festival of art, food, and art-making activities for everyone from 10 am-5 pm.

Queensland

BriAsia Festival
When: From February 1-19, Brisbane will come alive with performances, including lion dances and martial arts displays. There will be street food, workshops, comedy and more.

South Australia

Chinatown Adelaide Street Party
When: Adelaide is set to hose a fun-filled day celebrating the Chinese New Year on Saturday, January 28, from 12 pm to 9 pm.

Western Australia

Crown Perth
When: Across January and February, Crown Perth hosts free live entertainment, including colourful lion dances, roving mascots, and drumming performances. The restaurants will also throw banquets and menus dedicated to the Lunar New Year.

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