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Fast X: Dante's Character Was Created To Be The 'Yin To Dom's Yang'

Warning: This article contains spoilers for "Fast X."

When it came to creating a new villain for "Fast X" — the tenth chapter in the "Fast & Furious" franchise — director Louis Leterrier targeted a specific character dynamic that clearly established the big bad as the ultimate antithesis of saga hero Dominic Toretto (Vin Diesel). Luckily for Leterrier, Jason Momoa was ready and willing to take on the challenges of playing the villainous Dante Reyes in the film and the embodying the presence he wanted to establish with the character.

In an interview with Entertainment Weekly after the first "Fast X" trailer release, Leterrier said that Dante had "studied Dom for years, and he actually forged himself as the anti-Dom." Further explaining the stark differences between the two characters in a recent interview with Comic Book Resources, Leterrier said, "We wanted to create Dante's yin to Dom's yang. We wanted [them to be] complimentary — Dom has no hair, [and] Dante has nothing but hair. Dom wears nothing but black. Dante likes colors. Dom has the cross, [and] Dante has a weird devil belt on his chest."

Leterrier's direction of Momoa involved a matter of trust

With such a specific line drawn between Dante and Dom, Louis Leterrier told Comic Book Resources recently that it was "a question of trust" when it came to giving Jason Momoa direction to get the sort of performance he was seeking from the actor. As such, Leterrier sometimes asked Momoa — who gave Dante an unhinged, flamboyant megalomaniac sort of interpretation — to pull back the reins on his performance. Other times, though, the director was hands-off since he felt the actor struck the perfect tone.

"He needed to trust me and my taste because it's almost like with a comedian. You will crash and burn 50% of the time," Leterrier explained to CBR. "Jason was trying stuff, and stuff was too big or even too funny. Sometimes, we did a test where he was just hilarious. You were laughing too much, and the stakes would be weakened because the guy was hilarious. So, we pulled him back, but we needed to go big to find the right level."

It seems understandable that Leterrier wanted to create the perfect balance between Dante and Dom, since Momoa is new to the franchise. Yet with as much experience Vin Diesel has at playing Dom, the director expected the actor to find the right tone, too, with his performance. "Vin was loving and embraced this interaction," Leterrier said. "It felt right to everyone."

Leterrier says Momoa came to the Fast and Furious franchise 'wanting to have fun'

In "Fast X," Dante is revealed as the son of Hernan Reyes (Joaquim de Almeida), a menacing drug lord who died during the thrilling vault chase scene involving Dom and his crew in 2011's "Fast Five." Finally getting Dom in his crosshairs to avenge the death of his father, the madman has concocted a plot to pin the blame on his adversary for a catastrophic bomb blast in Rome — and that's only the beginning.

Initially, Louis Leterrier told Comic Book Resources, he first considering more of a down-to-earth approach for Jason Momoa's turn as Dante, but he changed his mind when he realized the sort of energy the actor wanted to bring to "Fast X."  "It's funny. I was focused on grounding it. But leading it back to Earth, we brought back an alien. Dante is this weird guy," Leterrier explained to CBR. "Honestly, I sort of ran with Jason's take. He was on fire. He came into this franchise wanting to have fun. He was like, 'I get to play the bad guy!' He hadn't played a bad guy in a long time, and he loves playing bad guys."

As such, Leterrier told the publication that he and Momoa started playing together on the production because they had no time to rehearse for the film. "So, we're like, 'Okay, let's just go and shoot and see what comes up,'" the director told CBR. "Then we tweaked and came up with fun one-liners and affectations and stuff like that. We had a blast and played with it." Apparently Momoa had such of a blast that he even admits he went over the top as Dante.

"Fast X" is now playing in theaters.