Rita Moreno Opens Up About Her Friendship with Fast X Co-star Vin Diesel: ‘He Sends Me Greetings All the Time

The 91-year-old actress says she also receives photos of Diesel’s family and calls his partner, Paloma Jiménez, “one sexy babe”

<p>Universal Pictures</p> Vin Diesel and Rita Moreno in<p>Universal Pictures</p> Vin Diesel and Rita Moreno in
Universal Pictures Vin Diesel and Rita Moreno in ‘Fast X’

Rita Moreno remains close with her onscreen kin Vin Diesel.

The EGOT winner, 91, who starred as the action star’s grandmother in last summer’s blockbuster Fast X, tells PEOPLE they correspond frequently.

“He sends me greetings all the time, sends me pictures of his children,” Moreno says of Diesel, 56, who shares daughter Hania, 15, son Vincent, 13, and daughter Pauline, 8, with his longtime partner, model Paloma Jiménez.

“He has the most gorgeous wife you’ve ever seen in your life,” she adds about Jiménez. “Oh my God, she is one sexy babe. She’s beautiful.”


Moreno and Diesel first forged a bond years ago. The actress and singer previously told Total Film that they had met at an event and kept in touch after Diesel told her he was a fan.

<p>Jeffrey Mayer/WireImage</p> Vin Diesel, his partner Paloma Jiménez and their family in 2015<p>Jeffrey Mayer/WireImage</p> Vin Diesel, his partner Paloma Jiménez and their family in 2015
Jeffrey Mayer/WireImage Vin Diesel, his partner Paloma Jiménez and their family in 2015

The legendary star then invited him to join her for the 2021 premiere of Steven Spielberg’s West Side Story remake. (Moreno won an Oscar playing the role of Maria in the original 1961 musical film and had a small role in the new version.)

Afterwards, Moreno said, they went out for drinks and the Fast and the Furious franchise came up.

Related: Rita Moreno’s Life in Photos, in Celebration of Her 91st Birthday

“My grandson Justin, who is an enormous fan of his, collared Vin and said ‘You really should have my grandmother in the movie. She could be the kind of feisty old woman that grabs you by the nose and tells you off.’ Justin, to this day, is absolutely convinced that he cast me,” she told Total Film.

Her character, Abuela Toretto, is “truly the boss,” Moreno said. “But she would never do something like Justin described!”

<p>Peter Mountain/Universal Pictures</p> The cast of 'Fast X'<p>Peter Mountain/Universal Pictures</p> The cast of 'Fast X'
Peter Mountain/Universal Pictures The cast of ‘Fast X’

Diesel himself shared the news of Moreno’s casting on Instagram in May 2022, posting a video with her and Fast franchise costar Michelle Rodriguez.

“It’s been my dream forever to work with Rita Moreno and the fact that she’s here, playing my grandmother, makes my soul smile. I’m so blessed,” Diesel gushed.

Quipped Moreno in response, “I think my old age was waiting for you to invite me. Isn’t that nice? And I’m here. And the answer is, ‘Yes, I’ll do it.’ And not only do it—I’m tickled.’”

Related: ‘Fast X’ Trailer: Vin Diesel Goes Up Against a Vengeful Jason Momoa in 10th ‘Fast & Furious’

“I’m so thrilled. This is gonna be such fun,” she said.

Moreno, who appears in the new Netflix movie Family Switch, turns 92 on Dec. 11, and wants to celebrate.

“Here’s the problem now. I have a condo that I absolutely adore. It’s beautiful, but it won’t hold all of the people that I have for my birthday, because I always have fabulous parties,” says Moreno, who recently moved from a private home in California’s Berkeley Hills area to a condominium building.

“I said to my daughter, ‘What are we going to do? Because I definitely want to celebrate 92. My God, that’s pretty good!” adds Moreno, mom to Fernanda Luisa Gordon, a jewelry designer.

“The last one I had, there were 80 people in a very, very big house,” she continues. “It was a party house. It was huge.”

This year, “I’m thinking of possibly doing two birthday parties in the apartment,” she says. “I may have to have three birthday parties.”

Family Switch is streaming on Netflix.

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