Jordana Brewster won’t be joining the ride this time around, but she’s not leaving "Fast & Furious" in the rear view mirror yet.
“I didn’t say goodbye. It wasn’t a choice,” the 36-year-old actress told Fox News of not reprising her role as Mia Toretto in “Fast & Furious 8,” which hits theaters on Friday.
She said her character's absence "came about organically" following Paul Walker's 2013 death.
"It doesn’t mean that the door is closed forever," she said. "You never know what could happen in terms of me coming back… but it’s definitely bittersweet. He was such a huge part of my life, so it didn’t feel the same to not have him with us again. But the fans are the best in the world. So I haven’t said goodbye. Not yet.”
Walker, who starred in the “Fast & Furious” film franchise since it debuted in 2001, died at age 40 when a car he was in crashed in Santa Clarita, Calif. Brewster still chokes up when discussing her friend.
She said it just didn’t make sense for her to be in the film without Walker.
“I think the franchise really taught me that you just don’t know what to expect in life,” she said. “When we started this story, we had no idea how successful it was really going to be… It truly became a family. When we lost Paul, we really did lose someone that meant so much to us who had a huge impact on our family. It just taught me not to take anything for granted in life.”
Though she's not in the latest "Fast & Furious," Brewster is plenty busy. She was recently in New York City promoting her partnership with Zyrtec. And in February, her show “Lethal Weapon” was picked up for a second season.
She expressed relief that fans have taken to the series, despite initial speculation that it would ruin the original films, which starred Mel Gibson and Danny Glover.
“We wanted to introduce the franchise to a whole new generation. And I do think the script is so good, that the storyline stands alone, regardless of the title," she said. "And I really love my character [Maureen Cahill]. She’s a multi-faceted therapist who has the upper hand on things, but takes her time to observe and analyze. I really love that because she’s so much more than just another supporting girlfriend or wife. It was nice to switch it up.”
Another challenge that’s keeping Brewster’s hands full these days? Making sure her 3-year-old son Julian doesn’t pick up on her colorful language.
“It’s hard! I’m a New Yorker, I’m all about speaking my mind and saying whatever I want,” said the mother of two boys.
Brewster said she censors herself around the kids.
"I’ll say something, and then a month later, it just comes out of his mouth! So, I really, really have to monitor myself, which is super difficult. I’m trying to teach him Portuguese words, like naughty words in Portuguese because he won’t get in trouble for saying those. I also spell things out when I’m having a conversation with my husband.”