height in hollywood

F9 Makes Dom Toretto Canonically Tall

Vin Diesel (left, tall) in F9. Photo: Giles Keyte/Universal Pictures

From aerial landings on yachts to magnet-powered truck heists, the Fast saga has always been drawn to spectacle that’s larger than life. So it’s only natural that the films also devote significant amounts of energy to making Vin Diesel’s Dominic Toretto appear taller. Despite the fact that the actor himself is of slightly above-average height (online sources differ, but consensus seems to be in the neighborhood of five-foot-eleven), the Diesel-produced sequels have worked assiduously to give Dom a few extra inches, thereby cementing his paternal authority over the rest of the Fast family. Recall that scene in Fast Five where Dom stood eye-to-eye with The Rock’s Luke Hobbs, despite Diesel being nearly six inches shorter than his co-star — the most ridiculous eyeline this side of Ben Platt’s “You and I” video.

Hmmm. Photo: Universal Pictures

Now, they’ve gone and done it again. A significant chunk of F9 takes place in flashbacks to Dom’s younger years, where the audience finally learns the true story behind his father’s death at a 1989 stock-car race. Mercifully, the film steers clear of the CGI de-aging effects that have taken over the MCU in favor of a more old-fashioned approach: simply hiring younger actors. Young Dom is played by New Zealand actor Vinnie Bennett — no matter what age, Dom Toretto must always be portrayed by a Vin — and the casting’s … all right. Bennett’s got the right kind of gruff charisma, and they made sure to give him the same hairline Diesel sported in the ’90s, which helps.

But there’s one noticeable difference: The dude is tall. Maybe not “Adam Driver Tall,” but definitely “You’re Irked If He’s Standing in Front of You at a Concert Tall.” There are no good stills, but here’s a shot of Bennett at the 2017 Toronto Film Festival so you can get a look at him yourself.

Vinnie Bennett (third from right) showing off his height. Photo: Rich Polk/Getty Images

According to Bennett’s very kind and patient publicist, the actor stands six-foot-one, which isn’t that much taller than Diesel. But here’s where the movie magic comes in. As I’m sure you’ve heard, F9 also introduces John Cena as Dom’s long-lost brother Jakob, with whom he shares a relationship so complicated that of course Jakob has never been mentioned in any of these movies before. Cena is also listed as six-foot-one, and you best believe that when the two men square off, Diesel somehow becomes exactly the same height. And there’s an additional wrinkle. Most of the scenes Dom and Jakob share take place in the flashbacks, where Young Jakob is played by Peaky Blinders’ Finn Cole. Can you guess how tall Finn Cole is?

Hmmmm. Photo: Theo Wargo/Getty Images for Universal Pictures

My friends, he is a little under five-foot-eight.

In other words, the F9 flashbacks take what should be a two-inch height advantage for Jakob and turn it into a five-inch advantage the other way — a seven-inch swing toward Dom, which I think we can all agree is a sizable difference. The result is that, for much of the film, Dom positively towers over his tiny baby of a brother. Consider it a subtle retcon, a way to erase years of our lying eyes telling us that Dom should be slightly shorter than his male co-stars. Not true, says F9. No matter the height of the actor playing him, the character of Dominic Toretto is canonically tall.

F9 Makes Dom Toretto Canonically Tall