Roman Pearce is the childhood friend of Brian O'Conner. Roman is a former convict, arrested for harboring stolen cars, who won his freedom after taking down the drug lord Carter Verone with Brian. Following the events in Miami, he becomes a member of Dominic Toretto's crew when Dominic, Mia Toretto and Brian planned to steal money from a corrupt Portuguese businessman, Hernan Reyes. Roman would also become best friends and partners with Tej Parker.
Roman Pearce was born and raised in Barstow, California. As a child, he befriended another Barstow local, Brian O'Conner. Roman and Brian grew up together, and often caused trouble together and played sports. Roman and Brian attended high school together, and often dated the same girls, Roman dating the girls Brian was no longer romantically involved with.[note 1] When Roman and Brian attended prom, Roman presumably had sex with an undesirable girl nicknamed "No Knees" Denise.[note 2]
Like Brian, Roman turned to a life of crime and began stealing cars. When Brian joined the Los Angeles Police Department, Roman presumably distanced himself from Brian, considering him the "enemy". Two months into Brian's career as police officer, Rome was arrested for housing stolen cars in a garage.
Roman spent three years in an upstate prison and was later released on house arrest. He was not allowed to move beyond a hundred yards from his home, a trailer home. He wore a monitor on his ankle leg that prohibited his movement.[note 4] Roman was later employed as a driver for a Demolition Derby in Barstow.
- "You got anything to eat up in there? We hungry."
- ―Roman to Carter Verone
Following Brian's arrest in Miami by Special Agent Bilkins and U.S. Customs Agent Markham, Brian agreed to help Bilkins and Markham expose and arrest drug lord, Carter Verone, if he could choose who would go undercover with him. Bilkins and Brian traveled to Barstow where Roman was making a living a demolition derby driver. When Roman won the derby, he spotted Brian in the stands with Bilkins and headed for his RV.
He ignored Brian's calls until he used his nickname, "Rome". Taking offence, Roman reminds Brian that only his friends could call him "Rome" and called Brian a pig. Brian clarified that he wasn't a cop any longer. Following Bilkins's confirmation that it was true, Roman punched Brian when he continued to try to acknowledge Roman as his friend.
Roman was overpowered by Brian in their fight, but refused to listen to Brian when he tried to convince him to come with him to Miami to earn his freedom. It was not until Bilkins again confirmed that Brian's offer was legitimate that Roman obliged the deal to have his criminal record expunged in exchange for his help.
After meeting with Monica Fuentes, an undercover U.S. Customs agent in a relationship with Verone, Roman remained standoffish with Brian during their undercover roles as Carter Verone's new drivers. He acclimated to his new environment and developed a friendly rapport with Suki and Tej Parker.
In the company of Monica and the U.S. Customs and FBI agents, he questioned Brian's dedication to the undercover sting whenever he interacted with Monica, reminding his friend that he often got in trouble because of his relationship with women. Brian dodged Roman's questions regarding Dominic Toretto, the criminal he let go free during his tenure as a police officer, and Roman held his actions against him. Monica warned Brian and Roman that Verone planned to kill them once his money was delivered to drop off point, then assumed to be the airstrip.
Brian and Roman work with Tej to lose Bilkins's and Markham's tracking devices on their Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution VII and Mitsubishi Eclipse Spyder. During that time, Roman finally takes responsibility for the actions that led to his arrest and reconciles with Brian, who he longer blames. Brian admitted that letting Dominic Toretto go was largely motivated by the guilt he harbored for being unable to help Roman. With help from Tej, they orchestrate a "scramble", after driving into a garage they later have hundreds of race cars coming out, having switched cars with Tej and Suki while in the garage.
Roman heads for the airstrip as planned, but is warned by Brian that changed had planned. Roman talks, distracting Roberto, one of Verone's men, long enough to use the nitrous trap in the passengers seat to eject Robert from the car. Head heads for the docks and knocks out one of Verone's men before he helps Brian with Enrique, who attempted to shoot Brian in the 1969 Yenko Camaro SYC. Roman and Brian save Monica, driving the Yenko off the top of the docks and crash the vehicle into the boat Verone was using to escape the authorities. Roman's arm was broken in the process, but they were able to help Monica, who later apprehends Verone.
After the arrest of Verone, Roman and Brian's criminal records are cleared. Roman and Brian reveal that they've taken their share of Verone's money and planned to open up a high performance garage in Miami together.
- "When are you gonna give Martin Luther King his car back?"
- ―Roman to Tej Parker
Roman traveled to Rio de Janeiro when he is contacted by and Brian, Mia and Dominic Toretto. He was recruited on account of his skills as "fast-talker", in their attempt to steal $100 million from a corrupt Brazilian businessman.
He is reluctant at first, thinking the mission is personal and not being good business until Dominic announces that the score is $100 million, Tej adding that his cut would be a little over $11 million.
Convinced that the benefits of the score outweighed the risks, Roman decided to help Toretto's crew. With his share of the money he buys a Koenigsegg CCXR from a sheikh in Abu Dhabi, as well as his own private jet.
- "Father, thank you for the gathering of friends. Father, we give thanks for all the choices we've made... because that's what makes us who we are. Let us forever cherish the loved ones we've lost along the way. Thank you for the little angel, the newest addition to our family. Thank you for bringing Letty home. And most of all, thank you for fast cars."
- ―Roman Pearce
Roman is called away from his respective life of comfort and privilege to help Dominic and Brian bring Letty Ortiz, Dominic's wife, back into the fold, after DSS agent Luke Hobbs learns that she is alive and living in London. Roman was on his way to Macau when he was contacted by Dominic. Roman immediately reunited with the crew in London with Hobbs and Riley. They learned Shaw's crew was building a Nightshade device, which can disable a country's military communication grid for 24 hours, endangering countless lives and they were only one component away from finishing it. Hobbs offered them a chance to reunite with Letty, who was presumed dead, but Brian pushed the negotiations one step further for full-pardons to every member of the crew.
Later they attempted to capture Shaw's crew but failed due to the advanced equipment of Shaw's crew. They were however, able to learn about the makeup of the Flip Cars Shaw's crew utilized just from hearing their engines and seeing their performances. Using this, Rom, Riley, Han and Gisele were able to track down the manufacturer. They were however, ambushed by Shaw's men but were able to retrieve more information and find out Shaw was working with Braga. Brian left to the United States under the alias of a fake criminal to interrogate Braga while the rest of the crew found out Shaw's hide out. Though it was abandoned, they deduced he was after their final component in an army base in Spain. As they were about to leave, Brian made it back just in time to join them. Upon finding out one of Shaw's men was "caught", Brian, using the information from Braga, deduced Shaw wanted it to happen. Tej, who was talking with Hobbs, told the crew they were following protocol and transporting the component to a safe location. Having realized this, the crew deduced Shaw wasn't after the base, but the convoy transporting the component. Instead of rendezvousing with Hobbs they crew went to escort the convoy. They were too late as Shaw's crew already took the convey only to find the component was inside a tank.
Roman drove in front of the tank and Shaw's crew tried to shoot him but he narrowly dodged it, but it resulted in his car being disabled by the tank. Roman was able to use a cable to link his car to the tank before jumping onto Brian's car. Brian then used Roman's destroyed car as an anchor by pushing it over a bridge, disabling the truck and Shaw's crew was arrested. However, Shaw had a backup plan. Using Mia's life, the crew was forced to let him go. However, Tej disabled all communication grid and the crew pursued Shaw once again so he can't contact the his men to kill Mia. They saw Shaw was planning to escape via airplane. After a lengthy chase, Brian was able to use Tej's hook gun to attack the plane's flap, preventing it from taking off and destroyed it. As promised, the crew was issued full pardon for their previous crimes and had a meal at the Toretto house with Roman saying grace, honoring Gisele, who died while helping the crew take down the plane and welcoming Brian's newborn son.
- "I can't do no more funerals."
- ―Roman Pearce
Roman is first seen at Han's funeral. He wants Brian to promise him they won't be going to any more funerals, to which Brian assures him that the only funeral left where they will be going will be Deckard Shaw's. Next, Roman is brought by Mr. Nobody to the base as part of Dom's crew. While being briefed, Roman shows his disapproval for the plan made by Mr. Nobody's team to rescue Ramsey, and tells that he's tired of doing things he's told to do, and that he either gets to call the shots or walks out. When Dom gives him the table, Roman isn't quite prepared yet, but comes up with the plan to hit the motorcade from the most secure, physically inaccessible point from the mountain as an element of surprise. However, he still delegates to Tej to think of the way to get to that point.
However, when the only way to do it is airdrop from a cargo plane, Rome chickens out and is about to stay up in the plane, only for Tej to remotely activate the parachute on his Camaro, pulling Rome out of the plane. Being seconds late, he lands in the trees and doesn't take part on the original attack by Brian, Dom, Letty and Tej. However, later on, when Deckard arrives at the scene and starts chasing Dom, Roman comes into the came late and takes him out, after which, when they run into more goons of Jakande, Dom tells Roman to go with the others.
Later, as the crew regroups, Ramsey describes the team, and Roman himself as the "team joker", to which he is offended and claims himself to be "Double Alpha, and Man Candy" instead.
Next, in Abu Dhabi, Roman and Tej are seen looking at Ramsey, to whom Roman calls dibs. When the team goes to the tower to get the God's Eye chip out of the car, Roman is given a simple task to provide a distraction if necessary - in Tej's words, "shine brightly, like only Roman Pearce can do". He does it by hijacking the stage and drawing attention by singing a birthday song, drawing the Prince's guards to him, which allows Dom and Brian to get to the car. When he is interrupted by Letty and Kara fighting, just as the guards are about to take him away, they are then interrupted by Dom and Brian driving into the main hall, just as Deckard arrives to the party with an assault rifle. He then proceeds to escort Letty safely out of the tower.
Rome joins the team for the one last attack in Los Angeles, this time driving the 1985 Chevrolet Caprice Classic sedan with Tej.
- "Number 11 my ass!."
- ―Roman Pearce
Roman joins the crew in Berlin where they steal back an EMP from a military base and they are then betrayed by Dominic Toretto who steals the EMP and delivers it to Cipher. Roman and the team are gathered by Mr. Nobody. Roman complains about "his ribs showing" after spending four hours in the base and is about to walk out, before Mr. Nobody tells him that as a result of Dom's actions, the crew made Interpol's Top 10 Most Wanted list. Roman however responds "That's all right" and is still considering leaving, before Mr. Nobody tells him that he missed the cut and he came in at #11 (behind Hobbs (#6), Letty (#8), Tej (#9) and Ramsey (#10)), causing him to feel offended and stay on. The base is then infiltrated by Cipher and Dom. After they recover and Letty says that "I don't know what she's got on him, but that wasn't Dom", Roman suggests that Brian could help them, only for Letty to remind him that they all agreed to keep Brian and Mia out of the game.
After discovering that Dom and Cipher are going to New York they follow them and Roman uses a 2010 Bentley Continental GT to chase after Dom. However, it is eventually destroyed. The gang travel to Vladovin and Roman drives a Lamborghini Murciélago LP640 which is destroyed when it becomes trapped in broken ice and sinks into the water. Roman is saved by Tej and tags along with Hobbs in his car. Eventually the submarine is destroyed and the gang return to New York where they enjoy lunch together as Dom announces his son's name to be Brian.
Roman arrives, with Ramsey and Tej, to Dom and Letty's farmhouse in Thailand and shares the news of Mr. Nobody's plane crash and the extraction of Cipher. Dom is initially reluctant to join the rest of them in searching the crash site in Montequinto and Roman reminds him that Cipher killed the mother of his child, Elena Neves.
Roman drives an armoured car in Montequinto and uses it to escape the ambush by the military. When the car is destroyed, Roman joins Tej and Ramsey in Tej's 2020 Jeep Gladiator which they use to escape over a bridge which promptly collapses. After the gang arrive in the Caspian Sea, Dom instructs the team to split up and sends Roman and Tej to Germany where they meet Sean Boswell, Twinkie and Earl who provide them with weapons, cars and gear as well as demonstrating their rocket engine-powered Pontiac Fiero which blows up after the demonstration.
Roman and Tej then meet up with Ramey and Dom in Edinburgh where Jakob Toretto steals the second half of Project Aries. On a hunch, Roman fights two delivery drivers and discover a large magnet in the back of their truck which is causing a electromagnetic field to shutdown security systems. Roman and Tej are captured and held hostage in the truck which is then stolen by Ramsey who uses it to run Otto's Jaguar off the road. Roman and Tej then take out four guards, using their fighting skills to good use, before Ramsey captures Jakob in the truck using the magnet and they return to the Caspian Sea where they meet Han again.
When the bunker is infiltrated, Tej and Ramsey use the magnet to cause a diversion and the team flee the bunker. Once they learn that Jakob and Otto have launched a satellite into orbit, Roman and Tej contact Sean and Earl, who have rebuilt the Fiero, and they use it to send themselves into orbit. When Tej tries using the magnets on the Fiero to destroy Otto's satellite, they fail and Roman suggests using the rocket engine. Tej warns him that doing so could either, kill them upon impact with the satellite or leave them stranded in space as the remaining engine fuel is what they need to return to Earth.
Roman tells Tej that they have no choice and that this may be the end for them and if it is they'll the two friends will go out together, side by side to save their team. Roman activates the engine and blows up the satellite. The duo survive and are found by another rocket ship who help them get back to Earth.
Roman and Tej regroup with the rest of the team in Los Angeles and sit down to a barbecue as Brian arrives in his Nissan Skyline.
TO BE ADDED
- "This is an extremely egocentric individual who cannot take the criticism of others, or tolerate shortcomings of any kind. He would further be described as someone who requires instant gratification for his impulses, and who can react violently when those impulses are not satisfied. He is glib and superficial, but also extremely manipulative. He must be dominant in all relationships with women. He can also become very possessive and irrationally jealous of those he feels are not spending enough time attending to his needs in his sexual relationships."
- ―Behavioral Observations
During the events of 2 Fast 2 Furious, Roman is still dealing with the knowledge that childhood friend, Brian O'Conner, has become a police officer and did not use his power as an officer to help him while in prison. By default, Roman does not trust the police and considered anyone who entered their ranks the "enemy". In general, Roman has a problem with authority figures or individuals who use their power and privilege to undermine him. Another case of Roman's problem with authority is shown in Furious 7, when the team receives the briefing on the motorcade, as he tells that he's tired of always doing things their way, and that either they let him call the shots or he walks out.
Roman holds grudges and is not lenient toward anyone who he feels betrayed him. However, Roman has a tendency to blame others for consequences from his own actions, and will avoid taking responsibility for those actions on account of his pride. His relationship with Brian suggests a strong bond of trust fostered from their youth. Following their reconciliation, Brian revealed the reasons that led him to let Dominic Toretto go in Los Angeles was connected to the guilt of not being able to help him.
Roman is not of the mind that personal vendettas and business ventures are a wise unions, but is not against mixing the two when great sums of money are involved. When he is not preoccupied with his anger, Roman often allows his ego to get the better of him and as a result, he is often picked on, his physical features (such as his forehead) exaggerated for jokes. Roman's strongest suit is often his mouth. Roman's sense of humor is often disarming to strangers who question the motives of the crew, or make assumptions about his temperament based on his record with Dominic Toretto. His need to be the center of attention and hear himself speak can be used to distract opponents during scores or other situations.
Roman also tends to be somewhat impulsive. This was shown when he was playing with a new weapon Tej developed from Shaw's crew, narrowly missed Dom and Han.
- Peak Human Condition: Roman is muscular and strong due to serving three years in prison, being able to shatter a car window with a single punch and kick out another car's windshield with Brian. Also being able to lift his opponents in hand-to-hand combat. He also has a high metabolism.
- "So you all wanted me to break into a police station. Fine. Then you asked me to stop a tank. I wasn't happy about it, but I did it. Then you came up with this brilliant idea to shoot down one of the largest airplanes ever. I shot that shit out of the sky. Mmm. It's nothing."
- ―Roman Pearce
- Expert Marksman: Roman is a very skilled and highly accurate marksman. In Miami, he fired his sidearm at Markham without intending to harm him but to convince others he was loyal to Verone. In Vladovin, he quickly shot down numerous separatists, and later singlehandedly killed 14 soldiers in Montequinto. Roman's ability with a gun has been positively spoken about by Brian O'Conner.
- Expert Combatant: Roman is a solid fighter, able to challenge his police-trained childhood friend Brian as well as soldiers in battle, although the former has criticized his skills. He had the upper hand against Enrique to the point the latter had to arm himself with a weapon. In co-operation with Han, he landed a few hits on highly trained Jah and ultimately lost. Roman then fought the latter again, this time alone and their fight came to a stalemate. Roman is easily able to take down several enemies during the crew's search for Jakob and has stepped up in recent times to present the fact he can handle himself though hand-to-hand combat.
- "Driving is what I do."
- ―Roman Pearce to Tej Parker
- Expert Driving Skills: Roman's driving skills have been commended by Brian. He is a former demolition derby driver. His skills are presented several times in the series, including the time he took out Deckard Shaw during the crew's hunt for Ramsey.
- Skilled Engineer: Despite his sometimes-goofy personality, Roman is quite capable of contributing prominently to missions. He was capable of identifying the engine type of Shaw's crew after one encounter. This was due to his vast history with cars.
- "A fast talker. Someone who can bullshit their way out of anything."
- ―Dominic Toretto
- Skilled Tactician: Another notable skill is his fast talking skill. This skill earned him a place among the crew since he could talk his way out of any situation, as well as physically defend himself if his talking goes sideways. He can also draw the attention of large crowds to himself, enabling his crew to slip past security or anything else that could inhibit their mission. While preparing for the New York Chase, Roman initially intended to use a conspicuous vehicle to chase Toretto as a form of reverse psychology. He was able to identify maintenance workers as Jakob's henchmen, as he was able to deduce that they were fighters based on their cauliflower ears.
- "Man, I've been known to handle big guns. Relax."
- ―Roman Pearce to Tej Parker
- SIG Sauer P226: Roman's first sidearm is a nickel-plated .40 S&W pistol. During his undercover mission in Miami with Brian O'Conner to bring down Carter Verone, he drew it from his car to fire at US Customs Agent Markham to maintain his cover.
- Beretta 92FS: Roman's second sidearm is a semi-automatic pistol fitted with a weaponlight on the dust cover. He armed himself with it during the safehouse robbery.
- Beretta 92FS Inox: Roman obtained a third sidearm by the time he was recruited to stop Owen Shaw and his team. He fired it in Firuz's garage and later tried to shoot Jah with it.
- Glock 17: Roman's fourth sidearm has a stainless steel slide. He brought it for the raid on the Russian naval base, and acquired a standard version of the pistol from a Russian separatist, using it to shoot the remaining enemies off of their snowmobiles. He later carried two of these pistols in Montequinto.
- Benelli Nova: Roman gave this shotgun to Dominic Toretto at the NATO base in Spain.
- Heckler & Koch MP5K: Roman took this submachine gun from the NATO base in Spain.
- AKM: Roman used a rifle against soldiers in Montequinto.
- Plumett AL-52 Air Launcher: Roman irresponsibly handled Tej Parker's compressed air launcher, accidentally firing a dart from hit and almost hitting Dom and Han Seoul-Oh. He later used it to shoot through one of the wings on Shaw's plane.
- At the end of 2 Fast 2 Furious, Brian and Roman intended on starting a garage together. In Fast & Furious, however, Brian has become a FBI agent. Brian and Roman’s plans are never mentioned or referenced in the series after 2 Fast 2 Furious. While a likely continuity error, Fast & Furious is considered a "reboot" for The Fast and the Furious franchise by Universal Pictures, the franchise distributor.
- 2 Fast 2 Furious establishes that Roman's date of birth is April 12, 1973, according to the California DMV database, which Verone had access to. Roman's file also lists his Barstow details and credit card info.
- The DSS database in Fast Five states that Brian O'Conner's birth date is July 14, 1978. Brian's file in Fast Five contradicts the initial 1973 birth year given to them in 2 Fast 2 Furious (where it's said they grew up together as kids) and Furious 7 where Brian states that both he and Rome attended prom together. Any relevant details on Roman's DSS profile is obscured by Gisele Yashar's profile and is not readable at any point in Fast Five. For consistency's sake, Roman's birthdate is considered to be April 12, 1978.
- Roman's quote, "We ain't hungry no more" is a popular online meme.
- He is the 3rd character to be played by a rapper, along with Tej Parker, who was played by Ludacris. His actor, Tyrese Gibson, also sung the song, "Pick Up the Phone", along with Ludacris, which was featured in the motion picture soundtrack of 2 Fast 2 Furious.
- He is the only character played by a rapper to have a prominent role in the series, along with Tej Parker.
- Tyrese also sung the song "Too Easy", which featured Ludacris.
- His statement about Cipher being the person who killed Elena Neves is false. The person who killed her was Connor Rhodes, whom Dominic Toretto later killed.
- Roman: "You feelin' this girl way too much. She just like that crazy-ass trailer-raff from back-in-the-day, Tonya."
Brian: "Tonya? Man, you went out with her after I did."
Roman: "I mean, I couldn't let her go to waste."
- Brian: "No, only thing I've ever seen him take down was "No knees" Denise. Remember? At prom?"
Roman: "Really, Brian? You're gonna do that right here?"
- Brian: "I'd been a cop about two months... when Roman was busted in a garage raid. He had eight sets of wheels in his possession, each and every one of them hot."
Fuentes: "So you busted him?"
Brian: "No. I didn't even know what was goin' down. But, uh, that doesn't really matter to him. Basically, once I became a cop, Roman started seeing me as a friend that became the enemy."
- Bilkins: "He's got quite a record, including three years upstate. Says here he's on house arrest now. Can't go more than 100 yards from his home."