- "This ain't right, man. This ain't for me. I come from a different kind of lifestyle, bruh."
- ―Roman Pearce to Tej Parker
Roman Pearce is the childhood friend of Brian O'Conner. A protagonist in The Fast and the Furious franchise, 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 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.
2 Fast 2 Furious
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.
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.
Fast & Furious 6
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 length 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.
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.
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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.
Despite his goofy personality, Roman is quite capable of contributing majorly to the crew. He was capable of identifying the engine type of Shaw's crew after one encounter. This was due to his vast history with cars. 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. 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.
- "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 on snowmobiles.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- According to Roman, he has a high metabolism.
- ↑ 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."