Vin Diesel recently shared a heartrending tribute video of Fast & Furious co-star Paul Walker, showing a montage of clips taken from interviews and backstage moments. The pair starred in six of the Fast & Furious films and formed a strong friendship, as is clearly evident throughout much of the tribute video.
Vin Diesel Flew Back to Support Walker’s Family
Paul Walker was tragically killed on Nov. 30, 2013, in a fiery car collision. Walker was a passenger in a Porsche Carrera GT, driven by friend and business partner Roger Rodas, when it struck a light post and trees, before catching fire in a office park in Santa Clarita, California.
The Los Angeles county coroner stated that the vehicle was traveling at 100 miles per hour, just prior to impact. However, toxicology reports for Rodas and Walker established that neither man had imbibed in alcohol or drugs.
In the aftermath of Walker’s demise, Vin Diesel immediately returned to California to extend his support to his late co-star’s emotionally wrought family. Diesel recounted the occasion on his Facebook page, explaining how he broke down in front of Walker’s kin. The Chronicles of Riddick star claimed this was the point, at which he realized, he needed their support – not the other way round:
“His mother hugged me and said ‘I am so sorry…’ I said ‘sorry? You’re the mother who lost a son?…’ She said ‘yes, but you lost your other half…’”
Diesel has shared a number of personal reflections on Walker’s departure on his Facebook page. On Dec. 3, Diesel offered a touching tribute to Walker – who he affectionately nicknamed Pablo – and his Fast & Furious character, Brian O’Conner, by quoting Scottish poet Thomas Campbell:
“‘To live in the hearts we leave behind, is not to die.’
Pablo, I wish you could see the world right now… and the profound impact, your full life has had on it, on Us… on me… I will always love you Brian, as the brother you were… on and off screen.”
Walker Tributes Shared on Diesel’s Facebook Page
Following this period, Diesel shared a slew of additional tributes, photographs and memories. Just prior to Christmas Eve, Diesel revealed the new release date for Fast & Furious 7 to be April 10, 2015, and uploaded a photograph of the final scene the pair filmed together. The image shows Walker and Diesel standing, side by side, looking battered and bruised, with a blue screen situated in the backdrop. He took the opportunity to explain some of the background behind the scene, stating that it was a reflection of the “magic captured” and just how far the pair had come.
The film was originally slated for a summer release in 2014; however, the studio put the film’s development on hold, while alternative arrangements were considered. In the weeks following Walker’s death, director James Wan, writer Chris Morgan and Universal Pictures’ lead executive for the Fast and Furious franchise, Jeffrey Kirschenbaum, began assimilating their next plan of action. The team, reportedly, modified the script to ensure Walker would remain an integral part of the film.
The Fast and Furious 7 release date was later confirmed by Universal Pictures. An official statement was then released by Universal:
“Continuing the global exploits in the franchise built on speed, Vin Diesel and Paul Walker lead the returning cast of Fast & Furious 7, which will be released by Universal Pictures on April 10, 2015… James Wan directs this chapter of the hugely successful series, and Neal H. Moritz and Vin Diesel return as producers.”
Diesel’s latest tribute, which was uploaded on Tuesday, is over 18 minutes in length. The video shows the pair talking about cars, performing a test-drive, celebrating Paul’s birthday and laughing and joking with British chat show host Alan Carr. Walker also discusses the young and spirited mentality he possessed when first starting out, and how his mind-set was shaped by Diesel.
In uploading the tribute video, Diesel sought to briefly explain the basis for its creation:
“You have always been so supportive, especially in these past two months… So, I wanted to share something personal that I worked on through the New Year, in honor of my brother Pablo… Paul.”
By James Fenner