As authorities continue to probe the cause of the fiery car crash on Saturday that took the life of Paul Walker, the late star of “The Fast & The Furious” series, the 40-year-old actor’s onscreen co-star paid tribute to the man he considered family.
“To live in the hearts we leave behind, is not to die,” Vin Diesel wrote on Monday, quoting poet Thomas Campbell.
“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,” Diesel continued. “I will always love you Brian [Walker’s “Fast” character], as the brother you were … on and off screen.” At press time, more than 2.5 million people had liked the tribute.
“I’m so sorry for your loss, my condolences for your brother and his family and all his friends around the world,” said fan Rob Diterio in response. “You two had such a great chemistry on film and you are like real brothers! To have had that is such a greatest gift in life, love you guys always.”
Diesel also made a spontaneous appearance at a candlelight vigil held by fans at the site of the crash on Monday night. Speaking through a police cruiser microphone, Diesel thanked Walker supporters for showing up. “At this hard time his family gets to see all of you show the love that you’ve shown Paul,” he said. “It’s going to stay with me forever. I just wanted to say thank you. Thank you for coming down here and showing that angel up in heaven how much you appreciate him.”
Afterwards, a TMZ cameraman asked the actor if he thought filming on the seventh installment of the movie series would start up again soon and Diesel got choked up at the query. “I can’t even think about anything but the loss of a loved one,” he responded. Another “Fast” star, Tyrese Gibson, visited the site on Sunday, reportedly taking a small piece of the wreckage home as a memory of his fallen comrade.
Diesel was among the many stars who paid their respects to Walker over the weekend in the hours after news emerged of the car crash that took his life and that of his friend and racing team partner, Roger Rodas. The pair was riding in a high-powered $450,000 Porsche Carrera GT that is notoriously difficult to handle.
Another “Fast” co-star, Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, said on Monday that he and Walker bonded over their status as fathers.
“When I first met Paul, I think in our late 20s, we were young kids in the business,” Johnson told Entertainment Weekly. “Then years later, when I did ’Fast Five,’ we had an opportunity to spend a lot of time together and become reacquainted. At that time, we had both been in the business at that time for over a decade, and the most important thing that we had in common was the importance of family time and being a great father to our daughters. We bonded over that.”
Walker is survived by his teenage daughter, Meadow. “It was always the number one topic we would talk about,” Johnson said. “We would talk about silly guy things, his fast cars and my pickup trucks, or we would talk about the beautiful energy of Hawai’I — but it always ultimately came back to family. And very specifically the beautiful and important bond between a father and his daughter, and how we both realized that over the years.”