“Furious 7,” the seventh installment in the “Fast & Furious” franchise, is one of the year’s most anticipated blockbusters. And while the film promises to be a wild, action-packed ride, the tragic death of Paul Walker looms heavily as its April 3 release date approaches.
At an advanced screening of the film in Los Angeles, Walker’s friend and co-star Vin Diesel reflected on that sentiment with a touching tribute to his late pal.
“This was a labor of love. It was in some ways the hardest movie I ever had to do,” Diesel said. “Because the relationships that you see on film are so real. When the tragedy happened, I lost my best friend. I lost my brother. Tonight…”
The 47-year-old actor then cut off his sentence, visibly overcome with emotion. But the crowd offered heart-warming words of encouragement, shouting out “You’re the man” and “Love you, V.” One audience member particularly struck a nerve, saying, “You got family here, Vin,” to which Diesel replied, “Oh, I love that.”
Soldiering on, he told the crowd, “What can I say, guys. Thanks for being my family. Thanks for always taking care of us. Thanks for believing in us.”
He finished off his emotional speech by pointing to an image of Walker on the screen and telling the audience, “Please know that we made this movie from our hearts, and know that this is our gift to you. And more importantly, it’s for my brother there. Let it be the legacy we know he deserves.”