Actor Vin Diesel teared up Wednesday during the Universal Pictures CinemaCon screening of the upcoming film “The Fate of the Furious,” the eighth in the long-running “Fast and Furious” franchise.
In a speech paying tribute to the late Paul Walker, his friend and co-star, who died in 2013, Diesel said it was Walker who was behind the making of the eighth film – the first not to feature Walker.
“It was Paul Walker who promised eight,” Diesel said according to Variety. “It played over and over again in my brain.”
Diesel added, “Part of Paul’s legacy lives through every frame that we shoot. You are reminded of this angel that was so integral to this concept of brotherhood for our millennium. There’s something beautiful about that. There’s something celebratory about that…. I always feel like he’s looking down on us so we didn’t want to let him down.”
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After Diesel’s tribute, Universal surprised the audience with an unexpected screening of “Fate of the Furious.”
In 2015, Diesel honored his friendship with Walker by naming his daughter Pauline. Walker died at the age of 40 following a fiery single-car crash in California.
At the time, Diesel said while he was in the hospital, he named her Pauline.
“There’s no other person that I was thinking about as I was cutting this umbilical cord. I knew he was there and it felt like, you know, a way to keep his memory a part of my family and a part of my world.”
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Directed by “Straight Outta Compton” F. Gary Gray, “The Fate of the Furious,” sees the family broken up after Dominic Toretto aligns himself with an international criminal, turning his former teammates into rivals. It stars Diesel, Charlize Theron, Dwayne Johnson, Jason Statham, Helen Mirren, Nathalie Emmanuel, Michelle Rodriguez, Tyrese Gibson, Ludacris, Scott Eastwood, and Kurt Russell. The film kicks off a new trilogy, and hits theaters on April 14.