The Fate of the Furious star Vin Diesel paid tribute to his late co-star Paul Walker at the MTV Movie & TV Awards Sunday night. Diesel and Walker became the faces of the Fast and Furious franchise after The Fast and the Furious kicked off the movie series in 2001. After Diesel took off the next two films in the series (his cameo in Tokyo Drift aside) and Walker the third, the duo reunited for Fast & Furious in 2009, and the renewed energy of the fourth chapter laid the foundation for the multi-billion franchise that moviegoers know today.
Walker tragically passed away in a car crash in 2013 during the filming of Furious 7, and the filmmakers had to rely on visual effects and participation from Walker's brother to finish the actor's performance so Dominic (Diesel) could give Brian (Walker) a proper send-off . Released in April, The Fate of the Furious marked the first full Furious film to not feature the character, although Diesel found a unique way to honor Brian at the conclusion of the film.
Diesel paid tribute to his friend and co-star (who he affectionately knew as "Pablo") once again at the 2017 MTV Movie & TV Awards while accepting the Generation Award. Accompanied by Furious stars Michelle Rodriguez, Jordana Brewster and Tyrese Gibson on-stage, Diesel recalled the MTV awards show 15 years ago, saying:
“In 2002, I was standing on this stage, and MTV had given Paul Walker and I an award for Best Duo. And now, 15 years later, I’m with my whole family, and you’re giving us the Generation Award ... I could never stand on the stage and talk about Fast & Furious without giving love to my brother, Pablo, our brother Pablo – we hope you are proud, thank you so much."
Diesel also thanked the generation of fans who have supported the multicultural franchise throughout the years:
“Most importantly, I got to thank our generation. I got to thank a generation that was willing to accept this multicultural franchise where it didn’t matter what color your skin was or what country you are from – when you’re family, you’re family.”
There's no question the absence of Walker was felt in the The Fate of the Furious, especially since the conclusion to Furious 7 was so emotional. It's heartening to know that Diesel has not forgotten his friend nearly four years after his untimely passing – an actor who was no doubt a vital component to the success of the Furious franchise as a whole. When Diesel says Walker was part of his family, he means it.
Source: Vin Diesel [via My Space]