Vin Diesel on the Last Time He Saw Paul Walker and The Actors That Replaced Him in 'Furious 7'

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Vin Diesel can’t get the last moments he spent with Paul Walker out of his head.

It was November 2013, while they were still filming Furious 7. The script that night called for a dangerous stunt in which Diesel’s character, Dom Toretto, drives into certain danger, zooming headfirst in order to save his FF family. The scene was so real and dangerous, Diesel’s own life flashed before his eyes — and it made him think of what might happen to his best friend should a stunt go awry and really kill him.

According to a new profile in Variety, Diesel met up with Walker after the shoot, and told him, “If I do die, let them know what kind of brother I’ve been to you.”

In a cruel twist of fate, it was Walker who died in a car accident two weeks later. Diesel has been in mourning ever since, and as he promotes the seventh film in the Fast and Furious franchise, he’s shed no shortage of tears for his fallen friend.

Diesel says that he wasn’t even sure he could starting working on the seventh film, which broke for four weeks to rework the ending to give Walker’s character, Brian O’Conner, a proper send-off. He finally agreed to do it, he said, because he figured that’s what Walker would want.

Cody and Caleb Walker/FilmMagic

Because they had to change the ending of the film, though, it took more than just some courage from its stars. In order to properly give Walker the send-off he deserved, they had to use CGI to graft Walker’s face to several body doubles: Walker’s brothers Caleb and Cody, as well as the veteran soap opera actor John Brotherton, who already had a small role in the film. Lord of the Rings director Peter Jackson’s Weta Studios did the CGI work.

“No one in the world could teach you how to act across from someone your heart is mourning for,” Diesel said. “That’s like asking someone who has lost a parent to replay it again and again, and pretend there’s not a void there.”

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