Vin Diesel Pens Tribute To Paul Walker As ‘Fast 8’ Shooting Begins

Vin Diesel remembered Paul Walker in an emotional Instagram post as filming for the latest Fast and the Furious film begins.

It has been nearly two and a half years since actor Paul Walker’s tragic death in a car crash, but Fast and the Furious, the action movie series in which he starred as FBI-agent-turned-street-racer Brian O’Conners, is limping on.

As the 8th installment of the series – Fast 8 – begins filming, Paul Walker’s co-star Vin Diesel – who plays another pivotal character, Dominic Toretto – penned a touching tribute on Instagram, marking only the second time that the series has begun filming without Walker.

As Brian O’Conners, Paul Walker has been a consistent part in the Furious series since its debut in 2001.

Now, 15 years later in 2016, on filming Fast 8 without Walker, Vin Diesel wrote on Instagram, captioning a picture of him and the actor with the following.

“Many of the crew members who have worked on several of the past Fast films are here again to help us make something special. One of them at the end of the week came up to me and said wow what we are capturing on film is excellent… And then looked at me and said Paul would be proud.
#wemakethemwithourhearts”

With the familiarity between returning cast and crew members, the absence of Paul Walker who had always been there before seems to be all the more pronounced. Vin Diesel’s anecdote from the filming emphasizes this fact.

Walker had become a beloved part of the Fast and the Furious series and had gained millions of fans for his role as Brian O’Conners. His death in a car crash almost two and a half years ago, on November 30, 2013, came as a shock to his fan base, his co-stars, and beyond.

An official police report from The Guardian in 2013 states that, “For an unknown reason the driver lost control of the vehicle and the vehicle partially spun around and began to travel in a south-easterly direction. The vehicle then struck a sidewalk and the driver’s side struck a tree and then a lightpost. The force of these collisions caused the vehicle to spin 180 degrees and it continued to travel in an easterly direction”

It is clear how much the actor is missed both from Vin Diesel’s above emotional story from the sets of Fast 8, and also from tributes from his other Furious co-stars.

For the second anniversary of Paul Walker’s death in November 2015, Vin Diesel posted another Instagram tribute to his friend and co-star, titled “Brotherhood has No Limits.”

A photo posted by Vin Diesel (@vindiesel) on

But it is not just Vin Diesel who remembered Walker on that fateful day. November 30, 2015, also saw an emotional Instagram memorial from Tyrese Gibson, who plays Roman Pearce in the series.

Tyrese Gibson also refers to Paul Walker as his brother, as he captions a picture of him and the actor during filming.

This testimony to the brotherhood between the co-stars of the Fast and the Furious series is also accompanied by a tribute from another co-star, Jordana Brewster, who plays Mia Toretto – Walker’s on-screen love interest.

Brewster, too, praises Paul Walker with the hashtag “Paul Walker Forever” and a quote from Ralph Waldo Emerson, “The largest part of his power was latent. This is that which we call Character,-a reserved force which acts directly by presence, and without means.”

It is clear that Paul Walker will be sorely missed by those in the Fast and the Furious circles, from his fellow cast-members to the crew, especially as the series continues on.

Fast 8 is set to release on April 14, 2017.

[Photo by Stuart C. Wilson/Getty Images]