”Oh, my god.” that’s how the aptly named Diesel — who, along with the inaptly named Walker, plays a member of a drag racing street posse — describes zooming through the streets of L.A. at a simulated 170 mph. Inspired by ”Rebel Without a Cause” and the original 1974 ”Gone in 60 Seconds,” director Cohen (”The Skulls”) was determined to push the limits of technology when it came to the racing scenes.
He set to work fashioning a rig that would allow the actors to sit in the speeding car, rather than just be towed by the crew. ”Needless to say, the insurance premiums went straight up,” Cohen says. To appear more convincing, the actors were sent to an unconventional driving school, where they practiced skidding out and making high speed turns in the parking lot of Dodger Stadium. ”There were definitely moments that were risky,” says Diesel (”Pitch Black”), adding, ”I’m probably a much better driver now.”