“We’ve felt the loss,” Diesel told ET, referring to the Fast cast. “The last three years have been some of the hardest of my life because of losing my brother like that.”
He recalled, “I’d been to Brazil two times before and both times that I’ve been here, I’ve always been with my brother, Pablo,” his nickname for Walker. “Even if I talked on ET in Brazil or any talk show, any press or while we were filming in the favelas, it was Pablo and me. It was a lot of tissues and it was a hard morning for me yesterday because I was here. But the irony is, the whole cast reached out and his daughter, Meadow, reached out and all that stuff helps you get through it.”
Walker died from a car accident on Nov. 30, 2013, postponing production on Furious 7 while the cast and crew mourned the loss. Diesel recently commemorated the three-year anniversary of Walker’s death on Instagram, writing that he “pledged to make Pablo proud” with Fast 8.
The actor also told ET that filming xXx: The Return of Xander Cage became part of the healing process. “Making this movie came after a very difficult time making Furious 7, and so never in my life did I need to do a movie where I could laugh and smile and enjoy myself more than right now, more than the time I made this movie,” he said.
He noted that Fast 8, which Diesel filmed directly after xXx, takes his character to “the darkest place Dom’s ever been. So it was important for me, for my soul and for my family and for all the people that love me, for me to do xXx and for me to enjoy myself the way that I did.”