Vin Diesel said his friendship with Paul Walker is what he treasures most from his time working on the Fast & Furious franchise.
Diesel and Walker developed a close bond while the action films made them global superstars.
Diesel is godfather to Walker’s daughter, Meadow, and named his own daughter Pauline following the actor’s death in a car accident aged 40 in 2013.
Reflecting on 20 years of the Fast & Furious films ahead of the ninth instalment Diesel, 53, said his time with “Pablo” is what means most to him.
He told the PA news agency: “I guess the standout moment is all around Pablo. Those are the moments I hold. And obviously, when you lose a family member you cherish all the moments, we all do that.
“Those are the memories that I keep close and I cherish the most.”
While Walker holds a special place in Diesel’s heart, the actor also pointed to his other co-stars in the franchise and said, “I’ve had wonderful, wonderful moments throughout these 20 years because the people I make the movies with have become family”.
He added: “My father used to say, ‘Do what you love and you’ll never work another day in your life’.
“And what I’ve learned from doing this franchise is the only thing better than that is doing what you love with the people you love. And I can say that is the most rewarding aspect of doing Fast And Furious.”
Diesel is reprising his role as Dominic Toretto in F9 and will star alongside John Cena, Michelle Rodriguez, Jordana Brewster, Tyrese Gibson, Ludacris and Nathalie Emmanuel.
While Diesel refers to his castmates as family, one of his co-stars is actually related – his 10-year-old son Vincent, who appears in the film a young Dominic.
The role was the idea of director Justin Lin and Diesel said it represented how popular the franchise had been since the first film arrived in 2001.
He said: “I think my son being in the film is representative of how multigenerational this saga has become.
“There are people that are bringing their kids that saw the movie 20 years ago, before they had kids.
“And I guess it’s no accident that Justin wanted my son to be in this movie to play young Dom. And did it for no other reason than to support this multigenerational theme that is the Fast saga.”
Fast & Furious 9 is in cinemas now.