We all have in our lives people whom we deeply love and cherish. The passing of a parent, sibling or a best friend can definitely tear us apart and make us feel more vulnerable than ever. The same happened to Vin Diesel when one of his best friends, Paul Walker, departed from this world much too soon.

In November 2013, Walker was killed in a car accident after a Porsche he was a passenger in, lost control on a California street and smashed into a light pole. Roger Rodas, the driver and Paul’s friend, also died in the crash. When the tragedy happened, Walker was 40 years old and was still filming for Fast and Furious 7.

The news was heartbreaking for both fans and the movie’s cast, especially since the whole franchise is built on family, friendship and surviving by sticking together. However, Paul’s death particularly affected his friend and co-star, Vin Diesel. As a result, he has many times broken down and choked up in front of the camera.

Immediately after the tragedy, the actor showed up at his friend’s mother’s house to express his condolences. Vin told the story of how he was shocked at the reaction of Paul’s mother, as she said that she was also sorry. “

Why? Why are you saying sorry to me?’ And she said, ‘Because you lost your other half.’

Vin Diesel on Sirius FX

A strong friendship

If no one has told us about Vin and Paul’s long-lasting friendship before the latter passed away, now we know. The duo wasn’t close only in the movies, but in real life too, and their special bond continues on even if one of them isn’t here anymore. As Vin himself said, he had many friends, but only one Paul Walker — and as Paul’s mother said, he was his “other half”.

The two actors first met during a read-through of the first franchise movie The Fast and The Furious. The pair went on working for the next 12 years together, developing a deep friendship.

We’re probably all a little guilty of not telling people how much we love them while they’re here.

Vin Diesel

A friend in need, is a friend indeed!

Vin recalls how overwhelmed he felt at a point, as he was stressed by a busy schedule and the fact that he had to provide for all his family members. He felt exploited — his own mother seemed to be quite indifferent to her son’s feelings. The only person that he could talk to about it was Paul, who was dealing with the same situation.

Paul helped him by mediating with Vin’s mother and making her understand what he was going through. And for that, Vin will forever be grateful.

Coping with the loss of a best friend

Vin broke down in tears several times whenever he talked about his late friend. Not to mention that journalists aren’t the most empathetic people when it comes to exploiting a celebrity’s pain. It’s hard to grasp the fact that someone simply ceases to exist after so many years of friendship, of relying on each other and of having each other’s backs. Vin admitted that the loss of Paul has been one of the darkest moments of his life.

You spend 15 years going from being a nobody to somebody, with a brother. And then one day he’s gone… And it’s a very heavy experience.

Vin Diesel on The Jonathan Ross Sow

The actor hadn’t even had the chance to properly mourn his buddy as the crew was still filming for Fast and Furious 7. Although Paul managed to film about 85% of the shots, there were still 15% remaining — another painful experience for Vin who now had to pretend that his friend was right next to him.

I’ve been acting all my life and they don’t teach you in acting, how to mourn someone and simultaneously pretend they’re in a scene with you.

Vin Diesel

After finishing with the “pretend” scenes, Vin got a chance to play a character for which he didn’t have to act that much as he was already going through a similar emotional state. His part in The Last Witch Hunter was to play a character that was masking his sorrow and pain. And that was pretty much what he had been doing in real life anyway.

He named his daughter after his best friend

When Vin found out that his first baby was on its way, he didn’t want to tell everybody in order to avoid paparazzi and unnecessary attention. However, Paul was the first one to know. Not only was he happy to share the big news with a best friend, but he also relied on the fact that Paul was already a parent. Thus, he received advice and encouragement from a happy father.

As a tribute to his late friend, in 2015, Vin Diesel named his second daughter Pauline.

Destroying stereotypes about friendships in men

Toxic masculinity and the idea that feelings are only for women have made many men unable to forge and maintain meaningful friendships with other men. But this wasn’t the case with Vin Diesel.

He has shown us over and over again that he is as manly and fearless as one could possibly be. On the other hand, he’s also shown us that there is nothing wrong with openly showing vulnerability or the love you have for your friends. On the contrary!

It’s difficult to grasp the transient nature of life and losing someone dear can be excruciating. After almost 7 years since Walker passed away, Vin still honors his legacy and the love he had for his brother.

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