Vin Diesel paid homage to his late friend and co-star Paul Walker as he accepted the Generation Award on behalf of The Fast and Furious franchise at the MTV Movie and TV Awards in Los Angeles Sunday.
The 49-year-old A-lister was flanked by co-stars Michelle Rodriguez, Tyrese Gibson and Jordana Brewster as he remembered his late friend, who died in an auto wreck November 30, 2013 in Valencia, California.
‘I could never stand on this stage and talk about Fast and Furious without giving love to my brother Pablo, our brother Pablo; we hope you’re proud,’ said Diesel, who’s played Dominic Toretto in the mega-successful series the past 16 years.
The xXx actor looked back to the early days of the drag racing-oriented film anthology.
‘In 2002, I was standing on this stage and MTV had given Paul Walker and I an award for Best Duo, and now 15 years later, I’m with my whole family and you’re giving us the Generation Award,’ Diesel told the crowd.
The actor noted how audiences were drawn to the diverse demographics of his film franchise, which continues to set revenue records in the wake of the latest installment in the series, The Fate of the Furious.
‘I gotta thank a generation that was willing to accept this multicultural franchise, where it didn’t matter what color your skin was or what country you were from – when you’re family, you’re family,’ he said.
Last month, Diesel said that the franchise’s massive success – personified by high-profile castmates who later joined the series, such as Dwayne Johnson, Charlize Theron and Jason Statham – was attributable to Walker.
Diesel, at a New York screening at Radio City Music Hall, said ‘a lot of great talent in this movie’ wouldn’t have been possible ‘if it wasn’t for the decades of work that my brother Pablo put into this franchise. When you see this movie, know that this is from love.’
He said that ‘there wasn’t a second we made this movie, not a minute … not a day that went by that we weren’t thinking about our brother, Pablo, and how to bring him into the movie and how to represent him and to make something that he will be proud of.’