It's been more than two years since Paul Walker's tragic passing, but his friends and co-stars — specifically close friend Vin Diesel — will never forget him. Diesel, 48, fondly recalled working with Walker, 40 at the time of his death, while accepting the 2016 People's Choice Award for Favorite Action Movie Actor and Favorite Movie Wednesday night.
The actor quickly grew emotional as he took the stage for his acceptance speech. Diesel thanked his "Furious 7" co-stars, calling them "the best cast in the world." He also recalled a promise he made to Universal Studios years ago, telling them they'd most certainly get to "Fast 10." Diesel continued choking back tears as he breached the subject of his since deceased co-star Walker. He called his work on "Furious 7" a labor of love, detailing the struggle he and his co-workers encountered when trying to return to work after Walker's fatal accident.
"I always say I'm not going to get emotional about winning these awards and I was cool while I was sitting in my seat and then they handed me two awards," Diesel said. "You all thought that this was your favorite film. So I think of Dom and Bryan, and I start to think of Paul ... It's real people that are voting for these awards. It's just pure fans saying how they appreciate our work and that means the world to me."
Diesel was up against four other actors in the Favorite Action Movie Actor category. He beat out Chris Hemsworth, Chris Pratt, Dwayne Johnson and Robert Downey Jr. "Furious 7," which won Favorite Movie, took down "Avengers: Age of Ultron," "Inside Out," "Jurassic World" and "Pitch Perfect 2."
At present, the fate of the "Fast and Furious" franchise remains unknown. As previously reported, the film's original director, Rob Cohen, is said to be on the fence about "Furious 8." In an October 2015 Facebook post Diesel wrote that it was Walker's wish that Cohen would return to the franchise. He wrote that the director "would reset the franchise nicely" by taking it back to it's roots.