KEY POINTS

  • Paul Walker died in 2013
  • John Cena will play Vin Diesel's brother in "F9"
  • "F9" is slated to release Friday

Vin Diesel reveals he has an emotional connection with his "F9" co-star John Cena, who played his on-screen brother in the upcoming "Fast & Furious" movie. He also believes the late Paul Walker has "sent" Cena to join the franchise.

Cena will appear as Jakob Toretto in "F9," which will release Friday.

During "The Kelly Clarkson Show" on Wednesday, the 53-year-old actor opened up about his "anxiety" when it comes to casting an actor in his sibling's role.

"Obviously I'm multicultural. You could've cast anybody to be my brother," Diesel explained. "For two months before I went into filming, I created a shrine where I could do all the combat training, all the stunts and I had the Charger there to simulate the garage to get into the Dom state of mind."

"Now the idea of the brother worked great on paper, but when the time came to cast it, anxiety," the "Fast & Furious" star admitted. "Who could you cast to be Dom's brother and 20 years into the game? The audience knows our mythology so much."

"And he [Cena] comes into the shrine one morning," Diesel said. "And I had this strange feeling that Paul Walker had sent him."

Walker played Brian O'Conner in the action franchise that involves illegal street racing, spies and heists. The actor appeared in seven "Fast & Furious" movies before he died, at the age of 40, in a tragic car accident in 2013.

The tragic incident took place amid the filming of "Furious 7." However, the creators decided to keep his character alive. At the end of the movie, it was shown that he will be retired. Even in the upcoming movie, the character remains alive and it is explained that he is living somewhere with his family.

Earlier this month, Walker's Brother, Cody, praised Diesel for keeping his brother alive to honor him even after seven years.

"I think Vin and the whole family have done a good job tastefully letting the character ride off into the sunset. I think Paul would get a real kick out of where it's gone. It's gotten so crazy. It's a wild, wild ride at this point," Cody told TMZ. "I can't speculate what he would think, I just know that Vin always takes a very serious approach to keeping Paul's legacy in mind and has always done a really nice job paying tribute to his character."

Vin Diesel Vin Diesel, photographed during the Los Angeles premiere of “xXx: Return of Xander Cage” on Jan. 19, 2017, opens up about fatherhood. Photo: Getty Images