Not too long ago we ran this story about how sources involved with the production of James Wan's Fast And Furious 7 were saying that the film's current course was through rocky waters. In particular, there were reports of star Vin Diesel acting a bit oddly, both by staying in his trailer for a whole day and part of another day, and also by voicing displeasure with the film's current state to Universal executives. As if to respond to the tide of reporters commenting on the story, Diesel released a statement on Facebook, as well as another set photo of himself and his dear friend, the late Paul Walker (which we've included above).
The Facebook post that Vin Diesel released this past Tuesday recalls, in Vin's own words, how well he worked with Paul Walker and how dedicated the late actor was to his role as Brian O’Connor. As others have attested in the past, Walker's attention to detail and care in crafting well-rounded characters were always present while he was on set.
What struck me in particular were two excerpts from the statement, both showing that Vin Diesel is still grieving over his fallen compatriot. When talking about their mutual approach to the filmmaking process, Diesel said:
He always knew I would fight for hiim, whether it was to protect his deal or to protect his integrity, and he knew that if it made for a better film, I was going to do whatever it took. It is why together, we won best duo twice, 12 years apart.
You could see that the two actors worked together in the chemistry that was on the screen, but to know that they had each other's back in the artistic realm as well gives their friendship another whole level of depth. While the Fast and Furious films aren't high art, they're still pretty cohesive pieces of escapism that throw physics out the window and pull together a motley crew of thieves that you can root for. Part of the fun is seeing how the crew gets along and busts each others' chops over things, as any good family would. While finishing this film is somewhat of a sacred task for Vin Diesel, it's definitely not an easy one. He voiced his discomfort with the necessary visual effects techniques used to make it look like Paul Walker was still on the set, remarking:
With our new ambitious vfx team, the whole cast and crew has had to adjust to this awkward and uncomfortable process of pixels over people. Aside from the obvious strains it places on the director, the challenge is not to allow it to compromise what makes the character so special.
Judging by his well worded statement, and the photo he chose to accompany it with, Vin Diesel is acting out (if he's acting out at all) because he wants to uphold his best friend's work ethic and finish the film in a fashion that make Fast And Furious 7 a worthy addition to the canon. Universal Studios is lucky that this film is even moving forward, as the pall of Paul Walker's tragic death still does and will always loom over this film, especially because of the way he died. Considering how fast production on these films usually moves, and how far away from the deadline everything is, the unfortunate delays to the film aren't crippling the new release date just yet. If the rumors are true and Vin is acting out of character, you can kind of see why. The guy's still grieving for his best friend, and perhaps the best thing to do is let him get it out of his system, and finish the film.
Fast And Furious 7 hits theaters on April 10th, 2015.