Vin Diesel: The audience has adopted the franchise as its own

Vin Diesel in Fast and Furious 8
Vin Diesel in Fast and Furious 8

The ‘Fast & Furious’ franchise has a huge fan base around the globe. The audience has been loyal and supportive throughout these years.
The fan base is unlike anything the studio and I have seen. The audience adopted it as their own after the fourth film. This is why I returned to play the character of Dom Torett in ‘Fast & Furious 8’.

How was the experience shooting in Cuba?
We wanted to celebrate the Cuban spirit in ‘Fast & Furious 8’. When you watch the film, the scene makes you feel the franchise is writing an ode to Cuba. Our characters have evolved to such ‘Save the World’ status that it’s difficult to justify a race anywhere in the universe. That we were able to be part of the Cuba Mile Race and we were able to make this race about honour was profound. It was such a cool thing; it was a throwback to the first one.

You also shot in New York.
Shooting the franchise in New York was a dream come true. I always felt like there was some poetic justice to our characters to return to NY as the city provides a great canvas for street car races. The action that ensues in the city is hard to beat. It’s such a great location. The NY sequence is mind-blowing.

Academy Award winner Helen Mirren requested you for a part in the film.
She started calling me out on talk shows saying, ‘I love Vin Diesel. I want to be in Fast & Furious’. I was introduced to her at the Oscars party last year and she said, ‘I’ve been talking about you and I have been saying I want to be a part of Fast & Furious. Get it together, Vin’. At that point, her role wasn’t written. The director and the writer flew down to the Dominican Republican with me and we worked on the script for a week. Her character provided the connective tissue we belatedly realised was needed for our plot. To this day, one of my favourite moments of filming was sharing a scene with Helen Mirren.

How was the experience working with director F Gary Gray?
What we really needed for ‘Fast & Furious 8’ was a director who could focus with exactitude on performances – that’s why we have Oscar winning actors. And that’s why Gary Gray was the perfect director for this chapter of the film.


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