The 49-year-old actor took the stage before the screening and acknowledged the late superstar. “We have a lot of great talent in this movie. But there would be no Dwayne Johnson, who we love, there would be no Jason Statham, who we love, there would be no Charlize [Theron], who we love, there would be no Scott Eastwood, who we love, there would be no Kurt Russell, who we love, if it wasn’t for the decades of work that my brother Pablo put into this franchise,” Diesel said, using his nickname for Walker. “When you see this movie, know that this is from love.”
Diesel added that they carried Walker’s memory with them while filming. “I just want you to know, 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,” he said. “Pablo, I hope you are proud tonight.”
Walker was killed in a car crash on November 30, 2013, at age 40, when his friend’s Porsche Carrera GT crashed into several trees and a concrete lamppost. The actor was still filming Furious 7 when he died. With the help of his brothers Cody and Caleb and some digital magic, the studio finished the movie. The seventh installment of the iconic action series ended with an on-screen tribute to Walker.
Walker’s mother, Cheryl, and his 18-year-old daughter, Meadow — whom he shared with his ex Rebecca Soteros — were both in attendance for the premiere and Diesel’s touching comments. Walker left his entire $25 million fortune to Meadow.