Vin Diesel wasn’t exactly an unknown before he was known worldwide as Dominic Toretto. He had been in Saving Private Ryan and Pitch Black and he voiced the title character in The Iron Giant, a masterpiece. But he wasn’t as famous as his co-star Paul Walker, who was a teen idol for his performances in She’s All That (where he delivers the immortal line, “Check out the bobos on super freak”), Varsity Blues, and Pleasantville. He also played one of the Deedles in Meet the Deedles, but that is neither here nor there.
The point is, Walker spoke with experience when he gave Diesel a piece of advice about dealing with fame that the F9 star remembers to this day.
“We went to Mexico for MTV Spring Break, and on our way home, we just wanted to go back commercial, Paul and I,” Diesel said during the first episode of Entertainment Weekly‘s BINGE: The Fast Saga podcast about promoting The Fast and the Furious in 2001. “And I’ll never forget this: We’re sitting on the floor of this airport, bags to the side, legs stretched out, thousands of people walking by, walking over us.” He continued:
“Now he had already had some films out, so he was a little more familiar with what was to come, and he said, ‘Vin, take all of this in. Take in the fact that all these people are just walking by us.’ I said, ‘Why,’ and he said, ‘Because when this movie comes out, our anonymity will be gone.’ It was so telling, and it was so surreal, how he knew.”
Unfortunately, the footage of Diesel and Walker, who tragically died in 2013, does not exist online. But here is Adam Sandler and Winona Ryder presenting the duo with Best On Screen Team at the 2002 MTV Movie Awards. Almost as good.
You can listen to the podcast here.