“Haha, remember when I quit after the first one because I thought I was going to be a giant movie star then came back and agreed to do 20 more? Haha, remember that?”
“Yeah, Vin, I remember.”
You might think of The Fast And Furious franchise as nothing more than cars going “vroom” churned out almost as fast as Saw movies because Americans will stare at anything in a movie theater. And you’d be exactly right. But to Vin Diesel, who’s clearly never watched a single of one of them, they’re deep, spiritual character tomes about brotherhood, familial bonds, and man’s mechanical inclination to work with engines the same way Pablo Picasso worked with watercolors. A place where flying headbutts are more than just flying headbutts, but an interpretative dance of the soul. But now Vin’s left alone without his dance partner and finds himself navigating a strange, pixelated world where androids dream of electric sheep. It’s left him disoriented and confused which is why he’d like to set the record straight about making a bunch of producers and studios exec sit in his trailer for two hours last week so he could ask them “What the fuck am I doing here?” Via Facebook:
There wasn’t a scene in the saga he didn’t want to discuss, improve… even with just a changing of a line or adding a specific nuance to enrich a moment.
He did it with the pride of knowing, that over a decade of portraying Brian, through four directors, multiple writers and new producers he was able to maintain the inner core of the character he created. Those work ethics and drive to be both truthful, and in his own way, evolve the decade spanning character is what made his character as iconic as it has become.
“I remember this one time the director told Brian.. We called each other by our character’s name on set, and sometimes even off, for months at a time when we weren’t even together. God, I miss you Brian… Anyway, this director told Brian to maybe show a little more emotion in this one scene, but Brian wasn’t having none of that. He just stood there emotionless, like a statue, then said his lines as straight as possible free from drama or inflection. It was like watching Shakespeare change into a butterfly right in front of your eyes. I cried three times that night.”
He always knew I would fight for him… 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.
“It’s often said you don’t really make it in this business until you make it on MTV. And we did it not once, but twice. 12 years apart. Brian died so that could happen, and I’ll never forget it. It was the most beautiful gift I’ll receive in this life. I remember looking at my daughter and saying, ‘That’s how you earn daddy’s love. Not how good you did in school, or how much you look up to and love me unconditionally as a father, but making sure I walk away with Best On-Screen Duo at the MTV Movie Awards.’ I believe in pushing people for greatness.”
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.
“Some people might say it’s an abomination, an affront to God, to keep making this movie with Pixel Brian. And there are times I don’t even know what’s real and what isn’t anymore. How do I know I’m not CGI? Or this lamp? It does things to an artist’s mind that I wouldn’t wish on my worst enemy. But at the end of the day, you push through the barriers and realize that this computer is Brian now, and Brian is this computer. Which is why I’m sitting here typing into Brian’s face from our favorite cabin in the woods. I’ll reforge this brotherhood or die trying because I love you, Brian. Even when you won’t recognize my printer on this WiFi. Family never leaves family behind.”
Happy Toretto Tuesday…
“I make up my own holidays. Tomorrow’s Brian Bednesday… Everybody eats soup.”