Diesel formed a friendship with Paul when they both starred in 2001’s The Fast and the Furious. The men went on to play BFFs Dominic Toretto and Brian O’Conner, respectively, in four more Fast and Furious films before Paul was killed in a single-vehicle car crash at the age of 40.
The She’s All That actor made his final appearance in the franchise in 2015’s Furious 7, which was in the middle of production at the time of his death.
Diesel, on the other hand, is still still a big part of the Fast family — and teased in June 2021 that Meadow might make a cameo in Fast 10, which is set to hit theaters in 2023.
The xXx actor, who has known Meadow since she was a little girl, has stepped in as a father figure in Paul’s absence. His partner, Paloma Jiménez, and their three children — Hania, Vincent and Pauline (who is named after Paul) — have also become part of Meadow’s inner circle.
“[Meadow] counts Vin and his kids as family and will talk to them on days she’s struggling, and she has their backs too,” a source exclusively told Us Weekly in June 2021.
The model, who was only 15 when her dad died, has continued to keep his memory alive with the help of Diesel and other close family friends.
“Meadow is so proud of her dad and goes out of her way to respond to people who send letters or express their love of him and his work,” the insider added. “She posts tributes to him on social media, keeps in touch with the people who were important in his life and generally acts on the advice he gave her whilst he was still alive.”
“The whole point of the Fast and Furious saga is the idea that brotherhood can be created by bond and not necessarily blood,” Diesel underscored at the time. “So much of Fast and Furious is celebrated by brotherhood that’s eternal. I never in a million years imagined 21 years ago that, beyond the script and the film, there would be this other guiding light, this other driving force that propels you to be as passionate as you can and manifest in the movie. … We’re all mortals, but love is immortal.”
Scroll down to see how Diesel has maintained a strong bond with Meadow over the years: