It’s a bittersweet time for those who loved Paul Walker.
As the cast of Furious 7 promotes the highly anticipated film (hitting theaters Friday), they’re reminded at every turn of their lost “brother.”
“He was truly an angel,” Tyrese Gibson tells PEOPLE of Walker, who died at age 40 in a fiery car crash in late 2013. “We were inspired to pick up the pieces and keep moving because it became ‘Let us do this on his behalf.’ It’s really hard to do red carpets and have so many people walking up to you screaming … I’m just thinking to myself, ‘It’s not about me. It is so all about Paul.’ ”
Gibson echoed those sentiments in an Instagram post later in the evening, captioning a photo of Walker: “It’s so hard to celebrate without you.”
Paul Walker’s younger brother Cody was also in attendance at Wednesday evening’s Los Angeles premiere, telling PEOPLE he loved the movie.
“I’m so happy with it,” he says. “I think Paul would be proud.”
Adds Cody: “I’ve known some of [the cast] for the last 15 years, but not at this level. I’ve just tripled my family in the last year.”
The late actor left his fortune to his beloved daughter Meadow Rain, who was 15 when he died. Paul’s mother, Cheryl, had petitioned for guardianship over her granddaughter after her son’s death, but she later asked to dismiss it, citing Meadow’s wishes.
Today Meadow, now 16, lives with her mother, Rebecca Soteros.
“She’s really in a great space,” says Gibson. “She’s really focused on her education and just spending a lot of quality time with her friends. That brings her a lot of joy.”
The teen hasn’t shied away from remembering her father on social media.
On the anniversary of his death, she posted a throwback photo on Instagram of Paul holding her in his lap, simply captioning the photo “I love you.”
And after the trailer for the film aired during the Super Bowl, she posted another photo from her childhood, with Paul beaming at his daughter while she sticks her tongue out at him.
After Paul’s death, his brothers Cody and Caleb stepped in as doubles in Furious 7.
“It could not have been easy for [Cody and Caleb] … to step in for their brother who we just lost,” says Gibson. “I have a bunch of new heroes from being a part of this project. It feels like the most beautiful sending off you’ll ever see.”
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•With reporting by NICOLE SANDS